Regina v Campbell (K): CACD 26 Jun 2007

The defendant complained that the court, having admitted his previous convictions, had made only an inadequate distinction for the jury between its use as evidence of propensity as opposed to credibility.
Held: The appeal failed. Once the evidence had been admitted it was for the jury to make use of them in any relevant way. It served no practicable purpose to seek to make a distinction between use as evidence of propensity, and use as to credibility.
Lord Phillips CJ gave a warning against slavish adherence to a specimen direction: ‘When evidence of bad character is introduced the jury should be given assistance as to its relevance that is tailored to the facts of the individual case. Relevance can normally be deduced by application of common sense. The summing up that assists the jury with the relevance of bad character evidence will accord with common sense and assist them to avoid prejudice that is at odds with it.’ and ‘If the jury is told in simple language and with reference, where appropriate to the particular facts of the case, why the bad character evidence may be relevant, this will necessarily encompass the gateway by which the evidence was admitted. It is of course highly desirable that the jury should be warned against attaching too much weight to bad character evidence let alone concluding that the defendant is guilty simply because of his bad character.’


Lord Phillips LCJ, Henriques J, Teare J


Times 04-Jul-2007, [2007] EWCA Crim 1472




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLowe v Regina CACD 14-Dec-2007
The defendant appealed against his conviction for rape, saying the judge had misused the bad character evidence.
Held: The judge had misdirected the jury and the conviction could not stand. He should have identified each element introduced . .
CitedSullivan, Regina v CACD 25-Sep-2015
The defendant appealed against his conviction of producing a controlled drug, namely cannabis. It was contended that the judge failed to provide guidance or directions to the jury as to how they ought to approach the text messages downloaded from . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Evidence

Updated: 11 July 2022; Ref: scu.254428