Neutral Citation No:  NICA 1
Judgment: approved by the Court for handing down
(subject to editorial corrections)*
MORGAN, LCJ (delivering the judgment of the Court)
The issues in the appeal
"If an officer has any suspicion, or is told in good faith, that a person of any age may be … mentally vulnerable …, in the absence of clear evidence to dispel that suspicion, the person shall be treated as such for the purposes of this Code."
The notes to Code C provide that:
"mentally vulnerable" applies to any detainee who, because of their mental state or capacity, may not understand the significance of what was said, of questions or of their replies.
The judge's conclusion
"74. - (1) In any criminal proceedings a confession made by an accused person may be given in evidence against him in so far as it is relevant to any matter in issue in the proceedings and is not excluded by the court in pursuance of this Article.
(2) If, in any criminal proceedings where the prosecution proposes to give in evidence a confession made by an accused person, it is represented to the court that the confession was or may have been obtained-
(a) by oppression of the person who made it; or
(b) in consequence of anything said or done which was likely, in the circumstances existing at the time, to render unreliable any confession which might be made by him in consequence thereof,
the court shall not allow the confession to be given in evidence against him except in so far as the prosecution proves to the court beyond reasonable doubt that the confession (notwithstanding that it may be true) was not obtained as aforesaid."