Regina v McCoy: CACD 10 Dec 1999

The judge should direct the jury fully about the handicap which the inability to cross-examine the witness placed upon the defence, and possible lines of cross-examination which the appellants had lost: ‘If a statement of a critical witness is to be read to a jury, perhaps especially in an alibi case where identification is the true issue, it must be incumbent on the trial judge to ensure that the jury realise the drawbacks which are imposed on the defence if the prosecution statement is read to them. It is not enough simply to say that counsel has not had the opportunity of cross-examining. The lay jury may not appreciate the significance of that fact. The judge must at least explain that it means that they may feel quite unable to attach anything like as much weight to the evidence in the statement, as they might if it were tested in cross-examination; and where appropriate it would be necessary, certainly desirable, for the judge also to indicate to the jury by way of illustration the sort of matters that might well be put in cross-examination in the particular case. None of that was done in this case.’


Laws LJ


[2000] 6 Archbold News 2, 1101674/W4


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLobban, Regina v CACD 7-May-2004
The defendant appealed his conviction. A witness statement had been read, but he had wanted to cross examine her. The court was satisfied that her refusal to give evidence in person was through fear.
Held: In making the decision, the judge had . .
CitedTeeluck and John v The State PC 23-Mar-2005
(Trinidad and Tobago) The defendant appealed against his conviction saying that his defence had been incompetent in having failed to require the judge to give a good character direction to the jury.
Held: The appeal was allowed. Recent cases . .
CitedAl-Khawaja v Regina CACD 3-Nov-2005
The defendant had been tried for indecent assaults. The complainant having died before the trial, the judge had ruled that her written statements were admissible. The defendant said he had not had a fair trial.
Held: The appeal failed. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.199813