A more recent version of these Confessions And Illegally Or Improperly Obtained Evidence notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
CONFESSIONS AND ILLEGALLY / IMPROPERLY OBTAINED EVIDENCE DEFINITION OF CONFESSION
? any statement wholly or partly adverse (when made) to the person who made it, whether made to a person in authority or not and whether made in words of otherwise (s82(1) PACE)
? wholly adverse statement / admission o = admissible as evidence of truth of contents
? partly adverse / mixed statement o must contain a significant admission of fact on any issue i.e. capable of adding some degree of weight to pros case on an issue relevant to guilt
o whole statement admissible BUT judge should direct jury that exculpatory parts carry less weight
o admissible as truth of its contents if tendered by pros
? wholly exculpatory statements o if relevant, = admissible only as evidence of D's reaction when first taxed with incriminating facts (the longer since being taxed, the less weight) ADMISSIBILITY OF CONFESSIONS
? pros can adduce if relevant AND NOT excluded
? only evidence of facts known personally by maker Can co-D's confession be used against D?
? joint trial o if charged for joint offence AND case against D1 based solely on out of court confession, if jury sure of truth of D1's confession, can use findings based on confession (NOT confession itself) to assess D1's guilt / role to determine D2's guilt
? D1's confession incriminating D2 o general rule:evidence against D1 onlyBUT whole confession admissible even though incriminates D2
o exception where admissible against both:if confession made in presence of D2 AND D2 acknowledges incriminating parts so as to make them his own
Accusations in D's presence
? if someone accuses D of crime in his presence [?] evidence of truth of contents of accusation except in so far as D accepts statement to make it his own:
o can accept by words OR conduct o if D NOT cautioned, silence inadmissible unless D and person putting D1's confession to D2 on even terms with D2 (some protest / denial expected)
o can accept whole OR part of accusation
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