Law Report: Defendant was never in jeopardy - Regina v Dabhade. Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) (Lord Justice Stuart-Smith, Mr Justice Leonard and Mr Justice Wright), 29 July 1992

A defendant could not rely on the principle of autrefois acquit in respect of a charge which had been formally dismissed, and replaced with another more appropriate charge, as part of a reorganisation of the prosecution case, because in such circumstances he was never in jeopardy of conviction on the original charge.

The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) dismissed an appeal by the defendant against his conviction, in May 1991 at Middlesex Guidhall Crown Court, for theft.

Stuart Trimmer (assigned by Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Roger Turner (CPS) for the Crown.

MR JUSTICE WRIGHT, reading the judgment of the court, said the appellant was initially charged, under section 15(1) of the Theft Act 1968, that he dishonestly obtained pounds 6,000 cash by falsely representing himself as the payee on a cheque. He appeared before a stipendiary magistrate, elected summary trial and pleaded not guilty. The case was adjourned.

At the adjourned hearing, a further charge was preferred, namely theft of the pounds 6,000, contrary to section 1. The magistrate declined jurisdiction and, dealing with the matter as an examining justice, committed the appellant to the Crown Court for trial. On the same day, the prosecution offered no evidence on the first charge, which was dismissed.

At the Crown Court, defence counsel argued that the Crown ought not to proceed on the indictment because the appellant had been lawfully acquitted of the offences therein.

That contention was rejected and the trial continued to the appellant's conviction.

He now contended that the judge's rejection of his plea in bar was wrong in law: the two charges were substantially the same, and the dismissal of the first had the same effect as an acquittal.

In their Lordships' judgment, the following principles applied:

(1) For the autrefois principle to apply, the defendant must have been put in jeopardy. He must show that the earlier proceedings relied upon had been commenced, either by plea in summary proceedings or by his being put in the charge of the jury in a trial on indictment.

(2) If, thereafter, a charge or count was dismissed, albeit without a hearing on the merits (if, for example, the prosecution was unable to proceed), it was well established that the prosecution might not later institute fresh proceedings on the same or an essentially similar charge or count.

(3) If the charge or count was summarily dismissed because it was apparent to the prosecution that it was defective, either in law (for example, for duplicity) or because there was insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction, then it could not be properly said that the defendant had ever been in jeopardy of conviction.

(4) If the context in which a charge was summarily dismissed was a rationalisation of the prosecution case, involving the substitution for one charge of another, regarded as more appropriate to the facts, then the consensual dismissal of the original charge would not give rise to the application of the doctrine of autrefois acquit.

To hold otherwise would be contrary to common sense.

In this case, the first charge was so fundamentally incorrectly framed that the appellant had in no real sense ever been in jeopardy of being properly convicted upon it.

News
people
News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile Developer (.NET / C# / Jason / Jquery / SOA)

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes