This was a leave to appeal case but builds upon the interesting issues relating to criminal exploitation and the case of DPP v M recently reported in this blog.
It was taken as read that the Court could receive evidence from the competent authority but whilst the material was information which the Court was entitled to weigh in the balance.
But this was a case in which there was a clearly inconsistent account between that advanced at first instance and now on appeal. The Court had made clear that an inconsistent account would invariably be fatal to the prospects of an appeal. It was noted that:
35. A number of cases have considered the limited circumstances in which an appeal will be allowed to enable a defendant to advance a case based upon a different version of events to that advanced at the original trial. The principle was forcefully stated by Lord Bingham CJ giving the judgment of this Court in Campbell  1 Cr App R 199 at 2004:
“This Court has repeatedly underlined the need for defendants in criminal trials to advance their full defence before the jury and call any necessary evidence at that stage. It is not permissible to advance one defence before the jury and, when that has failed, to devise a new defence, perhaps many years later, and then seek to raise that defence on appeal”.
36. It is only in the most exceptional cases that the defendant will be permitted to advance a completely different account or defence to that put forward at the original trial on an appeal against conviction. This is demonstrated by the cases upon which the applicant relied. In Solomon  EWCA Crim 2633, the fresh evidence was a video recording showing that the appellant was completely innocent of the offences of which he had been convicted at the original trial. In Blackman  EWCA Crim 190, the fresh evidence demonstrated that the appellant had an undiagnosed adjustment disorder and that the defence of diminished responsibility was made out.
The Court went on in refusing permission to emphasise the exceptional nature of the change of defence for the Court to consider allowing it such as in Boal.
45. As we have said, it is accepted on behalf of the applicant that it is only in the most exceptional case that this Court will countenance an appeal based on an account which is different from the account which the applicant put forward at trial. Although it is not possible to be prescriptive as to what will constitute “exceptional circumstances", since that is an issue which is fact specific, it seems to us that where there is a change of account, the Court will not allow an application for leave to appeal where there has been a change of account unless the account now put forward is credible and demonstrates a defence which would quite probably have succeeded. One aspect of whether the new account is credible is whether there is a cogent and convincing explanation for the change of account. The requirement that the new account gives rise to a defence which would quite probably have succeeded if advanced at trial is clear from what was said by this Court in R v Boal  QB 591cited in R v A  EWCA Crim 1611 at :
“This decision must not be taken as a licence to appeal by anyone who discovers that following conviction (still less where there has been a plea of guilty) some possible line of defence has been overlooked. Only most exceptionally will this court be prepared to intervene in such a situation. Only, in short, where it believes the defence would quite probably have succeeded and concludes, therefore, that a clear injustice has been done. That is this case. It will not happen often.”