Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2007] All ER (D) 69 (Jun)
Court: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division

Toulson LJ, Walker J and Judge Wandsworth QC

Representation Mark McDonald (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the defendant.
  Michael Clare (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the prosecution.
Judgment Dates: 8 June 2007


Criminal law - Trial - Summing up - Adverse comment - Silence of accused - Direction to jury - Adverse inference direction - Defendant choosing not to give evidence at trial - Recorder asking his counsel if defendant informed that jury might draw such inferences as proper from silence - Recorder not making adverse inference direction - Whether conviction unsafe.

The Case

Criminal law Trial. The defendant's convictions for kidnapping, false imprisonment and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence were unsafe, where the recorder had failed to give the standard adverse inference direction in relation to the defendant's decision not to give evidence and had instead obliquely told the jury that they could draw inferences from the defendant's silence without any of the guidance in the standard direction.

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