Regina v Lucas (Ruth): CACD 1981

People sometimes tell lies for reasons other than a belief that they are necessary to conceal guilt.
Four conditions were identified which must be satisfied before a defendant’s lie could be seen as supporting the prosecution case:-
(1) The lie must be deliberate;
(2) It must relate to a material issue;
(3) The motive for the lie must be a realisation of guilt and fear of the truth; and
(4) The statement must be clearly shown to be a lie by evidence other than that of the accomplice who is to be corroborated, that is to say by admission or evidence from an independent witness.’
‘If a court concludes that a witness has lied about one matter, it does not follow that he has lied about everything. A witness may lie for many reasons, for example, out of shame, humiliation, misplaced loyalty, panic, fear, distress, confusion and emotional pressure’ and ‘So the question is whether the jury should, and whether this was an appropriate case for the jury to be warned that a person may have lied for a reason other than his guilt such as something that he wishes to conceal from his family because it might disgrace him in some way in the eyes of his family . . they should have been directed in the view of the court that the evidence in question could be used against the applicant, as of course it could, but only on the basis that they were entitled to rely on it and if they were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, that being the general standard of proof, that there was no innocent, that is to say no non-criminal explanation for the untruthful answers.’

Lord Lane CJ
[1981] QB 720, [1981] 73 Cr App R 159, [1981] 2 All ER 1008, [1981] 3 WLR 120
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Barnett CACD 7-Feb-2002
The defendant gave three contradictory stories to explain a valuable painting found under his bed. He appealed his conviction, saying the judge should have given a Lucas direction to the effect that the fact that he had lied, did not mean inevitably . .
CitedPhilip Joshua Rahming v The Queen PC 20-May-2002
(Bahamas) The case was an appeal against a conviction for murder on the basis of the incorrect direction from the judge as to manslaughter and murder, and the failure to give a lies direction.
Held: The failure to bring the defendant before a . .
CitedMichael Pringle v The Queen PC 27-Jan-2003
PC (Jamaica) The court considered the way in which statistical conclusions drawn from DNA evidence had been presented to the jury. The judge had fallen into the ‘Prosecutor’s Fallacy.’ Also the court had relied . .
CitedRegina v Doheny, Adams CACD 31-Jul-1996
The court set out the procedure for the introduction of DNA evidence in criminal trials. In particular the court explained the ‘Prosecutor’s Fallacy’ when using statistical evidence. The significance of the DNA evidence will depend critically upon . .
CitedRegina v Becouarn HL 28-Jul-2005
At his trial for murder, the defendant had not given evidence, and the court had allowed the jury to draw proper inferences under s35.
Held: The JSB direction ‘on drawing inferences [i]s sufficiently fair to defendants, emphasising as it does . .
CitedBarlow Clowes International Ltd and Another v Eurotrust International Ltd and others PC 10-Oct-2005
(Court of Appeal of the Isle of Man) Defendants appealed a finding of dishonest assistance in the activities of Barlow Clowes.
Held: The judge had been able to reach the conclusions on the basis of the evidence. The appeal of the deemster . .
CitedRegina v A S CACD 20-Jan-1997
The defendant appealed against convictions for several sexual offences. The alleged victim had originally denied that any offending had taken place. The defendant denied that anything had happened. He complained now that the court had accepted in . .
CitedCarman v Yates ChD 2005
When a civil judge thinks a witness may be lying, he should remember that witnesses may have different reasons for lying, and effectively give himself a Lucas direction. . .
CitedRegina v Middleton CACD 12-Apr-2000
Where a defendant was shown to have lied in the course of proceedings it need not always be necessary to give a Lucas direction. In some circumstances the jury could properly be expected not to follow a prohibited line of reasoning without such a . .
CitedHill (As Trustee In Bankruptcy of Nurkowski) v Spread Trustee Company Ltd and Another CA 12-May-2006
The defendants sought relief for transactions entered into at an undervalue. The bankrupt had entered into charges and an assignment of a loan account in their favour before his bankruptcy, and the trustee had obtained an order for them to be set . .
CitedSt Paul Travelers Insurance Co Ltd v Okporuah and others ChD 10-Aug-2006
The first defendant had acquired several properties, and was due to make repayments greatly in excess of his income. A further defendant, his brother, was a solicitor who was known to have been involved in mortgage fraud and was suspected of having . .
CitedEyres v Atkinsons Kitchens and Bedrooms Ltd CA 24-Apr-2007
The driver appealed dismissal of his claim for personal injuries against his employer. He had crashed, but said that he had been awake for 19 hours.
Held: Both employer and employee must have been aware of the risks. The most likely . .
CitedLancashire County Council v R (A Minor) and others FD 4-Dec-2008
The local authority sought a care order, alleging serious physical abuse of the child. The mother said that any injuries had been inflicted by the father. The father said that the cause was the mother.
Held: The injuries were not likely to . .
CitedLondon Borough Council v K and Others FD 12-Apr-2010
The parents disputed contact for the children. The children then made allegations of very serious sex abuse against the father. A police investigation resulted in no action, it being said that the children had been coached to make false allegations . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Evidence

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.181619

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