Rex v Christie: HL 1914

The House considered the admissibility in evidence of a false statement made in the defendant’s presence, but uncontradicted by him: ‘the rule of law undoubtedly is that a statement made in the presence of an accused person, even on an occasion which should be expected reasonably to call for some explanation or denial from him, is not evidence against him of the facts stated save in so far as he accepts the statement, so as to make it his own. If he accepts the statement in part only, then to that extent alone does it become his statement. He may accept the statement by word or conduct, action or demeanour, and it is the function of the jury which tries the case to determine whether his words, action, conduct or demeanour at the time when a statement was made amounts to an acceptance of it in whole or in part . . .’
References: [1914] AC 545
Judges: Lord Atkinson
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Hall v Regina PC 1970
    The court asked as to the modern application of the dicta in Christie with regard to the admissibility of false statements made in the presence of a defendant but uncontradicted by him. In this case there had been no positive act to adopt the lie. . .
    ((1970) 55 Cr App 108)
  • Cited – Collins and Keep v Regina CACD 28-Jan-2004
    When arrested with a co-defendant, C had said nothing as his co-defendant gave a false explanation. He now appealed his conviction saying that the judge had left with the jury the question of whether he was adopting that lie by his own silence.
    (, [2004] EWCA Crim 83, Gazette 26-Feb-04, [2004] 2 Cr App 199, [2004] 1 WLR 1705)
  • Cited – Regina v Chandler CACD 1975
    The defendant had refused to comment on allegations put to him when interviewed by the police. His solicitor was present.
    Held: After quoting Hall, the court commented: ‘We have reservations about these two statements of law because they seem . .
    ((1975) 63 Cr App R 1)
  • Cited – Regina v Horne CACD 1990
    The victim had been ‘glassed’ in a restaurant. Tne defendant was brought before the victim who immediately identified him as the assailant. He made no answer.
    Held: The judge was correct to direct the jury to take the defendant’s silence in . .
    ([1990] Crim LR 188)
  • Cited – Regina v Osborne CACD 2-Nov-2005
    The defendant challenged admission of a statement made in his presence but not contradicted by him.
    Held: The court must first ask whether the defendant’s reaction was relevant. Where acquiescence was alleged, three considerations arose: 1) . .
    (Times 17-Nov-05)
  • Cited – Fitzgerald, Regina v CACD 6-Mar-1998
    The defendant appealed against his conviction for robbery. At interview, his solicitor had explained his failure to answer questions by reference to the involvement of others, but in terms which treated this itself as an admission.
    Held: The . .
    (, [1998] EWCA Crim 829)

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 27 November 2020; Ref: scu.192654