Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2007] All ER (D) 79 (Nov)
Court: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division

Rix LJ, Henriques and Swift JJ

Representation Thomas McKinnon (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the defendant.
  Karl Volz (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
Judgment Dates: 6 November 2007


Criminal evidence - Character of accused - Bad character - Misconduct having to do with alleged facts of offence with which defendant charged - Defendant being tried for threats to kill - Prosecution seeking to adduce evidence of comments made two days after offence - Whether evidence falling within bad character provisions - Whether having to do with alleged facts of offence with which charged - Whether judge erring in admitting evidence - Whether conviction safe - .

The Case

The words of of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, namely, 'has to do with' the alleged facts of the offence with which the defendant was charged, were words of prima facie broad application albeit constituting a phrase which had to be contrasted with the overall context of the bad character provisions of the Act. The breadth of the words were clearly limited by the context. For example, s 101(1)(c) of the Act referred to explanatory evidence and s 101(1)(d) to propensity. It would be a sufficient working model of the words in s 98(a) if one either said that they clearly encompassed evidence relating to alleged facts of an offence which would have been admissible under common law, outside the context of bad character or propensity, even before the Act, or that they embraced anything which was directly relevant to the offence charged, provided at any rate that they were reasonably contemporaneous and closely related to the relevant facts.

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