||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 77 (Jan)
||Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Hallett LJ, Stanley Burton and Wyn Williams JJ
||Richard Burrington (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the defendant.
||Dominic Bush (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
||18 January 2008
Criminal law - Trial - Verdict - Inconsistent verdicts - Importing a Class A drug - Prosecution presenting case on basis that both defendant and co-defendant aware carrying heroin in car - Defendant being convicted - Co-defendant being acquitted - Whether conviction unsafe.
The defendant's appeal against a conviction of knowingly importing a Class A drug, where his co-defendant had been acquitted of the same offence, would be allowed on the ground that the verdicts were inconsistent. In the instant case, the real distinction between the defendant and his co-defendant was not enough to convict one and acquit the other. Moreover, it would be wrong to ignore the real concerns of a very experienced judge who, having heard the evidence, had expected the case of the defendant and his co-defendant to stand and fall together. For those reasons, and given the way in which the case had been presented by the prosecution, there was a lurking doubt about the safety of the conviction. It followed that the conviction was unsafe and it would be quashed.
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