In re Boyle, Judicial Review: QBNI 24 Oct 2007

The court considered an appeal by the claimant against refusal of compensation where he had served a term of imprisonment, but later had his conviction overturned. The conviction had relied upon challenged admissions which two police officers asserted were recorded contemporaneously in written notes of interviews. In relation to one of these interviews in which the admissions were recorded, ESDA testing revealed that there had been another version of the notes thereby undermining the evidence that they had been written at the time.
Held: ‘In the present case, the applicant contends that there has been a failure in the trial process. On Lord Bingham’s approach a ‘miscarriage of justice’ arises not only where it has been demonstrated that the applicant is innocent, which is not the present case, but also where the applicant should not have been convicted. However the new or newly discovered facts referred to above do not establish that the applicant ‘should not’ have been convicted. As Carswell LCJ stated in quashing the applicant’s conviction . . the new or newly discovered facts rendered the conviction unsafe because the Court of Appeal could not determine what view the trial Judge would have taken of the evidence had he known that it appeared that there were two versions of the interview notes for interview five. The trial Judge might have taken the view that it had fatally undermined the credibility of the interviewers and removed the evidence from the area of proof beyond reasonable doubt to some lesser area, or he might have said that he nevertheless accepted that the evidence was reliable in substance and that the interviews reflected what was said. All that can be said is that the trial Judge may or may not have convicted the applicant had he known what is now known. Accordingly as in Magee’s Application and in Clibery, the applicant does not satisfy Lord Bingham’s wider interpretation of ‘miscarriage of justice’ as an applicant in respect of whom it has been established that he ‘should not’ have been convicted.’


Weatherup J


[2007] NIQB 88




Northern Ireland

Cited by:

triticisedSiddall, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice Admn 16-Mar-2009
The claimant had been imprisoned then released after his conviction for sexual assaults. He appealed against rejection of his claim for compensation. The criterion for compensation was demonstrating that something had ‘gone seriously wrong in the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Northern Ireland, Criminal Practice, Damages

Updated: 27 January 2022; Ref: scu.261756