People (Attorney-General) v Longe

JurisdictionIreland
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
Judgment Date29 Oct 1967

Court of Criminal Appeal.

The People (Attorney General) v. Longe.
THE PEOPLE (at the Suit of THE ATTORNEY GENERAL)
and
MICHAEL LONGE (1)

Criminal Law - Jury trial - Verdict of guilty - Juryman informing trial judge that verdict on issue paper entered by mistake - Whether alleged mistake should be investigated - Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961 (No. 39 of 1961), s. 12.

Criminal Appeal.

The applicant, Michael Longe, was tried on indictment before the President of the Circuit Court and a jury at Ennis on the 15th and 16th July, 1964, on two counts of dangerous driving contrary to s. 53, sub-ss. 1 and 2 (a), of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, to which he had pleaded not guilty. In the first count he was charged with having driven a vehicle in a public place "at a speed," and in the second count he was charged with having driven the vehicle in a public place "in a manner," which was dangerous to the public thereby causing the death of one Michael McMahon. At the close of the evidence for the prosecution an application for a direction was made on behalf of the applicant and was refused by the trial judge. Evidence was then adduced on behalf of the applicant, the trial judge charged the jury and they retired to consider their verdict. Depending upon their view of the evidence, the jury, in relation to each of the two offences appearing in the two counts, could have found the applicant guilty of that offence or (pursuant to s. 53, sub-s. 4, of the Act of 1961) could have found the applicant guilty of the lesser offence of driving a vehicle in a public place"without due care and attention . . ." or they could have found the applicant not guilty of the lesser offence. Only the two offences of dangerous driving causing death, as stated in the two counts, appeared on the jury's issue paper but the trial Judge explained in his charge to the jury the several courses open to them, depending on their view of the evidence, when considering their verdict on each of the two offences appearing in the two counts. The jury answered"Disagreed" to the first count and they answered "Guilty"to the second count. Those answers were entered on the issue paper which was signed by the foreman of the jury and delivered to the trial judge, who postponed delivering

sentence until the next day, and the jury were discharged. On the next day the foreman of the jury informed the trial judge that there had been a misunderstanding and that the jury had intended to find the applicant guilty of the lesser offence in respect of the second count. The trial judge decided that he could only accept the verdict of the jury as recorded on the issue paper and he refused to enter into any investigation relating to the verdict and sentenced the applicant.

Counsel for the applicant applied to the trial judge for a certificate that the case was a fit case for appeal, and he relied on the following grounds:—

  1. 1. That the application on behalf of the accused for a direction at the termination of the evidence for the prosecution should have been granted.

  2. 2. That the evidence of the foreman of the jury should have been received and the verdict of the jury altered to give effect to the intention of the jury.

  3. 3. That the evidence of the foreman of the jury should be heeded and a mistrial declared.

  4. 4. That the evidence of the foreman of the jury should be heeded and a motion for arrest of trial granted.

  5. 5. Severity of sentence.

The trial judge granted the applicant a certificate on the first of the foregoing grounds and the applicant, accordingly, appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeal pursuant to the provisions of ss. 31 and 63 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, on that ground and he also applied to that court for leave to appeal on the following grounds:—

  1. 1. That the evidence of the former foreman of the jury should be received and the verdict altered to give effect to the intention of the jury.

  2. 2. That the evidence of the former foreman of the jury be received, a mistrial declared and a new trial directed.

  3. 3. That the evidence of the former foreman of the jury be heard, and that a motion to arrest trial be granted.

Sect. 52 of the Act of 1961 provides as follows:—

"52.—(1) A person shall not drive a vehicle in a public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the place.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence."

Sect. 53, sub-s. 4, of the Act of 1961 provides as follows:—

"(4) Where, when a person is tried on indictment or summarily for an offence under this section, the jury, or, in the case of a summary trial, the District Court, is of opinion that he was not guilty of an offence under this section but was guilty of an offence under section 52 of this Act, the jury or court may find him guilty of an offence under section...

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3 cases
  • O'Callaghan v Attorney General
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 25 February 1993
    ...32; (1978) 113 I.L.T.R. 25. Melling v. O MathgamhnaIRDLTR [1962] I.R. 1; (1961) 97 I.L.T.R. 60. The People (Attorney General) v. LongeIR [1967] I.R. 369. The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v. DavisIR [1993] 2 I.R. 1. The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v. O'SheaIRDLRM [19......
  • DPP v Mahon
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 11 April 2019
    ...As was said by Haugh J. in delivering the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeal in The People (Attorney General) v. Longe [1967] I.R. 369 (at p. 377):- ‘In our opinion the principle is well established that the nature of the deliberations of a jury in a criminal case should not be revea......
  • O'Callaghan v Ag
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 25 February 1993
    ...TRIAL BY JURY, HAMLYN TRUST LECTURE SERIES 1956 O'HAGAN, THE AMENDMENT OF THE JURY SYSTEM IN IRELAND 1867 ILTSJ 580 AG, PEOPLE V LONGE 1967 IR 369 JURIES ACT 1976 S9(7) JURIES ACT 1976 S23 JURIES ACT 1976 S24 JURIES (PROTECTION) ACT 1929 CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1990 MIRROR GROUP (HOLDINGS) LTD......
1 books & journal articles
  • Hearsay, Bad Character and Trust in the Jury: Irish and English Contrasts
    • United Kingdom
    • International Journal of Evidence & Proof, The Nbr. 17-3, July 2013
    • 1 July 2013
    ...the courts have indicated on a number of occasions that the secrecy attaching to jurydeliberations is absolute. See People (AG) vLonge [1967] IR 369; O’Callaghan vAG [1993] 2 IR 17. Aresearcher questioning jurors who had served in an Irish trial would risk prosecution forcommon law contempt of...

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