R v Shaid – Non Defendant Bad Character and a shifting defence

Where the Defence wanted to adduce evidence of the deceased bad character over threats to use a gun the Court declined to admit this evidence and concluded the trial Judge had made the right decision . It is worth noting the Courts comment over the effect of a shifting defence .

Held: upon analysis the Court struggled to see what the conviction for the public order offence would add to the picture already before the jury, it went to the deceased’s readiness to threaten, not his access to firearms. Some judges may have admitted the evidence, but the trial judge was entitled to exercise his judgment in drawing a line. There was less justification for admitting unproven accounts from the deceased’s mother which, again, were threats. They were not persuaded the judge was in error.

As to the safety of the conviction, there was overwhelming evidence against the appellant whose account changed from not being present, to being present but not involved, to admitting the shooting but alleging accident or self-defence. Such changes destroy credibility, the prosecution was justified in categorising his account as “palpable nonsense.” The appeal was dismissed.

Categories: Caselaw

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