Brewster and Cromwell v Regina: CACD 27 May 2010

The defendants appealed against their convictions for kidnapping and witness intimidation saying that the court should have allowed them to put the principle prosecution witness’ bad character in issue by admission of her criminal convictions.
Held: The appeals succeeded. The credibility of the witness was a real issue, and the proposed evidence did go, even if only indirectly, to that credibility. It should be admitted if it was reasonably capable of assisting a fair minded jury to reach a view as to whether the witness’s evidence was worthy of belief.
The phrase ‘substantive probative value’ in section 100(1)(b) had received narrow and wider interpretations, as to whether only directly relevant or in addition indirectly relevant evidence could be admitted.
Pitchford LJ said the questions are: is the creditworthiness of the witness an issue of substantial importance; and is the bad character relied upon of substantial probative value in relation to that issue?
Pitchford LJ, Maddison, Macduff JJ
[2010] EWCA Crim 1194, [2010] WLR(D) 159, [2011] Crim LR 58, [2011] 1 WLR 601, [2010] 2 Cr App R 20, (2010) 174 JP 353
Bailii, WLRD
Criminal Justice Act 2003
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedSouth, Regina v CACD 18-Mar-2011
Appeal against conviction of burglary. Admission of bad character evidence (many convictions of dishonesty) against alibi witness put forward only late – use of footprint matching evidence . .
CitedGreenstein v Campaign v Antisemitism CA 9-Jul-2021
Failure to plead decisive malice allegation
Appeal by the claimant against an order following a judgment striking out particulars of malice pleaded in the amended reply, among other determinations. Judgment was then entered in favour of the Campaign Against Antisemitsm in respect of a claim . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 July 2021; Ref: scu.416109