Grant v The Queen: PC 16 Jan 2006

(Jamaica) The defendant appealed his conviction for murder saying that the admission of an unsworn statement by one witness and the non-admission of another similar statement who did not either attend court was unconstitutional. He shot the victim 13 times with hollow point bullets. He claimed self defence, and drove straight to the police station to report the incident and surrender himself. Though no gun was found on the body, it was known that passers by had removed at least spent bullets. The purpose of the section was to allow admission of statements which would otherwise been inadmissible as hearsay, and subject to the discretion of the judge, but it was said that this conflicted with the constitutional right to coss examine witnesses.
Held: The appeal succeeded on the basis that the trial had been unfair. The right to cross examine witnesses was important, but a departure from that principal might be justified. The jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights applied to Jamaica before it became independent. The courts system in Jamaica provided other protections also. It was clear that neither witness was thought either unreliable or not relevant. The evidence of one witness would have corroborated much of the defendant’s statement. ‘It was, however, the responsibility of prosecuting counsel and the trial judge to ensure that the proceedings were fair, and they failed to do so. This failure was compounded by an inadequate direction on Bryant’s evidence. The jury were given no encouragement to scrutinise it with particular care, and were not alerted to apparent discrepancies between it and the evidence of Constable Wynter (or, of course, the statement of Kinglock). ‘

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond
[2006] UKPC 2, 30 of 2005, [2006] Crim LR 837,, [2007] 1 AC 1, 20 BHRC 243, [2006] 2 WLR 835
England and Wales
CitedMootoo v Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 1979
(Trinidad and Tobago) Proponents of claims that properly passed parliamentary legislation was invalid face a heavy burden. . .
CitedTeper v The Queen PC 1952
The defendant was charged with arson of his own shop. A woman had been heard to shout to a passing motorist ‘Your place burning and you going away from the fire’.
Held: the defendant’s alibi could not be contradicted by the evidence of a . .
CitedKostovski v The Netherlands ECHR 20-Nov-1989
No Anonymity for Witnessses in Criminal Trial
K was convicted of armed robbery on the basis of statements of anonymous witnesses. He was unable to question those witnesses at any stage. Being unaware of the identity of the witnesses deprived K of the very particulars which would have enabled . .
CitedPS v Germany ECHR 20-Dec-2001
The applicant had been convicted of sexual abuse of a child. The evidence against him consisted of a statement made by the child’s mother about what her daughter had told her, and evidence by a police officer who had questioned the daughter shortly . .
CitedDoorson v The Netherlands ECHR 26-Mar-1996
Evidence was given in criminal trials by anonymous witnesses and evidence was also read as a result of a witness having appeared at the trial but then absconded. The defendant was convicted of drug trafficking. As regards the anonymous witnesses, . .
CitedSaidi v France ECHR 20-Sep-1993
S had been convicted on the basis of the evidence of drug addicts and in the situation where there was no opportunity to confront the witness.
Held: ‘The court reiterates that the taking of evidence is governed primarily by the rules of . .
CitedLudi v Switzerland ECHR 15-Jun-1992
The claimant challenged his conviction of a drug trafficking offence. The evidence against him consisted mainly of a report by an anonymous undercover agent and transcripts of telephone intercepts of calls between the agent and the applicant. . .
CitedRobinson v The Queen PC 1985
Where a defendant found himself unrepresented on the day of trial, an adjournment should be granted. The constitutional right to representation was not a guarantee of representation but a right for the defendant to arrange representation at his own . .
CitedGianchand Jahree v The State PC 28-Feb-2005
(Mauritius) The defendant appealed his conviction for possession of counterfeit bank notes, saying he had been unrepresented throughout, and that the magistrate had intervened in the character of a prosecutor.
Held: The right to representation . .
CitedStott (Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline) and Another v Brown PC 5-Dec-2000
The system under which the registered keeper of a vehicle was obliged to identify herself as the driver, and such admission was to be used subsequently as evidence against her on a charge of driving with excess alcohol, was not a breach of her right . .
CitedDunkley and Robinson v The Queen PC 1-Nov-1994
(Jamaica) The appellant’s counsel had walked out of a murder trial after a dispute with the judge, leaving the appellant unrepresented for the remainder of the proceedings.
Held: A defendant in a capital murder case is to be allowed to find . .
CitedSporrong and Lonnroth v Sweden ECHR 18-Dec-1984
Balance of Interests in peaceful enjoyment claim
An interference with the peaceful enjoyment of possessions must strike a fair balance between the demands of the general interests of the community and the requirements of the protection of the individual’s fundamental rights. This balance is . .
CitedAl-Khawaja v Regina CACD 3-Nov-2005
The defendant had been tried for indecent assaults. The complainant having died before the trial, the judge had ruled that her written statements were admissible. The defendant said he had not had a fair trial.
Held: The appeal failed. The . .
CitedSellick and Sellick, Regina v CACD 14-Mar-2005
The defendants appealed convictions for murder saying that the court had had read to it the statements of four witnesses who refused to attend for fear, having been intimidated. Other witnesses had been unco-operative and had been treated by the . .
CitedRegina v D CACD 2002
Article 6(3)(d) of the European Convention does impose an absolute prohibition on the admission of hearsay evidence against criminal defendants. . .
CitedRegina v KJ Martin CACD 20-Feb-2003
The defendant had been found unfit to plead on a charge of murder. Charges against the co-defendants were later reduced to inflicting grievous bodily harm, but when the defendant came to be dealt with, it was on the basis that the charge remained . .
CitedSheffield and Horsham v The United Kingdom ECHR 30-Jul-1998
It is within a nation’s margin of appreciation to refuse to re-register birth details of people who had undergone sex-changes. Similarly it was not a human rights infringement not to allow post operative trans-sexuals to marry. However the court was . .
CitedRegina v Sang HL 25-Jul-1979
The defendant appealed against an unsuccessful application to exclude evidence where it was claimed there had been incitement by an agent provocateur.
Held: The appeal failed. There is no defence of entrapment in English law. All evidence . .
CitedD (A Minor), Regina (on the Application of) v Camberwell Green Youth Court HL 27-Jan-2005
The defendant challenged the obligatory requirement that evidence given by a person under 17 in sex or violent offence cases must normally be given by video link.
Held: The purpose of the section was to improve the quality of the evidence . .
CitedRegina v Arnold CACD 21-May-2004
The defendant appealed a conviction after the non attendance of a witness.
Held: The court was prepared to assume that the witness had not been kept away by fear, but ruled that the statement was admissible. However: ‘We cannot leave this case . .
CitedHenriques v The Queen PC 1991
. .
CitedRegina v Lockley CACD 1995
. .
CitedRegina v Russell-Jones CACD 1995
The Crown cannot be required to adduce evidence which (or to tender for cross-examination a witness whose evidence) is not capable of belief: ‘. . . the prosecution ought normally to call or offer to call all the witnesses who give direct evidence . .
CitedRegina v Oliva CCA 18-May-1965
The defendant appealed his conviction for wounding one Brian Rutledge with intent to do him grievous bodily harm. Both the victim, Mr Rutledge, and also a man named Hampden gave evidence at the committal proceedings and their names appeared on the . .
CitedRex v Harris 1927
A prosecutor has no obligation to call a witness whose evidence he does not consider to be material. . .

Cited by:
CitedRegina v Davis HL 18-Jun-2008
The defendant had been tried for the murder of two men by shooting them at a party. He was identified as the murderer by three witnesses who had been permitted to give evidence anonymously, from behind screens, because they had refused, out of fear, . .
CitedHorncastle and Others, Regina v SC 9-Dec-2009
Each defendant said they had not received a fair trial in that the court had admitted written evidence of a witness he had not been allowed to challenge. The witnesses had been victims, two of whom had died before trial. It was suggested that the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Evidence, Constitutional

Updated: 18 December 2021; Ref: scu.238309