DPP v McGinley

 
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1987 WJSC-CCA 1573

COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL

Finlay C.J.

Costello J.

Barrington J.

96/85
DPP v. MCGINLEY
THE PEOPLE (DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS)
v.
WILLIAM McGINLEY

Citations:

PHIPSON EVIDENCE 12ED PARA 1608

Synopsis:

CRIMINAL LAW

Trial

Fairness - Preparation - Book of evidence - Omissions - Statements of witnesses” evidence - Incompleteness - The accused was convicted at a trial on indictment and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment - Prior to his trial the accused had been served with a book of evidence pursuant to s.6 of the Act of 1967 - At the hearing of an appeal by the accused, his counsel submitted that there had been a basic unfairness of procedure in that there had been serious omissions from the statements of the evidence of prosecution witnesses contained in the book of evidence - Held that the statements of evidence in the book of evidence were inadequate but the inadequacy had been discovered during the trial and counsel for the accused had made very effective use of the non-disclosures - Held that, in the circumstances, the omissions from the book of evidence had not resulted in the trial being unsatisfactory - Criminal Procedure Act, 1967, s.6 - (96/85 - C.C.A. - 25/5/87) - [1987] IR 340

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

EVIDENCE

Admissibility

Witness - Partiality - Proof - Larceny - Indictment charged accused with larceny of cattle - Accused was convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment - The main evidence against the accused was that of an accomplice - The accomplice had already been convicted of the offence in another court, and had received a suspensory sentence - At the trial of the accused, his counsel sought to establish that the accomplice's sentence was the result of his undertaking to co-operate in the prosecution of the accused - The accused's counsel thus sought to prove partiality, bias or improper motive on the part of the accomplice - Counsel first sought to adduce evidence of a newspaper report of the trial of the accomplice, and then sought to call as a witness a garda who had been present at the trial of the accomplice - The trial judge refused to allow evidence of the newspaper report, and also refused to allow the garda to give evidence of the events of the trial of the accomplice - The trial judge said that the official transcript of the trial of the accomplice was the only proper evidence of the events of that trial - The accused appealed against his conviction and sentence - Held that the trial judge had properly refused to allow evidence of the newspaper report of the accomplice's trial - Held that the official transcript of a criminal trial does not prove itself except for its statutory purpose of being the foundation of proceedings before the Court of Criminal Appeal - Held that counsel for the accused had not been merely seeking to impugn the general credit of the accomplice as a witness but had tried to establish partiality, bias, or improper motive on the part of the accomplice - Held that counsel was entitled to cross-examine the witness for that purpose - Held that, if the witness denied the facts suggested to him or could not remember them, counsel, upon establishing (in the absence of the jury and to the satisfaction of the trial judge) the special purposes of the evidence sought to be adduced, would be entitled to lead evidence to establish partiality, bias, or improper motive on the part of the witness - Held that the best evidence of the events at the trial of the accomplice was the oral evidence of a person who had been present at that trial - Held that there should be a retrial of the accused - (96/85 - C.C.A. - 25/5/87) - [1987] IR 340

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

NATURAL JUSTICE

Fair procedures

Trial - Preparation - Book of evidence - Omissions - Statements of witnesses” evidence - Incompleteness - The accused was convicted at a trial on indictment and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment - Prior to his trial the accused had been served with a book of evidence pursuant to s.6 of the Act of 1967 - At the hearing of an appeal by the accused, his counsel submitted that there had been a basic unfairness of procedure in that there had been serious omissions from the statements of the evidence of prosecution witnesses contained in the book of evidence - Held that the statements of evidence in the book of evidence were inadequate but the inadequacy had been discovered during the trial and counsel for the accused had made very effective use of the non-disclosures - Held that, in the circumstances, the omissions from the book of evidence had not resulted in the trial being unsatisfactory - Criminal Procedure Act, 1967, s.6 - (96/85 - C.C.A. - 25/5/87) - [1987] IR 340

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

1

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT delivered on the 25th day of May 1987 by FINLAY C.J.

2

This is an appeal against a conviction for the larceny of cattle at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and a sentence of ten year's imprisonment imposed on such conviction.

3

The appeal was heard by this Court on the 23rd day of February...

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