People v Lillis

CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
Judgment Date01 Jan 1958

Court of Criminal Appeal.

The People (Attorney General) v. Lillis

Criminal law - Receiving stolen goods - Guilty knowledge supervening on innocent receiving - Judge's charge - Jury adequately instructed to convict only if satisfied of guilty knowledge at time of receipt of goods - Suggested once only to jury that they could convict if satisfied that "while it was in his possession he had guilty knowledge" - Whether such suggestion sufficient to amount to a misdirection - Explanation of his possession of the goods given by the accused - Jury directed that they should convict if satisfied that such explanation was a fabrication - Whether such direction amounted to misdirection.

Criminal Appeal.

Application for leave to appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The applicant, Richard Lillis, was tried at the Central Criminal Court before Dixon J. and a jury on the 20th, 21st and 22nd May, 1954, on two counts, the first being one of the larceny of a Morris Minor motor car the property of one Brendan Hensey contrary to s. 2 of the Larceny Act, 1916, and the second being one of receiving the said motor car knowing the same to have been stolen contrary to s. 33, sub-s. 1, of the same Act.

Mr. Hensey's motor car had been stolen while parked in Henry Street, Dublin, on the 26th June, 1953, and had been sold by the applicant to one, Michael Guinee, on the 10th July, 1953, bearing the number plates of the applicant's own Morris Minor car. The applicant's own car was found, without number plates and with some other parts missing,

in a garage in Drumcondra, the property of one Michael Brennan, admittedly rented by the applicant purportedly on behalf of one, Robert Ennis. During the period when the garage which was rented from Mr. Brennan was in use, Mr. Brennan was on holidays and the rent was paid by placing the amount due in an envelope and putting the envelope through Mr. Brennan's letter-box. No stranger had been seen around the garage by Mr. Brennan's family and neighbours during that period.

The applicant's evidence may be summarised as follows:— the applicant had met a motor mechanic, Robert Ennis, in Clery's Restaurant on the 25th June, 1953, at a time when his own car was in need of repair. He arranged that Ennis should repair his car for him, and rented Mr. Brennan's garage for that purpose only, giving the name of Robert Ennis to Mr. Brennan on the ground that all the work to be done in the garage would be done by Ennis. On the 2nd July, 1953, he finally received what he believed to be his own car back from Ennis (having taken it back from Ennis and returned it to him from time to time in the course of the repairs); he advertised the car for sale on the 6th July and subsequently sold it to Mr. Guinee. On the 22nd August, 1953, he was requested by Sergeant Curry to accompany him to Mr. Brennan's garage and identified the dismantled car which was there as his. Although he had been driving the car which he subsequently sold to Mr. Guinee for nine days or so between his last contact with Ennis and the sale of the car, he had not previously appreciated that...

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