Regina v Galbraith: CCA 1981

Rejection of Submission of No Case to Answer

The defendant had faced a charge of affray. The court having rejected his submission of having no case to answer, he had made an exculpatory statement from the dock. He appealed against his conviction.
Held: Lord Lane LCJ said: ‘How then should the judge approach a submission of ‘no case’?
(1) If there is no evidence that the crime alleged has been committed by the defendant, there is no difficulty. The judge will of course stop the case.
(2) The difficulty arises where there is some evidence but it is of a tenuous character, for example, because of inherent weakness or vagueness or because it is inconsistent with other evidence.
(a) Where the judge comes to the conclusion that the prosecution evidence, taken at its highest, is such that a jury properly directed could not properly convict upon it, it is his duty, upon a submission being made, to stop the case.
(b) Where however the prosecution evidence is such that its strength or weakness depends on the view to be taken of a witness’ reliability, or other matters which are generally speaking within the province of the jury and where on one possible view of the facts there is evidence upon which a jury could properly come to the conclusion that the defendant is guilty, then the judge should allow the matter to be tried by the jury.
It follows that we think the second of the two schools of thought is to be preferred. There will of course, as always in this branch of the law, be borderline cases. They can safely be left to the discretion of the judge.’

Lord Lane CJ
(1981) 73 Cr App R 124, [1981] 2 All ER 1060, [1981] 1 WLR 1039, 2 Crim LR 767
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Inner London South District Coroner Ex Parte Douglas-Williams CA 30-Jul-1998
A coroner had the right not to leave all possible verdicts to a jury, even including one possibly supported by the evidence, where the overwhelming evidence pointed one way, and possible confusion of jury might be caused by leaving all verdicts to . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Spicer Admn 13-Mar-1997
The defendant had successfully argued no case to answer, on a charge of driving without due care. The prosecutor appealed by way of case stated. From the detailed notes available to the court, it was clear that there was evidence before them to put . .
CitedKhan, Regina (on the Application of) v HM Coroner for West Hertfordshire and Another Admn 7-Mar-2002
The deceased died in police custody. The coroner refused to leave to the jury possible verdicts of unlawful killing, or death contributed to by neglect, or breach of his right to life. He adjourned the hearing to allow this challenge.
Held: . .
CitedMeade v Pugh and Another QBD 5-Mar-2004
The claimant was a social work student. He attended a work experience placement, and challenged the report given by the defendants on that placement, saying it was discriminatory and defamatory. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The . .
ExplainedRegina v Shippey and Jedynak 1988
The defendants were tried for rape. The defence pleaded no case to answer saying that the complainant’s evidence was weak uncorroborated and inconsistent.
Held: The judge should assess the evidence and if the evidence of the witness upon whom . .
CitedRegina (Anderson and Others) v HM Coroner for Inner North Greater London QBD 26-Nov-2004
The deceased suffered depressive mental illness, and was detained outside on a cold night naked and in a cannabis induced delirium. Because of his size, additional officers were called upon to assist restraining him. He was taken to hospital, but . .
CitedRegina v HM Coroner for Inner London South District, ex parte Douglas-Williams CA 29-Jan-1998
The deceased died in custody. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. It was suggested that the coroner’s direction as to unlawful killing had been confusing, and that he was wrong not to leave open the possibility of a verdict of neglect. . .
CitedRe N CA 20-May-1999
The claimant was a victim of a rape. She alleged that the police had mishandled the prosecution, resulting in the dismissal of the charges against the defendant, which in turn, she said exacerbated her own post traumatic stress disorder.
Held: . .
CitedDacre Son and Hartley Ltd v North Yorkshire Trading Standards Admn 27-Oct-2004
The defendants appealed a conviction under the Act complaining of the adequacy of the evidence presented. A buyer had found dampness in a property. It was later remarketed by the defendant who asked if it suffered dampness. She was told it did not. . .
CitedRegina v Her Majesty’s Coroner for Exeter and East Devon ex parte Palmer CA 10-Dec-1997
The deceased died in Dartmoor prison. He had been held in seclusion. When visited he was said to have attacked the guards. He was restrained until a body belt could be brought. The period of restraint exceeded the maximum recommended, and the . .
CitedGibson, Regina v CACD 11-Jan-2006
The defendant renewed has application for leave to appeal against his conviction for the murder of his daughter-in-law. The principle evidence against him was that of an accomplice. She had received letters to say that no further action would be . .
CitedH, Regina v CACD 25-Apr-2006
The defendant youth appealed his conviction and sentence for rape by oral penetration of a six or seven year old boy. He complained that the evidence contained such inconsistences that the case should not have proceeded. Complaint was also made that . .
CitedOwens and Another, Regina v CACD 6-Sep-2006
The defendants appealed convictions and sentence (6 and 4 years) for conspiracy to sell red diesel as ‘DERV’ and for money laundering of the proceeds of the crime. The sums involved exceeded andpound;1.4m. They said that documents should not have . .
CitedRegina v Governor of Pentonville Prison Ex Parte Alves HL 2-Dec-1992
In extradition proceedings, the withdrawal of a statement did not of itself vitiate that statement or the proceedings. The Galbraith test applied to committals in extradition proceedings just as it does to domestic criminal trials. . .
CitedRaissi, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 22-Feb-2007
The claimant sought judicial review of a refusal to make an ex gratia payment for his imprisonment whilst successfully resisting extradition proceedings. Terrorist connections had been suggested, but the judge made an explicit finding that at no . .
CitedIK, Regina v CACD 8-Mar-2007
The prosecutor appealed a finding that the proceeds of cheating the revenue were not the proceeds of crime within the 2002 Act.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The case was different from Galbraith in that there was a clear finding of a cheat. The . .
CitedBennett, Regina (on the Application of) v HM Coroner for Inner South London and others CA 26-Jun-2007
The deceased had been shot by the police, who mistakenly believed him to be armed. Judicial review was sought saying that the coroner had wrongly refused to leave to the jury the possible verdict of unlawful killing.
Held: The appeal was . .
CitedLabastide and Carty, Regina v CACD 19-Nov-2008
The defendants appealed their conviction for murder. They were said to have been members of a gang, and were present and armed and part of the joint enterprise leading to the murder. The convictions were based on identification evidence from . .
CitedN Ltd and Another, Regina v CACD 10-Jun-2008
The defence had requested and been give a ruling of no case to answer. The prosecutor now appealed saying that this had been before he had closed the prosecution case, and had been not with his consent.
Held: The prosecutor’s appeal succeeded. . .
CitedRegina v Khan CACD 27-Jul-2009
On his trial for murder the defendant produced unchallenged expert evidence that at the time of the offence, his mental responsibility for the killing was substantially impaired by his mental illness. He said that in these circumstances the charge . .
CitedHorncastle and Others, Regina v SC 9-Dec-2009
Each defendant said they had not received a fair trial in that the court had admitted written evidence of a witness he had not been allowed to challenge. The witnesses had been victims, two of whom had died before trial. It was suggested that the . .
CitedGujra, Regina (on The Application of) v Crown Prosecution Service SC 14-Nov-2012
The appellant had twice begun private prosecutions only to have them taken over by the CPS and discontinued. He complained that a change in their policy on such interventions interfered with his statutory and constitutional right to bring such a . .
CitedSeray-Wurie v The Charity Commission of England and Wales CA 3-Feb-2009
The claimant appealed against the striking out of his claim for defamation in a reort prepared by the defendants criticising his actions as chairman of a CAB. The action had been struck out on the basis of qualified privilege, and the claimant’s . .
CitedRegina v Van Bokkum CACD 7-Mar-2000
Tuckey LJ rejected, as contrary to Galbraith, the proposition that in a case dependent on circumstantial evidence, the judge would be required to withdraw the case if some inference other than guilt could reasonably be drawn from the facts proved: . .
CitedRegina v Edwards CACD 2004
In a case dependent on circumstantial evidence, the judge would be required to withdraw the case if some inference other than guilt could reasonably be drawn from the facts proved: he should only withdraw it if he considered it unsafe for the jury . .
CitedRegina v Jabber CACD 2006
As to the case of Kwan Ping Bong, Moses LJ said: ‘Read literally, Lord Diplock’s dicta might be understood to be saying that an inference was only to be regarded as compelling if all juries, assumed to be composed of those who are reasonable, would . .
CitedX Ltd, Regina v CACD 23-May-2013
The prosecutor appealed after the judge at the crown court had found no case to answer on a prosecution of the company under the 2008 Regulations. The company had sold a home security system to an elderly and vulnerable man. His family found that he . .
CitedLashley, Regina v CACD 8-Feb-2000
The sole evidence against an appellant was DNA found on a cigarette left at the scene of the crime. It was accepted that there would be between seven and ten males in the United Kingdom to whom this profile related. There was no other evidence . .
CitedRegina v Ogden CACD 28-Jun-2013
The defendant had been charged for burglary on the basis, solely, of DNA evidence found on a scarf. The scarf was accidentally destroyed before the trial, and the defence had been unable to have it examined. He now appealed saying that the use of . .
CitedSykes v Crown Prosecution Service (Manchester) Admn 16-Oct-2013
The defendant appealed against his conviction for obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty, saying that there had been no evidence that at the time of the events, the officer was acting in the lawful execution of his duty. He . .
CitedB v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 13-May-2010
The defendant appealed against his conviction for having shot a deer. He said that the District Judge should have ruled that he had no case to answer. He was said to have been one of three youths cruelly killing a fawn.
Held: There had been . .
CitedMorgan v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 6-Dec-2016
Res Gestae Evidence correctly admitted
The appellant challenged by case stated the admission by magistrates at his trial of two pieces of evidence under the res gestae principle under section 118(3) of the 2003 Act. The allegation was one of domestic violence. The court had admitted the . .
CitedBrennan v Regina CACD 21-Nov-2014
The defendant, then 22 had a history of disturbed childhood, sexual abuse and outpatient mental health treatment together with one instance when he was sectioned following a suicide attempt. On the undisputed psychiatric evidence he suffered from a . .
CitedGolds, Regina v SC 30-Nov-2016
The defendant appealed against his conviction for murder, saying that he should have been only convicted of manslaughter, applying the new test for diminished responsibility as provided under the 1957 Act as amended, and particularly whether the . .
CitedLoughlin, Re Application for Judicial Review SC 18-Oct-2017
The court was asked as to the circumstances in which sentences passed on offenders who have given assistance to prosecuting authorities should be referred back to the sentencing court under section 74 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act . .
CitedGoddard and Another v Regina CACD 27-Jul-2012
In relation to a case based on inferences, Aikens LJ summarised the principles in Galbraith on a submission of no case to answer: ‘(1) in all cases where a judge is asked to consider a submission of no case to answer, the judge should apply the . .
CitedRegina v Metcalf, Denton, Foster 26-May-2021
Public Inquiry Not Course of Justice
(Crown Court at Manchester) A retired solicitor and two retired police officers faced trial charged with doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice. They were said to have proposed alterations to statements of police . .

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Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.183181