The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction for murder as it could not be said that a direction given by the trial judge in answer to a question asked by the jury during their deliberations was inadequate. Minimum terms of 30 years’ imprisonment were also held to be appropriate where the offenders had systematically ill-treated the victim, who had been employed as their nanny, before her death in appalling circumstances.
A defendant convicted of murder at the age of 15 was refused an application to adduce fresh psychiatric evidence aimed at explaining his reasons for maintaining his innocence at trial. His admission of guilt after conviction was tactical and made in order to gain sentencing advantage.
The court interpreted condition 4, set out in the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 s.1(6), which allowed the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland to issue a certificate directing that a trial should be conducted without a jury if he suspected that an offence had been committed as a result of, in connection with or in response to religious or political hostility of one person or group of persons towards another person or group of persons. The condition could be relied upon in respect of a member of the armed forces who shot a person whom he suspected of being a member of the IRA.
A fresh inquest was ordered under the Coroners Act 1988 s.13(1)(b) into the death of a 14-year-old child in 1966, as new evidence was available which rendered a further inquest necessary and desirable in the interests of justice.
The court gave guidance on the proper approach to an application to the Crown Court for a witness summons under the Criminal Procedure (Attendance of Witnesses) Act 1965 s.2.