Regina v Randall: HL 18 Dec 2003

Two defendants accused of murder each sought to place blame for the victim’s death on the other. One sought to rely upon the other’s record of violence as evidence of his co-accused’s propensity to violence.
Held: The record was admissible. By putting his own record in issue the co-defendant had lost the protection of the 1898 Act: ‘where evidence of propensity of a co-accused is relevant to a fact in issue between the Crown and the other accused it is not necessary for a trial judge to direct the jury to ignore that evidence in considering the case against the co-accused. Justice does not require that such a direction be given. Moreover, such a direction would needlessly perplex juries. ‘ Lord Steyn: ‘It is no answer to admitting [similar fact] evidence that it is evidence of the propensity of the accused to commit certain crimes. On the contrary, that is often the very reason for admitting such evidence. While these rules are not applicable in this case their rationale illustrates that propensity to commit certain crimes may sometimes be relevant to the fact in issue.’
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry
[2003] UKHL 69, Times 19-Dec-2003, [2004] 1 Cr App R 26, [2004] 1 All ER 467, [2004] 1 WLR 56
House of Lords, Bailii
Criminal Evidence Act 1898 1(3)
England and Wales
Appeal fromRegina v Randall (EP) CACD 21-Feb-2003
The defendant had been a co-accused on a charge of murder. He appealed saying the judge had incorrectly directed the jury on the relevance of his co-accused’s previous convictions for violence.
Held: The appeal was allowed. He should have been . .
CitedLowery v The Queen PC 1974
(Victoria) A young girl was sadistically murdered. The two accused, were present and the crime was committed by one or the other, or both. Each brought evidence of the unlikelihood that he could have committed the murder. L emphasised his good . .
CitedRegina v Bracewell CACD 1978
When there is more than one defendant in a case, the test of the relevance of an accused’s previous convictions before their admission into evidence, must be strictly applied ‘for if irrelevant and therefore inadmissible evidence is admitted, the . .
CitedRegina v Miller 1952
The fact that a defendant has previous convictions is not normally relevant: ‘The fundamental principle, equally applicable to any question that is asked by the defence as to any question that is asked by the prosecution, is that it is not normally . .
CitedRegina v Kilbourne HL 1973
The respondent was convicted of sexual offences against two groups of boys. The trial judge directed the jury that they would be entitled to take into account the uncorroborated evidence of the second group as supporting evidence given by the first . .
CitedLobban v The Queen PC 28-Apr-1995
(Jamaica) The judge had no discretion to exclude evidence on request of co-defendant in joint trial. The exculpatory part of co-accused statement not to be excluded since it was his right to have it put in. Those who are charged with an offence . .
CitedRegina v Neale CACD 1977
Neale and Burr were jointly charged with arson and manslaughter. N wanted to adduce evidence, either by cross-examining prosecution witnesses or leading evidence himself, that B had admitted that he had started fires himself on four other occasions. . .
CitedRegina v Lee CACD 1976
A defendant charged with burglary of a house should have been allowed to introduce into evidence the bad character of others, not called as witnesses, who had access to the house. The relevance of this evidence is that it goes to disposition. . .
CitedRegina v Aziz; Regina v Tosun; Regina v Yorganci HL 16-Jun-1995
The defendant (one of three) relied upon his part exculpatory statement made in interview and did not give evidence. The judge said that his good character was relevant as to his own propensity, and the character of the others was relevant to their . .
CitedRegina v Vye etc CACD 7-Apr-1993
Detailed guidance was given on good character directions, as to how and when they should be given, but: ‘Provided that the judge indicates to the jury the two respects in which good character may be relevant, ie credibility and propensity, this . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v P HL 1991
The defendant faced specimen counts of rape and incest against each of his two daughters. The trial judge refused an application for separate trials in respect of the offences alleged against each daughter. The defendant was convicted.
Held: . .
CitedRegina v Murray CACD 10-Jun-1994
If one defendant claims a defence of duress from fear of the other’s driving, the other driver’s driving convictions are relevant and can be admitted in evidence. Evidence of the convictions of the other driver should have been admitted even though . .

Cited by:
Appealed toRegina v Randall (EP) CACD 21-Feb-2003
The defendant had been a co-accused on a charge of murder. He appealed saying the judge had incorrectly directed the jury on the relevance of his co-accused’s previous convictions for violence.
Held: The appeal was allowed. He should have been . .
CitedRegina v Hayter HL 3-Feb-2005
The House considered the principle that the confession of a defendant is inadmissible in a joint criminal case against a co-defendant. In a trial for murder, one party was accused of requesting a middleman to arrange for the murder by a third party. . .
CitedO’Brien v Chief Constable of South Wales Police HL 28-Apr-2005
The claimant sought damages against the police, and wanted to bring in evidence of previous misconduct by the officers on a similar fact basis. They had been imprisoned and held for several years based upon admissions which they said they had . .
CitedHenry, Regina v CACD 29-Jun-2005
The defendant appealed his conviction for soliciting to murder and conspiracy to murder. An expert’s opinion now described him as of low intelligence and vulnerable to the sort of pressure of which he complained.
Held: The expert evidence had . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 15 October 2021; Ref: scu.188922