Regina v Pinfold: CACD 1988

Once a person convicted of an offence on indictment appeals against that conviction and that appeal has been determined on its merits, the court has no jurisdiction to re-open it on fresh evidence coming to light.
Lord Lane CJ considered the feasibility of re-opening an appeal: ‘So there is nothing there on the face of it which says in terms that one appeal is all that an appellant is allowed. But, in the view of this court, one must read those provisions against the background of the fact that it is in the interests of the public in general that there should be a limit or a finality to legal proceedings, sometimes put in a Latin maxim, but that is what it means in English.
We have been unable to discover, nor have counsel been able to discover any situation in which a right of appeal couched in similar terms to that, has been construed as a right to pursue more than one appeal in one case. So far as the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 is concerned, there are perhaps two possible exceptions, or apparent exceptions because that is what they are, to that rule: first of all, where the decision on the original appeal, if I may call it that, can be regarded as a nullity. This is more commonly applied where there has been an application to treat a notice of abandonment as a nullity. The second occasion, which may be simply an example of the first, is where, owing to some defect in the procedure the appellant has on the first appeal being dismissed suffered an injustice, where, for example, he has not been notified of the hearing of the appeal or counsel has been unable to attend, circumstances such as that.’


Lord Lane CJ


(1988) 87 Cr App R 15, [1988] QB 462


Criminal Appeal Act 1968


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Thomas CACD 29-Apr-2002
The appellant appealed his conviction for murder. The prosecution case had been that the victim died before a certain time. Witness had come to light after the first trial who knew her, and claimed to have seen her after the time of death according . .
CitedThomas, Regina v CACD 26-Apr-2002
The hearing was a third appeal upon a reference by the Commission on the defendant’s conviction for murder.
Held: Auld LJ said that the court’s jurisdiction and a duty on a reference, as in an ordinary appeal, is to consider the safety of the . .
CitedRegina v Stock CACD 8-Aug-2008
The defendant sought to appeal his conviction in 1970 for robbery. He had refused to attend an identity parade but was then confronted with the main witness. Witnesses had also been shown photographs from which they were said to have selected the . .
CitedYasain, Regina v CACD 16-Jul-2015
The Court was asked as to the powers of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division to re-open an appeal to correct an error which is said to have caused real injustice in that the error led to the quashing of a sentence lawfully imposed in the Crown . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.182983