DPP v Doran

 
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1988 WJSC-CCA 131

McCarthy J

Barron J

Egan J.

105/86
DPP v. DORAN
THE PEOPLE AT THE SUIT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
V.
EDWARD DORAN

Citations:

R V PORRITT 45 CAR 348

BULLARD V R 42 CAR 1

Synopsis:

EVIDENCE

Statement

Relevance - Crime - Trial on indictment - Murder - Self defence - The jury rejected the sworn testimony of the accused given at his trial - The accused was not entitled to rely on the facts set out in his pre-trial statement but which he had denied in his testimony - ~See~ Criminal Law, murder - (105/86 - C.C.A. - 7/12/87) - 3 Frewen 125

|The People v. Doran|

CRIMINAL LAW

Murder

Defence - Self defence - Provocation - Trial judge - Charge to jury - Relevance of pre-trial statement of accused - Early in the morning of 22/5/86 the accused broke into a dwelling but ran out of the house when accosted by the occupier - The accused was pursued by the occupier, who was armed with a golf club - The occupier caught the accused and struck him several times with the golf club, whereupon the accused turned and stabbed the occupier several times with a knife and killed him - The accused was tried in the Central Criminal Court before a judge and jury on an indictment containing counts of murder, aggravated burglary and larceny - The accused, who had pleaded guilty to the minor counts, was convicted of murder and sentenced to penal servitude for life, with concurrent sentences of ten years and three years imprisonment - He applied for leave to appeal against his conviction on the first count - He complained that the trial judge's charge to the jury had been unreasonably favourable to the prosecution - He also complained that the judge had failed to instruct the jury that, even if they rejected the accused's sworn testimony given at the trial, they could treat the contents of the accused's pre-trial statements (which had been admitted in evidence) as evidence supporting the accused's defence of self defence - Held, in dismissing the application, that, although he had exercised his right to express his own views on several matters in the course of the trial, the trial judge had instructed the jury in the clearest terms that they were the sole arbiters of fact - Held that an accused is not entitled to deny on oath the facts set out in his pre-trial statement and then, when the jury do not accept his oral testimony, seek to have the contents of his statement treated as evidence in support of his defence; but that, in any event, the accused's defence would not have gained from an acceptance of the facts stated in his statement - (105/86 - C.C.A. - 7/12/87)

|The People v. Doran|

McCarthy J.
1

Early in the morning of the 22nd May, 1986 the accused broke into a house, 66 Dollymount Park, Dublin where there lived James & Pauline Wall with their three young daughters. The intruder was disturbed and ran out the back door of the house after some scuffle with Mr. Wall who had obtained a golf club from under a bed. The only eye witness account of what happened afterwards came from the accused who made two written statements both admitted at the trial, and from his sworn testimony upon trial for the murder of Mr. Wall.

2

That trial took place before O'Hanlon J and a Jury at the Central Criminal Court; the trial judge stated that

"essentially, your task is to determine whether a defence arises on the basis of self defence and the prosecution have to satisfy you that the defence does not exist in this case and that the accused should not be given the benefit of that defence. The onus is never on the accused to prove that he committed the killing in lawful self defence. The onus remains at all times on the prosecution to satisfy the Jury, to convince them, that no defence arises on the basis of self defence."

3

The prosecution put in evidence a series of exhibited statements. In each statement the accused described running from the house and then:-

(exhibit 36)

"I fell on the roadway. When I fell on the roadway the man struck me behind with the golf stick on the back. I jumped up and he kept swinging the golf stick at me. I then ran back towards the church

...

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