R v Stephenson (Thomas Edward)

JurisdictionNorthern Ireland
Judgment Date01 January 1947
Date01 January 1947
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal (Northern Ireland)
(C.C.A., N.I.),
Thomas Edward Stephenson

Dying declaration - Admissibility -Declaration procured by interrogation of deceased - Evidence of accomplices -Corroboration - Direction to jury.

The accused was convicted of the manslaughter of a girl by using an instrument to procure an abortion which resulted in the girl's death. A written statement signed by the deceased girl was admitted in evidence at the trial as a dying declaration although it appeared that the statement had been obtained by an interrogation of the deceased by a police inspector. Evidence for the prosecution was also given by C. who had knowingly taken the girl to the accused's premises in order to procure an abortion. For the accused it was contended that the dying declaration was wrongly admitted; that the dying declaration and the evidence of C. were the testimony of accomplices, and that the jury had not been properly directed on the danger of acting on such testimony without corroboration; and that the trial judge had failed to give the jury sufficient guidance as to the nature of a dying declaration and the considerations bearing upon the weight to be attached to such declarations. Held, (i) that a statement otherwise admissible as a dying declaration is not rendered inadmissible on the ground that it is obtained by questions put to the deceased, though that fact may affect the weight to be attached to such a declaration. Rex v. FitzpatrickDLTR (1910) 46 I.L.T.R. 173 followed. (ii) that a warning to the jury of the danger of acting on...

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4 cases
  • R v Gotts
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 20 February 1992
    ...traditional view that one who causes death when committing a felony (I exclude manslaughter) is guilty of murder. In R. v. Stephenson [1947] N.I. 110 the accused was charged with the murder of a woman on whom he performed an abortion but, on the verdict of the jury, was convicted of manslau......
  • DPP v Jason Murphy
    • Ireland
    • Court of Criminal Appeal
    • 18 January 2013
    ...(DPP) v GILLIGAN UNREP CCA 8.8.2003 2003/16/3514 PEOPLE (DPP) v GILLIGAN 2006 1 IR 107 PEOPLE (DPP) v K (M) 2005 3 IR 423 R v STEPHENSON 1947 NI 110 R v VALLANCE 1955 NZLR 811 R v B (KG) 1993 1 SCR 740 CRIMINAL LAW Sentence Rape - Indecent assault - Conviction - Sentencing principles - Pro......
  • DPP v L (M)
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 27 April 2015
    ...it falls solely to them to determine whether or not any particular piece of evidence in fact amounts to corroboration (R v. Stephenson [1947] N.I. 110; R. v. Vallance [1955] N.Z.L.R. 811). 65 75. Furthermore and a matter of some importance is that the judge must alert the jury, where appro......
  • R. v. Gotts, (1992) 144 N.R. 367 (HL)
    • Canada
    • 20 February 1992
    ...and Taylor, [1971] 2 Q.B. 202, refd to. [para. 34]. R. v. Hurley and Murray, [1967] V.R. 526, refd to. [para. 48]. R. v. Stephenson, [1947] N.I. 110, refd to. [para. Statutes Noticed: Criminal Justice Act 1925, sect. 47 [paras. 11-15, 60]. Authors and Works Noticed: Blackstone, Commentaries......

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