Raymond Christopher Betts, John Anthony Hall v Regina: CACD 9 Feb 2001

The defendants appealed convictions for causing grievous bodily harm. During interviw, the solicitor had advised that since the police had failed to make proper disclosure of the evidence, his client should not answer. He now appealed complaining of the judge’s direction as to the the conclusions to be drawn by the jury from his silence.
Held: S34 must now be interpreted in the light of the 1998 Act. An appropriate balance has been drawn between the exercise by an accused of his right to silence and the fair drawing of an adverse inference. Where an appellant had received legal advice not to answer questions, it was the genuineness of the decision which is relevant and not its quality. The jury had to determine whether or not the real reason for the appellant’s silence was because of the legal advice that he or she had received or was in truth that they had no or no adequate explanation to give to the case against them.


Lord Justice Kay, Mr Justice Penry-Davey, And The Judge Advocate General


[2001] EWCA Crim 224, [2001] 2 Crim App R 16




Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1984 34, Human Rights Act 1998 3


CitedCondron v The United Kingdom ECHR 2-May-2000
A direction to a jury about an accused person’s silence during police questioning was inadequate to protect the right to a fair trial. The applicants had been advised by their solicitor to remain silent during interview because they were withdrawing . .
CitedRegina v Cowan and Another CACD 12-Oct-1995
Detailed directions were provided for the judge to give to a jury where a defendant chooses not to give evidence in his defence in the Crown Court.
Lord Taylor of Gosforth said: ‘1. The judge will have told the jury that the burden of proof . .
CitedRegina v Condron, Condron CACD 17-Oct-1996
The defendants were charged with the supply of heroin. They had declined to answer police questions and it was on the record that their solicitor had advised them not to do so, on the grounds that he considered them unfit because they were . .
CitedRegina v Lester and Harvey CACD 13-Dec-1982
ThepProsecution relied entirely upon the evidence of an accomplice, Solomon. Lester and Harvey were convicted. A third man was acquitted. The Court referred to how the trial judge left the case to the jury and quoted from the summing up: ‘Members of . .

Cited by:

CitedRegina v McCartney, Hamlett, Beddow and Hulme CACD 16-May-2003
The defendants appealed convictions and sentences for a long series of armed robberies. The evidence centred on the admissions of a participant, whose statement, the defendants alleged was self serving and unreliable, and in one case served a . .
CitedBenn and Benn v Regina CA 30-Jul-2004
The defendants appealed against convictions for importing drugs. The evidence was circumstantial, including evidence of contamination of paper money with cocaine. New evidnce suggested the original forensic techniques had returned many false . .
CitedRegina v Hoare and Pierce CACD 2-Apr-2004
The court considered the drawing of adverse inferences form an accused’s silence in the police station when this was under legal advice: ‘The question in the end, it is for the jury, is whether regardless of advice, genuinely given and genuinely . .
CitedBeckles, Regina v CACD 12-Nov-2004
The appellant had been convicted in 1997 of robbery and false imprisonment. His case was now refererred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The defendant had, on advice from his solicitor refused to answer questions at the police station. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Human Rights

Updated: 23 May 2022; Ref: scu.135580