Regina v Absolam: CACD 1990

A was arrested. He was already on bail for possession of cannabis, and in the hope finding further evidence he was asked to empty his pockets, ‘and put the drugs on the table’ he did so and admitted selling drugs.
Held: The procedure should only have followed the giving of a caution. This was precisely the situation sought to be avoided by the Code of Practice, and the breach was not remedied by the subsequent caution. The passage should have been excluded. If the judge had thought there were significant and substantial breaches all the answers might have been excluded.
Bingham LJ said: ‘The learned judge further held that the series of questions and answers . . were not an interview. It is of course plain that this was not in any formal sense a conventional interview, but equally in our judgment it is plain that it was an interview within the purview of the Code, in that it was a series of questions directed by the police to a suspect with a view to obtaining admissions on which proceedings could be founded.’


Bingham LJ


(1988) 89 Cr App R 332, [1990] CLY 789


Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 78(1)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Sewa Singh Gill and Paramjit Singh Gill CACD 31-Jul-2003
The appellants sought to challenge their convictions for cheating the Inland Revenue. They were accused of having hidden assets and income from the revenue. The appellants objected to the use at trial of material obtained in a ‘Hansard’ interview. . .
ConsideredRegina v Cox CACD 1993
The defendant was arrested at home on suspicion of one charge, but the police then asked questions about his clothing. He appealed saying the replies should not have been included.
Held: The questions were intended to secure admissions, and . .
CitedCrown Prosecution Service v Paul O’Shea Admn 11-May-1998
Prosecutor’s appeal against dismissal of charge of driving with excess alcohol. . .
CitedHughes v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 12-Oct-2009
The defendant appealed against her conviction for aggravated vehicle taking. She was found near the scene of a road traffic accident involving a stolen car, and her fingerprint on an isnide rear window. She submitted that the officers had asked as . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Evidence, Police

Updated: 29 May 2022; Ref: scu.185071