Statement was correctly admitted into evidence despite breach of 'Judges’ Rules'

Hannah Godfrey BL, 10 February 2019 (© Decisis)

February 10, 2020

Director of Public Prosecutions v Khalael [2020] IEHC 33 

 

Judgment of Simons J delivered 31 January 2020:

High Court answers questions stated by the District Court in the affirmative, holding that: (a) in the particular circumstances of the case, and despite the unexplained breach in the Judges’ Rules, the court was correct to exercise its discretion to admit the statement in question into evidence; and (b) even were this not to be the case, in the absence of the admitted statement there was still a case for the accused to answer.

Case stated from the District Court - Judges' Rules - non-statutory statement of principles providing guidance as to the taking of statements from suspects - includes rule that statement should, whenever possible, be taken down in writing and signed by the person making it, after it has been read to him and he has been invited to make any corrections he may wish - statement in this case made by side of road following an incident where car collided with several stationary vehicles - accused said to have admitted to being driver of the case - statement written down by Garda but not signed by accused - whether District Court properly exercised its discretion to admit the statement into evidence - whether, if the statement was in fact inadmissible, there was still a case for the accused to answer.

 

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Key Cases Cited:

People (DPP) v Ebbs [2011] IECCA 5; [2011] 1 IR 778

People (DPP) v Farrell [1978] IR 13

People (DPP) v O’Reilly [2009] IECCA 18

People (DPP) v Towson [1978] ILRM 122 (at 126/7)

R v Galbraith [1981] 1 WLR 1039

R v Mills & Lemon [1947] KB 297

The People (Attorney General) v Keane (1975) 110 ILTR 1

The People v Farrell [1978] IR 13 at p 21