Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2010] All ER (D) 20 (Dec)
Neutral Citation: [2010] EWCA Crim 2820
Court: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division

Pitchford LJ, Henriques J and Judge Milford QC

Representation Peter Weatherby (instructed by Robert Lizar Solicitors) for the defendant.
  Andrew Menary QC and Gary Wodhall (instructed by the Crown Prosecution service) for the Crown.
Judgment Dates: 1 December 2010


Criminal law - Character of accused - Bad character - Possessing firearm with intent to endanger life - Defendant accused of being member of gang and jointly entering territory of rival gang with intention of confronting it - Prosecution seeking to adduce evidence of letters sent to defendant as showing allegiance to gang - Judge admitting evidence on limited basis and withdrawing from jury issue of defendant's membership of gang - Defendant convicted - Whether judge erring in admitting evidence - Whether letters recovered from defendant's prison cell being evidence of bad character - Whether having to do with alleged facts of offence with which charged - Whether conviction unsafe - .

The Case

Criminal law Character of accused. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in dismissing the defendant's appeal against conviction of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life in respect of in incident of gang warfare, held that evidence of letters sent to him, tending to show his affiliation to one of the gangs, was not evidence of bad character, pursuant to s98(a) of the but had correctly been admitted as evidence from which the jury could infer the relevant state of mind of the defendant as at the time of the commission of the offence. The conviction was safe.

If you are a LexisLibrary subscriber you can read more about this case here.