||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 239 (Oct)
|| EWCA Crim 2413
||Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Hallett LJ, Leveson and Simon JJ
||Simon Sherriff (instructed by Caplins Solicitors) for the defendant.
||Louis French (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
||19 October 2006
Criminal law - Grievous bodily harm - Inflicting grievous bodily harm - Recklessness - Direction to jury - Defendant falling from railing above dance-floor and onto victim - Victim breaking neck - Victim rendered quadriplegic - Whether judge erring in failing to direct jury as to obvious and significant risk of injury - Whether direction to jury as to recklessness inadequate - Whether conviction unsafe.
As a rule, it was very much a matter for a trial judge to decide how he wished the structure his summing up. However, he was still required to ensure that the jury were not only directed accurately on the law, but also directed in such a way that the issues and the defence case were put before them in a way that they could readily understand. In the instant case, where the defendant was convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm on the victim by falling on her, the judge's directions to the jury were inadequate and there was a possibility that the jury had convicted the defendant on an erroneous basis.
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