People (Attorney General) v Downes

Judgment Date01 January 1944
Date01 January 1944
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
The People (Attorney-General)

Sexual Offence - Appeal -Conviction quashed - Application by prosecution for new trial - Court of opinion that a new trial would be unlikely to lead to a conviction - Direction for a new trial refused.

The appellant was charged (a) with having indecently assaulted a boy under fifteen years contrary to c. 62 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861, and (b) with having committed or been a party to the commission of, or having procured or attempted to procure the commission of, an act of gross indecency with the same boy contrary to s. 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885. At the trial the only direct evidence of the commission of the alleged offences was that of the boy concerned, and this evidence was uncorroborated. In the course of his charge to the jury the trial Judge warned the jury of the danger of acting upon the boy's evidence in the event of their considering him to have been an accomplice in the commission of the alleged offences, but did not warn them of the danger of so acting in the event of their considering the boy not to have been an accomplice. The accused was convicted on both charges. H...

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