Regina v B: CACD 2003

The court allowed an appeal against conviction on charges of sex abuse where the underlying offences had taken place many years before. ‘In this case it has to be recognised that because of the delay that occurred, in our judgment the appellant was put in an impossible position to defend himself. He was not . . able to conduct any proper cross-examination of the complainant. There was no material he could put to the complainant to establish that she had said that something had happened on one occasion which could be established to be incorrect. There was no material in the form of notes . . which showed that she had changed her account. All that the appellant could do was to say that he had not committed the acts alleged against him. [Counsel] says that to say to a jury, when faced with allegations of the sort that were made here, ‘I have not done it’ is virtually no defence at all.”


Woolf LCJ


[2003] 2 Cr App R 13


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Dutton CACD 1994
The case involved an allegation of sex abuse committed against a young boy who then made no complaint until he was 29, twenty years after the first offence and 14 years after the last offence alleged against the defendant. There was no apparent . .

Cited by:

DistinguishedWoodcock v The Government of New Zealand QBD 14-Nov-2003
The applicant, a catholic priest, challenged his extradition for alleged offences of sexual abuse which had taken place in the 1980s, saying it would be an abuse now to prosecute him after such a delay.
Held: The case of R v B was of a . .
CitedRegina v Smolenski CACD 4-May-2004
The defendant complained that the long delay in his prosecution for alleged sexual assaults was an abuse.
Held: Complaints about delays should normally be dealt with by the court of trial having heard the evidence. It was in the nature of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.187955