People (Attorney General) v Cummins

CourtSupreme Court
Judgment Date01 January 1974
Docket Number[S.C. No. 35 of 1971]
Date01 January 1974
The People (Attorney General)

Inducement - Whether a voluntary statement - Judges' Rules - Reference of question of law to the Supreme Court - Indictable offence -Preliminary examination - Statement of witness's evidence - Criminal Procedure Act, 1967 (No.12), s. 34.

The accused was tried on indictment in the Circuit Court on a count of shop-breaking and larceny in the premises of Premier Tailors (Ireland) Ltd. At the trial, the prosecution adduced evidence that the accused, while in custody in a police station in relation to another matter, was asked by a policeman "What about Premier Tailors? I believe you did it" and that the accused replied "We did it and we got £255 . . ."; evidence was given that the policeman then cautioned the accused and asked him to make a statement and that the accused replied: —"I will make no statement. Do you want me to hang myself?" The trial judge ruled that the replies of the accused were not admissible in evidence because they were not voluntary statements and, in the absence of other evidence, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty as directed by the trial judge. The Attorney General referred to the Supreme Court the question whether the trial judge had properly exercised "his judicial discretion in refusing to admit in evidence (1) the statement made by the accused . . . before any caution was administered . . ." Similar questions relating to subsequent statements of the accused were also referred to the Supreme Court but those other questions were not based on facts established by the evidence given at the trial but were based on the contents of the written statement of the evidence of a prosecution witness, which document had been prepared and used for the purposes of the preliminary examination in the District Court of the charge brought against the accused. Held, by the Supreme Court ( Ó Dálaigh C.J., Walsh, Budd, FitzGerald and McLoughlin JJ.), in answering the question contained in the Reference, 1, that an...

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27 cases
  • DPP v Farrell
    • Ireland
    • Court of Criminal Appeal
    • 1 January 1978
    ...judge presiding at the trial." 16 This comment was adopted with approval by the Supreme Court in The People (Attorney General) v. Cummins 1972 I.R. 312 at 17 In the course of argument on this appeal reliance was placed on a passage from the Supreme Court judgment of Mr. Justice Kingsmill Mo......
  • Buckley v Convening Authority
    • Ireland
    • Courts-Martial Appeal Court
    • 1 January 1998
    ...that he had a right not to answer questions, notwithstanding his military duty to be present. The People (Attorney General) v. CumminsIR [1972] I.R. 312 applied. 7. That whilst the court-martial, if this point had been raised before it, would still have had a discretion to admit the stateme......
  • DPP v John Paul Buck
    • Ireland
    • Court of Criminal Appeal
    • 27 November 2014
    ...K.B. 531 on the origin and early history of the rules, as well as the discussion by Walsh J. in The People (Attorney General) v. Cummins [1972] I.R. 312 at p. 323). A statement, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, obtained in violation of the rules, is a matter of deep concern to the judici......
  • DPP v Diver
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 29 July 2005
    ...the Director's submissions in this regard as utterly unrealistic. For at least three decades - since the People v. Lawrence Cummins [1972] IR 312- the courts have urged compliance with the rules or regulations for the treatment of persons in custody, and deplored their breach. There has bee......
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2 books & journal articles
  • Subject Index
    • United Kingdom
    • International Journal of Evidence & Proof, The No. 12-4, November 2008
    • 1 November 2008
    .... . 282Penney v East Kent HA [2000] Lloyd’s Rep Med41, CA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144People vCummins [1972] IR312 . . . . . . . . . . . 231People vFarrell [1978] IR1 . . . . . . . . . . . .231–232People vQuilligan [1986] IR495 . . . . . . . 221, 222Peopl......
  • Reconfiguring the Pre-Trial and Trial Processes in Ireland in the Fight against Organised Crime
    • United Kingdom
    • International Journal of Evidence & Proof, The No. 12-3, July 2008
    • 1 July 2008
    ...PRE-TRIALS AND TRIALS AGAINST ORGANISED CRIME IN IRELAND140 People (DPP) vFinnerty [1999] 4 IR 364.141 People (AG) vCummins [1972] IR 312.142 Ibrahim vR[1914] AC 599 at 609; People (DPP) vGeoghan and Bourke, unreported, 18 November 2003,Central Criminal Court.143 People (DPP) vMcNally and B......

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