C v Regina: CACD 6 Jul 2012

The issue in this appeal relates to the admission of evidence of witnesses, identified in her directions by the judge as expert witnesses, who gave evidence as to the impression they had formed as to the truth of complaints made to them by an alleged victim of sexual abuse.
Moses LJ described the status of such witnesses: ‘It is important to emphasise that these three witnesses were not called so as to give their view as to the truth or otherwise of the complainant’s evidence, still less their opinion as to the explanation for her behaviour at school or during sessions with them. Evidence given by experts which tends to convey to the jury the expert’s opinion of the truth or otherwise of the complaint is clearly inadmissible. The truth and reliability of the evidence was a matter for the jury not for the expert. No authority is needed to establish the principle that it is not admissible to adduce evidence from ‘experts’ of the truth or otherwise of the complaints of sexual abuse being made. ‘


Moses LJ, Underhill J, Inman C JJH


[2012] EWCA Crim 1478




England and Wales


CitedRegina v Turner (Terence) CACD 1974
The defendant appealed against his conviction for murder. He admitted that he had killed his girlfriend with a hammer, but sought to bring psychiatric evidence that he was susceptible to provocation.
Held: The law jealously guards the role of . .
CitedRegina v Clark CACD 3-Feb-2006
The appellant challenged the use made of the opinion of counsellors as to the truth or otherwise of the complainants allegng sexual offences. The statements had been obtained under treatment including hypnotherapy. A defence expert had said that . .

Cited by:

CitedJones and Another, Regina v CACD 30-Sep-2019
The court considered the status of evidence given by a counsellor as to her consultations with the victim, and as to whether it counted as expert or opinion evidence.
Held: A counsellor’s evidence should in general be limited to the facts of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Evidence

Updated: 23 August 2022; Ref: scu.464757