In a Sexual Offence Case a Jury wanted a reminder of aspects of the ABE evidence. This was properly done as required in Open Court and the Judge proceeded to repeat verbatim a significant part of the evidence.
It was argued that .... the reminder of the evidence in response to the jury's request was lengthy and unbalanced; that the judge should have reminded them of inconsistencies and differences revealed by the other evidence. Also, that the judge failed to include any warning to the jury not to place disproportionate weight on the passages he had reviewed just because that evidence had been repeated after all the other evidence. R v McQuiston  1 Cr App R 139 relied upon.
In that case the jury had asked for the ABE interviews to be replayed, but the judge declined to do so, instead reading out passages for them. The report indicates that the time spent reading passages from the interview transcripts, "represented about 70 per cent of the time and words used in the summing-up for the entirety of the evidence." The recitation only ended when the foreman indicated that they had heard enough, after which the judge invited the jury to retire once more.
Referring to the case of R v Rawlings &Broadbent  2 Cr App R 22, the court in McQuiston decided that there had been a material irregularity in that the judge had not given the jury any warning, nor had he reminded them of the complainant's cross-examination or re-examination or any relevant parts of the defendant's evidence. The judge, the court said, had gone too far and as a result the jury had retired with "anunbalanced state of affairs."
The Court reminded itself that Rawlings and Broadbent relied on by the court in McQuiston sets out three requirements for a repetition of interview evidence given in-chief:
(1) First, any replay should be in court with judge, counsel and defendant present.
(2) The judge should warn the jury not to give the complainant's evidence in-chief proportionate weight simply because it is repeated well after all the other evidence, and to bear in mind the other evidence in the case.
(3) After the replay of the video the judge should remind the jury of the complainant's cross-examination and re-examination from his notes.
However, the Court noted that whilst it was desirable to follow these principles the failure to do so did not automatically render a conviction unsafe:
16. It is obviously desirable that the Rawlings and Broadbent requirements should be observed in every case where the judge has been asked to and does re-read or even replay passages from the ABE interviews. It does not follow however, that in every case where there has been a failure to follow that process the conviction(s)will be unsafe.
In RvM(A)  EWCA Crim 1848, where the trial judge had replayed parts of the complainant's ABE interviews at the jury's request but failed to give a warning, the court concluded that in the circumstances of that case the convictions were nevertheless safe.
McCombeLJ, giving the judgment of the court, emphasised the need to have regard to the wider context. He said this at paragraph 28:
"One must bear in mind the context as a whole. It is accepted that this trial was conducted entirely fairly, and procedurally impeccably, by this learned judge. The evidence as a whole was summed-up fully and fairly by the judge, including a full resumé of the defence case."
The Court having assessed the evidence in the instant case equally concluded that the deficiencies were not such as to render the conviction unsafe on a balanced assessment.