People (Attorney-General) v Galvin

JurisdictionIreland
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
Judgment Date02 February 1964
Date02 February 1964
The People (Attorney General) v. Galvin.
THE PEOPLE (At the Suit of the ATTORNEY GENERAL)
and
DAVID GALVIN (1)

Court of Criminal Appeal.

Criminal law - Evidence - Admissibility - Statements by accused in answer to questions by police officer - Discretion of trial judge to exclude such statements - Inducement - Duration of effect of inducement - Subsequent statements to persons not in authority - Connection between first and subsequent statements.

The applicant was questioned persistently by several Gardai in a Garda Station from 8.50 p.m. on the 8th April, 1961, until about 12.30 a.m. on the following morning. At about 12.15 a.m. he made an incriminatory statement to a Garda officer and was then cautioned for the first time but made other such statements. He was cautioned again at 1.30 a.m. At 2.40 a.m. he made an incriminatory statement to his father at the Garda Station and was then reminded that he had been cautioned; he went to sleep in the Garda Station at 4 a.m. and slept until 10 a.m. At 11.05 a.m. he made a further incriminatory statement to his father in the Garda Station and during the evening of the 9th April, after he had been remanded in custody on a charge of murder, he made another such statement to a Garda officer. At the trial in the Central Criminal Court his counsel submitted to the trial Judge that the questioning of the accused in the Garda Station was so prolonged and persistent that the Judge, in exercise of his discretion, should exclude evidence of all statements made by the accused after the questioning had begun; but counsel did not argue that any of the statements had been obtained by an inducement. The trial Judge excluded evidence of the statements made at 12.15 a.m., towards the end of the questioning; but he refused to exclude the statements made at 2.40 a.m. and subsequently. The applicant was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. The trial Judge refused to issue a certificate of leave to appeal and the applicant applied to the Court of Criminal Appeal for leave to appeal against his conviction.

On the hearing of the application, counsel on his behalf submitted that evidence of the statements made at 2.40 a.m. and at 11.05 a.m. on the morning of the 9th April should have been excluded by the trial Judge in the exercise of his discretion as those statements were so closely connected in point of time with the statements made at 12.15 a.m. and because the applicant would not have made them if he had not made the earlier statements. The Court of Criminal Appeal invited counsel to argue, which he then did, that the remark,"You should not be keeping us here all night—tell the truth and be finished with it" (which was made to the accused by a Garda officer at 12.10 a.m., near the end of the questioning) amounted to an inducement.

Held by the Court of Criminal Appeal 1, that the remark made to the applicant at 12.10 a.m. by the Garda officer did not constitute an inducement;

2, That, even if such remark did constitute an inducement, its effect upon the mind of the accused was spent at 2.40 a.m., on the morning of the 9th April and subsequently;

3, That the dissenting judgments in The Queen v. Johnston 15 Ir. C. L. R. 60 have not been adopted by the Court of Criminal Appeal and that the judgment of Deasy B. in that case is a correct statement of the law, with the modification that modern cases emphasise that, even where a statement has not been elicited by an inducement, there is a judicial discretion to exclude evidence of the statement;

4, That the statements made subsequent to the incriminatory statement made at 12.15 a.m. were voluntary statements and were unconnected with those made at 12.15 a.m.

The Queen v. Johnston 15 Ir. C. L. R. 60; Attorney-General v. M'Cabe[1927] I. R. 129 and The People (Attorney General) v. Murphy[1947] I. R. 236 approved.

The People (Attorney-General) v. C. [1943] Ir. Jur. Rep. 74 not approved.

Criminal Appeal.

The applicant, David Galvin, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Central Criminal Court before Teevan J. and a jury. The trial Judge refused to grant a certificate of leave to appeal. The applicant thereupon applied to the Court of Criminal Appeal for leave to appeal against his conviction.

The grounds of the application for leave to appeal and the relevant facts, which have been summarised in the head-note, are set out in the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeal,infra.

Cur. adv. vult.

The judgment of the Court was delivered by Kenny J.

Kenny J. :—

The accused, David Galvin, was tried at the Central Criminal Court before Mr. Justice Teevan and a jury on a charge that he murdered Elizabeth Gould on the 28th March, 1961, at Black Ash, which is near the City of Cork. The trial lasted fifteen days. The accused was found guilty and sentenced to death. The trial Judge refused an application made by counsel for the accused for a certificate to appeal. The accused now applies to this Court for leave to appeal.

The body of Elizabeth Gould was found on the morning of the 29th March in a field near a by-road. Her head had been beaten in by a number of blows and two blood-stained stones were found near her body. A pool of blood was found on the by-road and it was a reasonable inference from the evidence that a number of the blows were delivered when she was on the by-road and that her body was lifted over a stone wall and placed in the field. She had left her parents' home in the City of Cork at 8.30 p.m. on the 28th March to visit a friend. At 8.50 p.m. on that evening she was seen on a street called Friars' Walk when she was speaking to a man who was sitting on a bicycle which he had stopped beside her and there was evidence that she sat on the cross-bar of the bicycle and went towards the City of Cork. The accused knew Elizabeth Gould who was a relative of Miss Maisie Cremin to whom the accused was engaged and the three of them had met on a number of occasions at the Cremins' house.

The Gardai suspected the accused of having met Elizabeth Gould on the evening of the 28th March in Friars' Walk and thought that he knew the name of the person who met her later on that evening: they believed at this time that she had been murdered at about midnight. They arranged that the accused would call at the Garda station at Union Quay on the evening of the 5th April and a Miss O'Driscoll who had seen Elizabeth Gould speaking to a man on a bicycle in Friars' Walk on the 28th March was at Union Quay in a police motor car. When she had left the car to obtain a better view, she recognised the accused as the man who had been speaking to Elizabeth Gould on the evening of the 28th March at 8.50 p.m. in Friars' Walk. On the 7th April the accused, who was not then suspected by the Gardai of having killed Elizabeth Gould, made a written statement in which he stated that he had left a public house between 8.30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the 28th March, that he cycled to Maisie Cremin's house and remained there until 11.30 p.m. He also stated that he had cycled along Friars' Walk when he was going to the Cremins' house but that he did not meet or see Elizabeth Gould at any time on the evening of the 28th March.

The Gardai arranged that a number of young men, who were known to be associates of Elizabeth Gould, were at the Barrack Street Garda Station on the evening of the 8th April: the accused was one of those present. What has been called throughout this case an identification parade took place and Miss O'Driscoll picked out the accused as having been the man whom she had seen speaking to Elizabeth Gould on the evening of the 28th March in Friars' Walk at 8.50 p.m.

When the identification parade had ended, the accused and another man were asked to remain in the Garda station and the accused was questioned by three of the officers who were investigating the murder. The purpose of what seems to have been a skilful and persistent cross-examination which began at 8.50 p.m. was not to induce the accused to admit that he had killed Elizabeth Gould but to get him to admit that he had met her on the evening of the 28th March and to tell the Gardai where he had brought her and the name of the person whom she had met. For this purpose the accused was asked to explain why Miss O'Driscoll should have identified him as being the man seen speaking to Elizabeth Gould if he had not been doing so and was also asked to explain a number of inconsistent remarks which he had made to members of the Garda Síochána. He was also questioned about what seemed to have been his peculiar reactions to the news of the murder. The Gardai had found out that Elizabeth Gould had had sexual relations with a number of men in Cork and they questioned the accused as to whether he had been one of these. At about 12.10 a.m. Inspector McMahon told the accused that he"should not be keeping us here all night and to tell the truth and be finished with it," and, immediately after this, the accused put his head between his hands and said:—"Let me think." He then said that he had met Elizabeth Gould that night and he started to draw a rough sketch of Friars' Walk and the surrounding area. He said that he had been speaking to Elizabeth Gould for a few minutes: the questioning was then taken up by Sergeant Maher. The accused drew a second sketch of Friars' Walk, threw down the pen which he was using, and said:—"It was I done it." He was immediately cautioned by Sergeant Maher: he had not been cautioned before this. Some further...

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