Recent Judicial Decisions

Published date01 January 1957
Date01 January 1957
Subject MatterArticle
men as being his attackers. The case put forward by the prosecution
was that there had been a gang fight. Lord Goddard, C.l., said that it
might be that there was what could be called a sort of
among razor-slashers, and that they preferred to settle their own
differences; but the courts had to decide whether or
the men
charged were guilty. He went on to say that if prosecuting counsel
had in his possession the statement it was his duty at once to show it
to the judge and to ask leave to cross-examine the witness as a hostile
At the trial the matter came out when a police officer, who was
cross-examined as to whether or
Mrs. Comer had named a certain
person as also taking part in the attack, answered:
it was Mr.
Comer who named that person."
at once indicated to the judge
that the witness had named his attackers, and the judge sent for the
statement and put questions to the witness that should have been
by prosecuting counsel. In the Court of Criminal Appeal, Lord
Goddard said that if the prosecution had in their possession evidence
in direct contradiction to that given by a witness which entitled them
to cross-examine, they should do so, and it was not right that that
should be left to the judge.
was the duty of the judge to see that
justice was done, and the judge had done quite rightly in this case.
Counsel for the applicants observed that there had been points in
parts of the witness's statements which were false to the knowledge
of the Police, and perhaps it was for that reason that prosecuting
counsel had not put the statement in.
Recent Judicial Decisions
R. v. Williams
The appellant to the Court
Criminal Appeal in R. v. Williams
(October 3rd, 1956) had throughout denied any complicity in the
offence of robbery with violence with which he was charged and at
the trial pleaded an alibi and called witnesses to support it. The jury
did not accept the alibi, and found the appellant guilty. On the appeal,
which was successful, the prosecution did not attempt to support the
The facts were that two company officials at St. Paul's Cray went to
a bank to collect £3,000 for wages. The money was placed in a bag and
the officials went back to their officeby car. When within 50 yards
the premises they were ambushed by a number of men in two cars
who stole the money. One of the officials, W, later attended an identi-

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