Regina v Burns: CACD 1 Mar 2006

The defendant complained that the court had wrongfully admitted evidence of a previous conviction on the basis only that he shared the name and date of birth of the person convicted. The conviction was used as evidence of his propensity to be untruthful.
Held: What was evidence in such circumstances was not a matter of law but of fact. Names which are very uncommon when fully matched to a birth date will be more readily relied upon than very common names with a partial date match. In this case, the match on the full name and date of birth together were capable of establishing the defendant as the person convicted. The judge should then have directed the jury to consider whether this was established conclusively, but his failure did not affect the outcome in this case.


Rose LJ, Stanley Burton J, Hedley J


Times 07-Mar-2006


Criminal Justice Act 2003 103


England and Wales


CitedPattison v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 15-Dec-2005
The court considered the circumstances under which evidence of previous convictions could be admitted against a defendant where he did not admit that he was the same person. . .
CitedRegina v Derwentside Justices, Ex parte Heaviside 1996
Establishing whether previous convictions listed were those of the defendant. . .
CitedOlakunori v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 8-Jul-1998
Establishing identity of defendant with persons listed on previous convictions list. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.240168