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Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission:- Referral under Section 194B of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) 1995 Act:- On 4 October 1973 the appellant was convicted of murder at Glasgow High Court following trial and sentenced to life imprisonment. An application for leave to appeal against conviction was subsequently refused. On 2 December 1993 the appellant's case was referred to the appeal court by the Secretary of State in the exercise of his power under section 263(1) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975, on the basis that a forensic report had not been disclosed to the appellant or his legal representatives. That reference resulted in an appeal, which was refused on 2 December 1994. The appellant thereafter made an application to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. In July 2001 the Commission decided to refer the appellant's case again to the appeal court under section 194B of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) 1995 Act. Here the court considered the fairness of statements made by the appellant to the police, in light of concerns by the police of the apellant being "a bit simple" and that the trial judge ought to have conducted a trial within a trial to determine the issue of fairness. The court also considered the "special knowledge" nature of certain statements made by the appellant. Further, the court considered the fairness of the appellant's visit to the locus in the company of police officers after the appellant had been cautioned and charged with murder. Here the court considered whether such statements or conduct was voluntarily. The court considered several criticisms of the trial judge's charge including inter alia that the trial judge did not give to the jury a direction on "mixed statements". A further ground of appeal was based on section 106(3)(b) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, that no reasonable jury, properly directed, could have convicted the appellant. A further ground of appeal was based on fresh evidence in relation to psychological evidence on the unreliability of the appellant's various police statements. Here the court considered the various grounds of appeal and whether a miscarriage of justice had occurred.

Court: Court Of Session (Appeal Court) (Scotland)

Full judgement here...

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