QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF "H"||(CLAIMANT)|
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(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
HUGH DAVIES (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service) appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
Crown Copyright ©
"Upon the evidence we found the following facts:
"(a)An assault did take place upon AS.
"(b)H [that is the appellant] was well known to AS. AS had known H for 18 months.
"(c)AS correctly identified her assailants. She was specific about her injuries and what had happened to her, we found her to be a credible witness.
"(d)H's evidence was imprecise and consisted only of denials. She was evasive and we did not find her to be a credible witness.
"(e)The incident lasted 7 minutes and AS could describe the conversation.
"(f)Both girls knew the same people - they were mentioned by name and in context."
"We were of the opinion: that on the submission of no case to answer that identification evidence should not be excluded under S78 PACE 1984. We were satisfied that H and AS knew each other. Having regard to AS's evidence she had known H for 18 months.
"AS was able to describe the conversation between the girls.
"At the time the decision was made about whether an identity parade should be held there were two additional witnesses who also knew H. PC Berry [that is the officer carrying out the investigation] did not have the benefit of hindsight and was therefore justified in not holding an identification parade taking into account the information known to him at the time.
"An identity parade would have been futile because AS knew H. We considered that there was sufficient evidence for there to be a case to answer.
"We were satisfied that for the findings of fact previously found the prosecution had proved the charge beyond reasonable doubt and therefore found H guilty."
"(1) Were the Justices correct in refusing to exercise their discretion to exclude, under Section 78 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, identification evidence in circumstances where the identification was by purported recognition of the defendant and was disputed and no identification parade or other identification procedures had been held as required by paragraph 2.3 of Code D, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Codes of Practice?
"(2) Can a finding of guilt for an offence of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm under Section 47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861 be made on the basis of identification evidence of the aggrieved alone in circumstances where the identification is established by the purported recognition of the defendant at the scene of the assault and is not supported by any other identification evidence?"
"(1) Code D is intended to be an intensely practical document, giving police officers clear instructions on the approach that they should follow in specified circumstances. It is not old-fashioned literalism but sound interpretation to read the Code as meaning what it says.
"(2) Paragraph 2.3 was revised in 1995 to provide that an identification parade shall be held (if the suspect consents, and unless the exceptions apply) whenever a suspect disputes an identification. This imposes a mandatory obligation on the police. There is no warrant for reading additional conditions into this simple text ...
"(4) We cannot accept that the mandatory obligation to hold an identification parade under paragraph 2.3 does not apply if there has previously been a 'fully satisfactory' or 'actual and complete' or 'unequivocal' identification of the suspect by the relevant witness. Such an approach in our opinion subverts the clear intention of the code. First, it replaces an apparently hard-edged mandatory obligation by an obviously difficult judgmental decision. Such decisions are bound to lead to challenges in the courts and resulting appeals. Second, it entrusts that decision to a police officer whose primary concern will (perfectly properly) be to promote the investigation and prosecution of crime rather than to protect the interests of the suspect. An identification parade, if held, may of course strengthen the prosecution, but it may also protect the suspect against the risk of mistaken identification, and a suspect should not save in circumstances which are specified or exceptional be denied his prima facie right to such protection on the decision of a police officer."
"If a case is of pure recognition of someone well known to the eyewitness, it may again be futile to hold an identification parade."
"I have known ... H for approximately 18 months ... "