Court Martial Convictions Quashed by Court of Appeal

04.10.12 | |

Unlike a jury, the basis on which a Court Martial Board reaches its verdict can become known to the defence during the sentencing process. David Rhodes, representing Trooper Danny Mulgrew, argued that the factual basis of the verdict was perverse and unsafe in the absence of a direction on self-defence. The Board's finding had effectively exonerated Mulgrew. They had found that he acted in self-defence but convicted because the way in which the Crown argued the case meant that they could not convict the co-defendant without convicting Mulgrew. The Court of Appeal (Court Martial Appeal Court) criticised the Crown for the inflexible way in which it nailed its colours to the evidence of a discredited witness in spite of forensic scientific evidence to the contrary and which led the Crown to argue that a direction on self-defence was unnecessary. The Court of Appeal quashed the convictions because of the lack of a direction on self-defence. There will not be a retrial.

 

To view the judgment in full please click here.

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