R v Cullens

Judgment Date01 January 1932
Date01 January 1932
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
[C. C. A., N.I.]

Prisoner found guilty of murder - Petition by prisoner to Minister of Home Affairs for mercy - Reference of whole case by Minister under s. 17 (1) (a) of the Criminal Appeal (Northern Ireland) Act, 1930 - Petition disclosing new defence which was available at trial - Reference and direct appeal - Rule 34 of the Criminal Appeal (Northern Ireland) Rules, 1931.

The prisoner who was under sentence of death for murder, forwarded a petition for mercy to the Minister of Home Affairs for Northern Ireland. The petition disclosed a new defence which was known to the prisoner and available at his trial but which he refrained from setting up. It also incriminated another person and was in direct contradiction to prisoner's former defence. The Minister of Home Affairs referred the whole case to the Court under s. 17 (1) (a) of the Criminal Appeal (Northern Ireland) Act, 1930. Held that a reference by the Minister under s. 17 (1) (a) should be heard...

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