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The Trial Notes

Law Notes > Criminal Procedure and Evidence Notes

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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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