Regina v Beedie: CACD 11 Mar 1997

Stay for Extended Autrefois Convict

The plea of autrefois convict applies only if the legal substance of the charges is same but the judge has a discretion. The plea is not limited to Connelly v DPP definitions, but is still narrow.
A 19-year-old girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a rented flat. The CO2 gas could not escape from a gas fire because the chimney was blocked. The chimney had not been properly cleared of debris over a long period of time. The appellant was the landlord. He pleaded guilty to an offence under section 3(2) and section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The defendant said that a further prosecution, this time for manslaughter by gross negligence, was an abuse. He appealed a refusal of his plea of autrefois convict. Following his conviction, he had been obliged to give evidence at the coroner’s inquest which had led to this prosecution.
Held: The judge had erred in allowing the prosecution to proceed. There were circumstances to suggest that a prosecution was appropriate but those were not sufficiently exceptional to overcome the unfairness. A stay should have been ordered because the manslaughter allegation was based on substantially the same facts as the earlier summary prosecutions, and gave rise to a prosecution for an offence of greater gravity, no new facts having occurred, in breach of the Elrington principle.

The Vice President, Lord Justice Rose, Mr Justice Dyson, and Mr Justice Timothy Walker
Times 14-Mar-1997, Gazette 16-Apr-1997, [1997] EWCA Crim 714, [1997] 2 Cr App R 167, [1998] QB 356, [1997] 3 WLR 758
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 33
England and Wales
CitedConnelly v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 1964
Plea of Autrefois Acquit is Narrow in Scope
The defendant had been tried for and acquitted of murder. The prosecution then sought to have him tried for robbery out of the same alleged facts. The House considered his plea of autrefois convict.
Held: The majority identified a narrow . .
CitedRegina v Riebold QBD 1967
When looking at a plea of autrefois acquit, the court had to ask whether there were any exceptional circumstances which would make it not oppressive to grant the prosecution leave to proceed.
Barry J said: ‘I feel that I am bound to apply . .
CitedRegina v Elrington 9-Nov-1861
The appellant’s co-accused had been summarily tried and acquitted of common assault. The accused was subsequently indicted on the same facts for assault causing grievous bodily harm and assault causing actual bodily harm. The accused demurred.
CitedRegina v Forest of Dean Justices ex parte Farley CACD 1990
The prosecutor had charged the defendant first with drink driving so as to take advantage of the provision placing upon the defendant the burden of proving that he had taken drink after the traffic accident and before testing. It iintended then to . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 1 of 1990) CACD 1990
A police officer attended an incident where two people were arrested. Complaints about his conduct were made of which he was given notice. A formal investigation was instituted and adjourned pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against those . .

Cited by:
CitedRegina on the Application of Rowley v Director of Public Prosecutions QBD 4-Apr-2003
The applicant sought to challenge a decision not to prosecute a third party following the death of her son. He had been in care, having multiple disabilities, including epilepsy. He drowned whilst in a bath. It had been recognised that he needed . .
CitedPhipps, Regina v CACD 14-Jan-2005
The appellant had been convicted of driving with excess alcohol. After complaints by the injured victim’s family he was further prosecuted for dangerous driving. He now appealed his conviction, having pleaded guilty when the judge failed to find an . .
CitedRegina v Z (Prior acquittal) HL 22-Jun-2000
The defendant on a charge of rape had been tried and acquitted of the rape of different women on three previous occasions in three separate trials. The prosecution wished to call those three complainants to give similar fact evidence in support of . .
CitedWangige, Regina v CACD 14-Oct-2020
Second Prosecution on Same Facts was An Abuse
The defendant appealed his conviction of causing death by dangerous driving. He appealed from the refusal of the judge to give a stay the prosecution as an abuse He had been previously prosecuted for a lesser offence on the same facts.
Held: . .
CitedAntoine v Regina CACD 15-Oct-2014
The Court was asked whether a prosecution should have been stayed as an abuse of the process of the court where the defendant had already been convicted and sentenced for lesser offences arising out of the same facts. The defendant was found with a . .
CitedDwyer v Regina CACD 11-Feb-2011
Further fresh evidential materials were sought to be relied upon in a second prosecution of the defendant.
Held: ‘In our judgment, the words ‘the same or substantially the same facts’ or ‘the same incident’ refer to the relevant state of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Criminal Practice

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.150169