Regina 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 Court will be slow to criticise any qualifying remarks he may make based on the facts of the individual case.’
A defendant may call evidence of his own good character or other evidence ‘in disproof of his own guilt’ of the offence charged against him. It is incumbent on a trial judge to direct the jury as to the significance of a good character in relation to both credibility and the (un)likelihood of the defendant having committed the offence charged: ‘It might be thought that in such a case (where the defendant charged with murder admits manslaughter) a second limb direction would be little help to the jury.’
Lord Taylor CJ suggested that in murder/manslaughter cases the judge might properly stress that the jury would derive limited help from the absence of any propensity for violence.
Lord Taylor CJ
Gazette 07-Apr-1993, Independent 15-Apr-1993, [1993] 97 Cr App R 134, [1993] 1 WLR 471
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina 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 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 . .
AppliedThompson v The Queen PC 16-Feb-1998
(Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) When a defendant is of good character, ie has no convictions of any relevance or significance, he is entitled to the benefit of a good character direction from the judge when summing up to the jury, tailored to fit . .
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 . .
CitedMantoor Ramdhanie and others v The State PC 15-Dec-2005
PC (Trinidad and Tobago) The defendant appealed his conviction, saying he had not been properly able to pur forward his evidence of good character. The judge had prevented the defence putting questions to show a . .
ConsideredRegina v Cain CACD 1-Nov-1993
Three defendants faced the jury. One with and two without a good character. The criminal convictions of the second were made known by her to the jury. The first defendant now appealed complaining at the way the judge had given his directions.
CitedRegina v Heath CACD 1-Feb-1994
The defendant complained that the judge had wrongly admitted details of past spent convictions. The judge had told the jury ‘entirely to ignore them as far as this case is concerned’.
Held: The convictions were ‘so lacking in significance to . .
CitedPayton, Regina v CACD 26-May-2006
The defendant appealed a conviction of possession of 66 grams of cannabis with intent to supply. Also found were a large number of small bags and pounds 7,000 in cash. The defendant said the cannabis was for his personal use, and the equipment had . .
CitedMohammed, Regina v CACD 13-Jul-2005
The court granted permission to appeal against a conviction for murder on grounds that related to the judge’s summing up in respect of provocation: ‘Although Holley is a decision of the Privy Council and Morgan Smith a decision of the House of . .
CitedGAI v Regina CACD 5-Oct-2012
The defendant’s appeal based on the absence of a good character direction had succeeded. The court now gave its reasons.
Held: After reviewing the authorities, the appeal succeeded: ‘the learned judge was wrong to find that the fact that . .
CitedRegina v Gray CACD 30-Apr-2004
The court examined the authorities as to good chracter directions where a defendant had previous convictions. Rix LJ said: ‘In our judgment the authorities discussed above entitled us to state the following principles as applicable in this context: . .
CitedRegina v Lloyd CACD 2000
The court in Lloyd was concerned with character directions which had been given in the form of questions.
Held: The conviction was unsafe. Good character directions should not be given in the form of a question, they should be given in the . .
CitedMoustakim, Regina v CACD 27-Nov-2008
Appeal from conviction of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of a controlled drug of Class A, that is to say cocaine. Challenge to good character direction ‘You know from the officer that the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.88223