People (Attorney General) v Powell

JurisdictionIreland
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
Judgment Date09 Feb 1945

Court of Criminal Appeal.

The People (Attorney-General) v. Powell.
THE PEOPLE (at the suit of the Attorney-General)
and
JOHN POWELL (1)

Criminal law - Appeal - Conviction for carnal knowledge - Uncorroborated evidence of prosecutrix - Adequate warning to jury by trial Judge - Power of Court of Criminal Appeal to quash verdict which was unreasonable or not supported by the evidence - Conviction affirmed.

Application for leave to appeal.

The applicant, John Powell, was tried and convicted in the Circuit Court at Limerick on five counts of having carnal knowledge of a girl of sixteen years of age contrary to s. 2, sub-s. 1, of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1935.

The trial Judge, Judge Barra O'Briain, refused to grant the applicant a certificate that the case was a fit case for an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal, and the applicant applied to the Court of Criminal Appeal for leave to appeal.

The facts of the case are, for the purpose of this report, sufficiently set forth in the judgment of the Court.

Applicant was convicted on several counts of having carnal knowledge of a girl of sixteen years of age contrary to s. 2, sub-s. 1, of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1935. The only evidence of the acts of carnal knowledge was the uncorroborated evidence of the prosecutrix. The trial Judge warned the jury of the danger of convicting on such evidence, but pointed out to them that they could do so. A certificate for leave to appeal having been refused, the applicant applied to the Court of Criminal Appeal for leave to appeal. On the hearing of this application, the applicant relied on the single ground that the verdict of the jury was perverse. The evidence of the prosecutrix, as it appeared in the transcript, revealed vagueness as to the dates when the alleged acts of intercourse took place, and there were certain discrepancies between her evidence on the direct examination and on cross-examination. The Court of Criminal Appeal requested the trial Judge to forward to the Registrar of the Court of Criminal Appeal a report in writing of his opinion of the case, and this was done.

Having considered this report, the Court of Criminal Appeal held that the application for leave to appeal must be dismissed. The jury was adequately warned by the trial Judge, and the verdict was neither unreasonable nor perverse.

But it is clearly open to the Court of Criminal Appeal to quash such a conviction even where proper and adequate directions have been...

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1 cases
  • People (Attorney General) v Martin
    • Ireland
    • Court of Criminal Appeal
    • 28 May 1956
    ...App. R. 135. (9) 5 Cr. App. R. 270. (10) [1925] 2 I. R. 73. (11) [1927] I. R. 503. (12) [1932] I. R. 158. (13) [1946] I. R. 431. (14) [1945] I. R. 305. (1) 5 Cr. App. R. 135. (2) 5 Cr. App. R. 270. (3) 10 Cr. App. R. 219. (4) 8 Cr. App. R. 84. C.C.A. The People (Attorney General) and Martin......

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