DPP v Maguire

JurisdictionIreland
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
Judgment Date07 April 1995
Date07 April 1995
Docket Number[C.C.A. No. 114 of 1993]
The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v. Maguire
The People (at the suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions)
and
Thomas Maguire
[C.C.A. No. 114 of 1993]

Court of Criminal Appeal

Criminal law - Evidence - Robbery - Admissibility of video film - Whether applicant identifiable on video film as one of the raiders - No other evidence to support video identification evidence - Circumstances in which video evidence admissible - Role of jury in assessing video evidence - Whether trial judge adequately charged jury as to relevance of video film as identification evidence.

The applicant convicted in the Circuit Criminal Court of robbery contrary to s. 23 of the Larceny Act, 1916, as inserted by s. 5 of the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act, 1976. The evidence against the applicant comprised a video film taken by a security camera which showed a robbery, involving three men, taking place at a building society; still photographs from the film were given in evidence and it was alleged that two of the men on the video were the applicant and a co-accused. No evidence was given by any other person that they identified the applicant or his co-accused as being persons whom they recognised.

The applicant was refused leave to appeal his conviction and appealed this refusal to the Court of Criminal Appeal on the grounds, inter alia, that the trial judge had failed adequately to direct the jury as to the manner in which visual identification evidence from a video might be used; and the evidence of a forensic scientist relating to hair samples should not have been admitted as no evidence had been given regarding the degree to which the test on the sample was conclusive.

Held by the Court of Criminal Appeal (O'Flaherty, Barron and Flood JJ.), in treating the application for leave to appeal as an appeal against conviction, allowing the appeal and ordering a retrial, 1, that although the evidence of the video film was admissible, the usual and proper warnings required in relation to identification evidence must be given to the jury. Such warnings include the principle that a jury should only seek to form its own view as to the identity of an accused where there is no independent evidence of identification; in those circumstances a jury may use such view together with its view of the other evidence adduced in reaching a decision.

2. That photographs taken by security cameras showing an attempted robbery are admissible in evidence as they are relevant both to whether an offence was committed and who committed it and a jury may identify an accused as being a person on such film. In so doing a jury is not to be regarded as acting as an expert; it is doing no more than the average person in domestic, social and other situations does from time to time, namely, identifying a person in a photograph as a person he is then looking at or whom he has recently seen.

  • R. v. Dodson [1984] 1 W.L.R. 971 followed. Kajala v. Noble (1982) 75 Cr. App. R. 149 considered.

3. That whilst it is unsatisfactory to require a jury to identify an accused from a video film without adducing any evidence to support such identification, where a trial judge is satisfied, as in the instant case, that no such evidence is available, the matter may be put to the jury.

4. That where evidence is given that hair samples match but that fact is not conclusive, evidence must be adduced as to the reasons why it is not conclusive so that a jury may have a proper understanding of the value of such evidence.

Per curiam: If a witness at the scene of a crime can identify the persons concerned or some feature such as the height or build of such person, or can make no identification of any sort, video evidence may be used either to show whether the witness had a reasonable chance of making the particular identification, or to explain why the witness was unable to make any identification.

Cases mentioned in this report:—

Kajala v. Noble (1982) 75 Cr. App. R. 149.

R. v. Dodson [1984] 1 W.L.R. 971; (1984) 79 Cr. App. R. 220.

R. v. Fowden [1982] Crim. L.R. 588.

R. v. Grimer [1982] Crim. L.R. 674; 126 S.J. 641.

Criminal Appeal.

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11 cases
  • DPP v McCarthy
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 25 April 2017
    ......We therefore reject ground of appeal no 1. . 19 We wish to add the following. In partial support of his argument in respect of ground no 1, counsel for the appellant had placed some reliance on The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v. Maguire [1995] I.R. 286 , a decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal in which it was held, inter alia , that although the evidence of the video film was admissible, the usual and proper warnings required in relation to identification evidence must be given to the jury and that such warnings include the ......
  • DPP v Gruchacz
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 10 May 2019
    ...and argued that it marked a significant departure from the principles set out in The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v Maguire [1995] 2 IR 286. He said that it should not have been permitted, on the basis that admissible oral evidence of identification could have been available to ......
  • Note Of Appeal Against Conviction By Justinas Gubinas And Nerijus Radavicius Against Her Majesty's Advocate
    • United Kingdom
    • High Court of Justiciary
    • 8 August 2017
    ...Ireland [45] In Ireland, the issue of video evidence for the purposes of identification was 20 considered in People (DPP) v Maguire [1995] 2 IR 286. The accused had been convicted on the basis of video images of a robbery and stills taken from them. There had been no other evidence of ident......
  • DPP v Larkin
    • Ireland
    • Court of Criminal Appeal
    • 19 December 2008
    ...establish identification of an alleged offender. In The People (at the suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions) v. Thomas Maguire [1995] 2 I.R. 286 the evidence against the applicant comprised a video film taken by a security camera which showed a robbery, involving three men, taking pl......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Distinguishing Hearsay and Real Evidence: The People (Dpp) v McD
    • Ireland
    • Hibernian Law Journal Nbr. 16-2017, January 2017
    • 1 January 2017
    ...Ali [1966] 1 Q.B. 688 16 he People (DPP) v Prunty [1986] I.L.R.M. 716; R v Senat (1968) 52 Cr. App. R. 282 17 he People (DPP) v Maguire [1995] 2 I.R. 286 18 See D. McGrath, Evidence, 2nd edn (Dublin: Round Hall, 2014) at para. 12–61, where McGrath identiies these cases and others. 19 he Peo......

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