Mcgeough, R v: CANI 7 May 2013

The defendant appealed against his convictions, inter alia, for membership of a proscribed organisation. He said that the judge should not have admitted in evidence his application for asylum in Sweden which had included his declaration of membership of the IRA. Held; The evidence of Swedish law was that such documents only attracted confidentiality if the asylum request succeeded, and: ‘the evidence was lawfully obtained in Sweden and in the United Kingdom in accordance with the international conventions applicable at the time. There was no element of compulsion on the appellant. This was a voluntary procedure. The appellant had legal advice in Sweden as to Swedish law and under Swedish law the asylum documents could properly be revealed to the authorities in another jurisdiction if the asylum application was unsuccessful. There was no evidence that the appellant was under any pressure in relation to the completion of the application. There is no evidence that the appellant would have declined to answer questions put if he had been cautioned. It was open to the appellant to give evidence at trial in relation to the contents of the application. There was no evidence that there was any fabrication or distortion within the documents.’ It was a matter of discretion as to whether such evidence was admitted, the judge had considered the relevant matters and concluded correctly.

Morgan LCJ, Higgins LJ and Girvan LJ
[2013] NICA 22
Northern Ireland
CitedThompson v The Queen PC 16-Feb-1998
(Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) When a defendant is of good character, ie has no convictions of any relevance or significance, he is entitled to the benefit of a good character direction from the judge when summing up to the jury, tailored to fit . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromMcGeough, Regina v SC 21-Oct-2015
(Northern Ireland) The appellant had been injured in a gunfight with a policemen. He was later convicted for attempted murder, but escaped and fled the country. He applied for asylum in Sweden saying that he was a member of the IRA. He now appealed . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Evidence

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.511128