DPP v Hoey

 
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1987 WJSC-CCA 1519

COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL

47/86
DPP v. HOEY
THE PEOPLE AT THE SUIT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
RESPONDENT
.V.
ANTHONY HOEY
APPLICANT

Citations:

PEOPLE, AG V O'BRIEN 1965 IR 142

CUSTOMS & EXCISE V HARZ 51 CAR 123

R V SMITH 43 CAR 121

R V MIDLETON 59 CAR 18

R V MIDDLETON 1974 CLR 667

R V CLEARY 48 CAR 116

AG V CLEARY 72 ILTR 84, 1934 LJIR 153

AG V MCCABE 1927 IR 129

PEOPLE, AG V GALVIN 1964 IR 325

Synopsis:

EVIDENCE

Admissibility

Statement of accused - Voluntariness - Inducement - Propriety - Conviction by a Special Criminal Court - Conviction on count charging accused with possession of firearms with intent to endanger life - In his statement the accused accepted responsibility for the presence of guns and ammunition found by gardai in his home, where he lived with his mother, sister and brother-in-law - Upon the arrival of the gardai at his home on 11/8/85, the accused fled and remained at large until 3 p.m. on 4/11/85 when he surrendered to the gardai - The statement, which was made in reply to a question posed to the accused by the investigating garda, was the only evidence supporting the conviction of the accused - Until he made the statement, the accused disclaimed responsibility for the presence of the guns and ammunition in his home - The question so posed to the accused was:- "Will I have to get some member to go up to your family and find out from them if anybody at [accused's home] is going to take responsibility for the property in the house?" - The Special Criminal Court held, at a trial within a trial, that the said question did not induce the accused to make his incriminatory statement but was merely the occasion of the statement - The court of trial held that the statement was a voluntary one which had not been obtained by improper means, and admitted the statement as evidence against the accused - The accused, at the trial within the trial, said that he made the statement because he did not wish to involve his mother in the garda enquiries - The accused applied to the Court of Criminal Appeal for leave to appeal against his conviction - Held, in dismissing the application, that the finding of the court of trial necessarily involved a finding that the said question caused, or materially contributed to, the applicant's acceptance of responsibility for the presence of the firearms at his home and, therefore, induced that acceptance - Held that the issue to be resolved was whether that inducement was an improper one - Held that there had been evidence at the trial to support the view of the court of trial that the question posed by the investigating garda was not a threat to harass the applicant's family but was intended to draw his attention to the necessary consequence of a failure to establish that the applicant was responsible for the presence of such material at his home - Held that there was evidence, therefore, to support the finding of the court of trial that the applicant's statement was a voluntary one in the sense that it was not induced by any threat or promise of disadvantage or advantage - Application dismissed - (47/86 - C.C.A. - 29/6/87) - 3 Frewen 297

|The People (D.P.P.) v. Hoey|

WORDS AND PHRASES

"Inducement"

Garda Siochana - Crime - Investigation - Confession - Trial of accused - Admissibility of incriminatory statement made by accused - Statement made in reply to question posed by garda - Question induced the statement - Held that the inducement was not an improper one and that the statement had been made voluntarily - ~See~ Evidence, admissibility - (47/86 - C.C.A. - 29/6/87)

|The People (D.P.P.) v. Hoey|

1

Judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeal delivered the29th day of June 1987 by Lynch J.

2

This is an application for leave to appeal against convictions of the Applicant for possession of firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life. The grounds of the application for leave to appeal are set out in four paragraphs as follows:

3

2 "1. The Special Criminal Court having accepted that the alleged admissions of the Appellant herein were occasioned by questions of Detective Inspector John P. Anders couched in the following terms:

"Will I have to get some member to go up to your family and find out from them if anybody at 78 Rossmore Avenue is going to take responsibility for the property in the house?"

4

erred in law in finding that the circumstances aforesaid could not be regarded as a threat inducing the making of the said admissions.

5

2. The circumstances set out in the last preceding ground did in fact constitute a threat and/or an inducement vitiating the admissibility of the said admissions.

6

3. The Special Criminal Court should have rejected from its consideration the said alleged admissions and accordingly acquitted the Appellant of the offences of which it found him guilty.

7

4. The finding of the Special Criminal Court that the accused was in possession of firearms on the 11th of August 1985 with intent to endanger life was not supported by the evidence adduced and was against the weight of the evidence and the verdict of the Court consequent on the said finding was accordingly unsatisfactory."

8

The undisputed facts in the case are that at about 6 p.m. on Sunday the 11th of August 1985 a party of Gardai pursuant to authorisation in that behalf by search warrant carried out a search of the dwelling-house Number 78, Rossmore Avenue, Ballyfermot, Dublin, where the Applicant resided. The Gardai found in that house a revolver, a pistol and ammunition for both together with balaclavas and gloves under one of three beds in a front upstairs bedroom. The Applicant was present in the house as the Gardai arrived at the front door but when the Applicant saw the Gardai arriving he fled from the house through the back door and remained "on the run" until about 3 p.m. on Monday the 4th of November 1985. On that day the Applicant reported to the Gardai in the Bridewell...

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