DPP v Scanlon
1985 WJSC-CCA 1133
COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL
This is an application for leave to appeal against a conviction of the applicant of the offence of rape, the conviction being on the 17th March 1983 and the applicant having been remanded for sentence having been sentenced to ten years” penal servitude on the 24th March 1983.
A number of grounds were put forward on behalf of the applicant and the Court having carefully considered the submissions made on his behalf and on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions and having carefully considered the transcript of the trial herein, has come to the conclusion that the trial was unsatisfactory and that a new trial of the applicant on this charge must be ordered.
The reasons why it has come to this decision are as follows.
1. On considering the evidence as appears in the transcript it is clear that whereas the fact that the injured party, a young girl, was raped was amply established by her own evidence and by corroboration of that fact from other uncontested evidence that the only evidence capable of establishing that it was the accused who raped her was the evidence of identification of a palm print found on the window of the room in which the injured party was raped, which on the evidence for the Prosecution was identified as being the palm print of the accused.
Although the charge of the learned trial Judge to the jury dealt with the general law of corroboration and dealt extensively with the evidence which had been adduced in the case it did not identify and isolate this evidence of palm print identification as being the only evidence tending to incriminate the accused in the commission of the crime which had undoubtedly been committed. This failure to identify and isolate this particular piece of evidence could have left the jury unsure of the evidence which they were entitled to accept as establishing the complicity of the accused in the crime.
2. Having regard to this Court' view of the supreme importance of the evidence of the identification of this palm print the Court is satisfied that it is possible that intervention by the learned trial Judge in both the direct evidence and the cross-examination of the...
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