People (Attorney General) v Duggan

Judgment Date05 April 1958
Date05 April 1958
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
The People (Attorney General)

Charge sheet containing seven charges against accused including charge of receiving stolen goods - Informations received in respect of four charges - Entry by District Justice of the words "N.A. strike out" in respect of receiving charge - Entry interpreted by District Justice, at request of Court of Criminal Appeal, to mean "No Appearance. Strike out" - Whether entry equivalent to a refusal of informations in respect of charge - Whether charge of receiving properly included in indictment - Whether Circuit Court had jurisdiction to try accused upon receiving charge - Whether trial Judge misdirected jury as to onus of proof generally in criminal cases and in particular in respect of charge of receiving -Whether comment by trial Judge on failure of accused to make a statement when charged and cautioned amounted to a misdirection.

M.D.was charged on indictment in the Circuit Criminal Court with one, P.C., inter alia, with the offences of storebreaking and larceny of cigarettes and, in the alternative, with receiving the cigarettes knowing them to have been stolen. The charge sheet upon which M.D. was charged in the District Court contained seven charges and showed that the District Justice, having taken depositions, received informations in respect of four of them. In respect of the charge of receiving the cigarettes, knowing them to have been stolen, the District Justice made the entry "N.A. strike out." M.D. was acquitted on the charge of storebreaking and larceny and convicted on the charge of receiving. The trial Judge, in instructing the jury as to the essential ingredients of the offence of receiving goods, knowing them to have been stolen, did not tell them specifically that one essential ingredient of the offence was that the goods had to be stolen by some person other than the accused. He did tell them that the charges of store - breaking and larceny and receiving were alternative charges and that if they convicted on the first charge then the second charge did not arise and if they acquitted on the first charge they must consider the charge of receiving. He told them also that to succeed on the storebreaking and larceny charge the prosecution had to prove that the store was broken into, that the goods were stolen, and that they were stolen by the accused. On the receiving charge they had to be satisfied that the goods were stolen, that they were received by the accused, and that at the time he...

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