People (Attorney General) v Taylor

JurisdictionIreland
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
Judgment Date30 July 1974
Docket Number[No. 111 of 1972]
Date30 July 1974
The People (Attorney General) v. Taylor
THE PEOPLE (at the suit of THE ATTORNEY GENERAL)
and
DEREK TAYLOR
[No. 111 of 1972]

Court of Criminal Appeal

Criminal law - Evidence - Hostile witness - Procedure - Statement made by witness before trial - Purpose for which statement admissible.

During the trial of an accused on indictment for murder, the trial judge gave the prosecution leave to treat a prosecution witness as hostile. A written statement made by the witness before the trial was admitted in evidence. The statement was in conflict with the evidence of the witness at the trial and gave an account of the events at the time of the crime which was prejudicial to a defence which the accused was seeking to establish. The accused was convicted and he applied for leave to appeal against his conviction, which application was granted.

Held by the Court of Criminal Appeal (Walsh, Murnaghan and Gannon JJ.), in allowing the appeal and directing a retrial, 1, that the making of a prior written statement by a hostile witness, if disputed, should be proved formally by the prosecution before such statement is admitted in evidence at the trial of an accused.

2. That it is essential that a trial judge should explain to the jury that such a written statement is only evidence against the credibility of the witness and that it is not evidence of the truth of the matters contained in it.

Criminal Appeal.

The applicant, Derek Taylor, applied for leave to appeal against his conviction for murder. The Court of Criminal Appeal granted the application and, treating the hearing of the application as the hearing of the appeal, allowed the appeal and directed a retrial.

Walsh J. :—

The present application for leave to appeal is one in respect of a conviction for murder recorded against the applicant. He was found guilty of murder at a trial in the Central Criminal Court presided over by Mr. Justice Pringle. At the trial the question of provocation was raised by the defence, and a great deal turned upon whether the death was the result of a carefully premeditated act for which the weapon had been obtained in advance or whether the circumstances leading up to the death were, to a large extent, unforeseen and whether the weapon which was used for killing the deceased was a weapon which was just found to be at hand and used there and then in the heat of the moment in circumstances which the defence contend amounted to provocation.

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22 cases
  • DPP v Hanley
    • Ireland
    • Court of Criminal Appeal
    • 27 October 2010
    ...the evidence she had given in court, which was a legitimate use of the hostile witness procedure. The People (Attorney General) v. Taylor [1974] I.R. 97 distinguished. 2. That, in withholding a photograph of a third party identified by the hostile witness as her assailant, the prosecution w......
  • O'Flynn v District Judge Smithwick
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1993
    ...ACT 1967 S7 WILLIAMS, STATE V KELLEHER 1983 IR 112 CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1967 S6(1)(d) CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1865 DPP V TAYLOR 1974 IR 97 PRICE V MANNING 1889 42 CH D 372 CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1967 PART II RSC O.84 r22(4) BASTIN V CAREW 1825 3 B & C 649, 2 DOW & RY MC 563 Synopsis: CRI......
  • DPP v Diver
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 29 July 2005
    ...to a witness in cross-examination is the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeal (delivered by Walsh J.) in 75 A. G. v. Taylor 76 [1974] IR 97, at 99 - 100: 77 "... the proper procedure for the prosecution was to have put to the witness that she had on another occasion made a statement whi......
  • Paddy Power v Mark Edmund Doyle
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 19 October 2007
    ...1991 S14 HAY v O'GRADY 1992 1 IR 210 DPP, PEOPLE v MCGUINNESS 1978 IR 189 JONES v NATIONAL COAL BOARD 1957 2 QB 55 PEOPLE (AG) v TAYLOR 1974 1 IR 97 MCMULLEN v CLANCY (NO 2) 2005 2 IR 445 COURTS Jurisdiction Appeal - High Court - Appeal from disciplinary tribunal - Role of appellate court......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Subject Index
    • United Kingdom
    • International Journal of Evidence & Proof, The Nbr. 12-4, November 2008
    • 1 November 2008
    .... . . . 212, 231People (AG)v Cummins [1972]IR 312 . . . . . . . 231People (AG)v O’Brien [1965]IR 142 . . . . . 228–229People (AG)v Taylor [1974]IR 97 . . . . . . . . . . . 226People (DPP)v Conroy [1986]IR 460. . . . . . . . . 221People (DPP)v Finnerty [1999]4 IR 364. . . . . . 231People (DP......
  • Reconfiguring the Pre-Trial and Trial Processes in Ireland in the Fight against Organised Crime
    • United Kingdom
    • International Journal of Evidence & Proof, The Nbr. 12-3, July 2008
    • 1 July 2008
    ...2003, vol. 573, col. 579, per Minister for Justice.115 Criminal Procedure Act 1865, s. 4. As Walsh J stated in People (AG) vTaylor [1974] IR 97 at 100, ‘[i]tmust at all times be made clear to the jury that what the witness said in the written statement isnot evidence of the fact referred to......
  • The Admissibility of Previous Witness Statements
    • Ireland
    • Trinity College Law Review Nbr. XII-2009, January 2009
    • 1 January 2009
    ...LRC 25-1988, at 4. 19 Wigmore, Evidence in Trials at Common Law ( 3 rd ed., Little Brown & Co., 1981), at 29. 20 Attorney General v Taylor [1974] IR 97, at l00,per Walsh J (emphasis added). [Vol. 12 2009] Previous Witness Statements Thus, as Campbell notes, section 4 of the Criminal Procedu......

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