Regina v Leyland Justices, Ex parte Hawthorn: QBD 1979

A motorist successfully challenged his conviction for careless driving because of a failure by the prosecutor, in breach of a duty owed to the court and the defence, to disclose the existence of witnesses who could have given evidence favourable to the defence. Although no dishonesty was suggested, it was this suppressio veri which had the same effect as a suggestio falsi in distorting and vitiating the process leading to conviction, and it was, in my opinion, the analogy which Lord Widgery CJ drew between the case before him and the cases of fraud, collusion and perjury which had been relied on in counsel’s argument, which identified the true principle on which the decision could be justified.


[1979] QB 283, [1979] 1 All ER 209

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Mills, Regina v Poole HL 24-Jul-1997
The prosecution have a duty to disclose to the defence the statement of an adverse witness and not just to provide the name and address, even though that person was not seen as credible witness by the prosecution. ‘the rule in Bryant and Dickson is . .
CitedBritish Broadcasting Corporation v Sugar and Another Admn 27-Apr-2007
The applicant sought publication of a report prepared for the respondent as to the even handedness of its reporting of matters in the middle east. The BBC had refused saying that the release of the report would have direct impact on its ability to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.231074