Regina v Robb: CACD 1991

The evidence of an expert to prove identification by voice was admissible. Also voice recognition evidence given by a phonetician was admissible as expert evidence; and that evidence of police officers who listened to disputed tapes and recognised the voice of the person speaking was admissible as factual evidence, subect to section 78 considerations.
Bingham LJ accepted that the phonetician was sufficiently qualified to give expert evidence on voice recognition. He said of the expert, Dr Baldwin: ‘He was entitled to be regarded as a phonetician well qualified by academic training and practical experience to express an opinion on voice identification. We do not doubt that his judgment, based on close attention to voice quality, voice pitch and the pronunciation of vowels and consonants, would have a value significantly greater than that of the ordinary untutored laymen, as the judgment of a hand-writing expert is superior to that of the man in the street.’


Bingham LJ


[1991] 93 Cr App R 161


Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 78


England and Wales

Cited by:

DoubtedRegina v O’Doherty CANI 19-Apr-2002
The defendant appealed his conviction based upon voice identification evidence, of making a false emergency telephone call.
Held: The court should have heard expert evidence of acoustic analysis, as well as expert evidence of voice . .
CitedRegina v Hersey CACD 1-Dec-1997
The defendant appealed against his conviction for robbery, which had been based in part on witnesses identifying his voice. Particular concern was raised where a series of recordings had been brought together from which the witness had been asked to . .
CitedPhipps v The Director of Public Prosecutions and Another PC 27-Jun-2012
(Jamaica) The defendant appealed against his conviction for murder. He complained that he had been prejudiced because the jury were told that he had been produced from custody, and one of his witnesses was produced in court in chains, thus . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.182975