Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2006] All ER (D) 128 (Oct)
Court: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division

Sir Igor Judge P, Holland and Goldring JJ

Representation Samantha Cohen (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the defendant.
  Gundrun Fama (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
Judgment Dates: 11 October 2006


Criminal law - Trial - Direction to jury - Adverse inferences from failure to give evidence - Unrepresented defendant - Defendant's police interviews being played to jury - Judge effectively treating interviews as defendant's evidence in trial - Judge failing to direct jury as to adverse inferences as to failure to give oral evidence - Overwhelming prosecution case - Whether conviction unsafe.

The Case

In all the circumstances of the instant case, where the defendant represented himself at his trial but did not give evidence, the judge's failure to direct the jury as to his failure to give evidence had no effect on the safety of the conviction as the judge had effectively treated the defendant's interviews (which had been played to the jury) as his evidence and the jury were bound, in the light of the overwhelming prosecution case, to have convicted the defendant of, inter alia, conspiracy to make false instruments.

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