A magistrates’ court’s decision to fix a trial date at which the prosecution expert could attend but the defence expert, whose report had been served in good time, could not was unfair. It was an exceptional case where the High Court should intervene at the pre-trial stage.
A prison officer who was the recipient of an unsolicited comment by a defendant in custody was not investigating an offence so as to trigger an obligation to comply with the PACE codes of practice. A trial judge had therefore been entitled to admit her evidence.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission had been justified in refusing to refer the claimant’s two convictions for sexual offences to the Court of Appeal. The fresh evidence on which he had sought to rely did not give rise to a real possibility that the convictions would not be upheld.
A conviction for sexual assault was safe, even though a central piece of evidence for the prosecution was the hearsay statement of the two-and-a-half-year-old victim. The statement had properly been admitted under the Criminal Justice (Evidence) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 art.18(1)(d) and the judge had given appropriate directions to the jury about how it was to be treated.
A judge had erred in excluding identification evidence, namely an image taken from a social media site, under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.78 because of a “very significant risk” that the complainant had been influenced by the person who showed the image to him. There had been no proper basis for reaching such a conclusion.