A more recent version of these The Trial notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Procedure and Evidence Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Supervision 3 - The Trial Indictments
? CrimPR Pt10.2(3): "Charges for any offences may be joined in the same indictment if those charges are founded on the same facts, or form or are part of a series of offences of the same or a similar character." (Indictments Act 1915, s.4). o Charges founded on the same facts:
? Is one a 'but for' cause of the other? (Barrell and Wilson). o Charges of the same or a similar character:
? Ludlow advocated nexus arising in both fact and law.
? But now either in law or fact enough (Marsh).
? Mutually contradictory counts can exist on same indictment (Bellman).
? Judge may sever the indictment if the accused may be 'prejudiced or embarrassed in his defence' (IA, s.5(3)). o Invalidly joined counts cannot be severed (Newland). What are the options?
? Quash and restart (Follett).
? Amend the indictment and proceed with singular charge. o Child sex offences often severed (D), but not necessarily (Christou).
? Subject to not causing injustice, indictment can be amended (IA s.5(1)). o Unjust if D changes causal basis of their argument (O'Connor
- murder -> manslaughter).
? Contrast with Love, where indictment changed after D pleaded guilty but knew all along that he had burgled a dwelling. o Alternative counts can be added to the indictment, but in Johal and Collison this was only to solve technical problems.
? Prosecutors should not include more charges than necessary to induce guilty plea. o Conviction will not be unsafe unless the wrongful joinder prejudiced D (McGrath).
? A count may charge two or more defendants committing a single offence (or different offences). Jury needs to be properly directed (Merriman). o Judge has discretion to order separate trials. o But single trials reduce risk of different verdicts being returned by juries on virtually identical evidence (Merriman). o Does not matter if both Ds going to give evidence implicating eachother (Grondkowski). o Ds can be tried in same indictment if incidents are related by time or other factors (Assim). o Thornton argues that more weight should be given to defendants.
? Prosecution should not be allowed to benefit from 'cutthroat' defences.
? Motions to quash the indictment not very effective.
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