London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE GREEN
HIS HONOUR JUDGE LEONARD QC
(Sitting as a Judge of the CACD)
|R E G I N A|
Mr G Morrison appeared on behalf of the Crown
Crown Copyright ©
The defendant sought to have this evidence excluded pursuant to section 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. It was argued that the prosecution did not need the evidence and it would be admitted without the protection of a full and fair trial process in relation to the robbery. The case might have been prepared differently in relation to that aspect of the evidence. The judge rejected these arguments. The evidence disclosed that an earlier stage alerted the defence adequately to the fact that this was an integral part of the prosecution case. The defence were on notice. The evidence was necessary as part of the sequence of events. The robbery involving the use of a gun had taken place about a mile from where the applicants had set off and about 20 minutes before the burglary, which itself was only a mile-and-a-half from the robbery. The evidence was relevant to the prosecution case that the applicant was correctly identified as one of the offenders in the aggravated burglary. Whilst there was prejudice there was no prejudice beyond that which was inherent in an entirely legitimate manner.
As observed the applicant did not give evidence and he therefore did not give any explanation as to why his DNA was in the vehicle. The judge directed the jury that they had to be sure of all of the relevant facts.
We were this morning, in the course of this application, told by Mr Green of counsel that there was no material discussion before the judge in relation to section 98 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 ie bad character.
The single judge refused leave to appeal. He stated that he had considered the papers and the relevant grounds of appeal and, in his view, the reasons given by the learned judge were correct. He stated as follows:
"There were many links making this an integral part of the prosecution case; the CCTV at Wells Road; the location of the robbery of the Corsa and its eventual destination; the partial recognition the motorcycle number plate; the use of a small handgun; and there was DNA evidence to link the applicant to the [vehicle]. The purpose of the evidence was to [demonstrate] continuity and to map [the applicant's] route to the scene of the burglary."
As the single judge put it, this was a strong case and, in his view, the conviction was "patently safe".
We agree with the single judge. The evidence went to the means of transport used by the applicant and his co-accused to commit the aggravated burglary. The robbery was proximate in time and distance. The victim of the robbery had observed a small black handgun and such a weapon was used in the commission of the burglary. She gave a partial registration number of the motorbike involved in the offence which was correct when compared with CCTV. This was left outside the address before the offences were committed and was abandoned at the scene. The applicant's DNA was recovered from a motorcycle helmet found inside the stolen vehicle. This evidence was interlinked, it was probative in linking the applicant to the aggravated burglary in which he had denied participation.
For these reasons we dismiss the application.
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