||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 250 (Dec)
||Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Mance LJ, Penry-Davey and Leveson JJ
||Paul Farrer (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for RH.
||John Evans (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for SH.
||James Burbidge (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
||17 December 2001
Criminal law - Trial - Stay of proceedings - Abuse of process - Destruction of evidence - No mala fides on part of Crown - Whether proceedings should be stayed as abuse of process - Whether trial rendered unfair - Whether conviction consequently unsafe.
Under paras5.1 and 5.7 of Code B of the Codes of Practice to the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act the prosecution had a duty to retain evidence until either the conviction or the acquittal of a defendant. In cases in which evidence had been destroyed in breach of those provisions and an application was made by the defence to stay the proceedings as an abuse of process, a court had to consider the effect of that destruction on the overall fairness of the trial.
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