LAW REPORT: 7 April 1995 PC allowed to interpret video for jury

Regina v Clare and another. Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)(Lord Taylor of Gosforth, Lord Chief Justice, Mr Justice Owen and Judge Sir Lawrence Verney, Recorder of London).

Regina v Clare and another. Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)(Lord Taylor of Gosforth, Lord Chief Justice, Mr Justice Owen and Judge Sir Lawrence Verney, Recorder of London).

6 April 1995.

A police officer, who had closely studied a video recording of a brief and confused incident of violent disorder involving football supporters and had compared it with other photographs and film of the supporters, is permitted to give evidence to assist the jury viewing the video as to what was happening and to identify the individuals on the video recording.

The Court of Appeal dismissed appeals by the appellants against convictions of violent disorder.

After a football match between Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion where the supporters were filmed and photographed as they arrived at the stadium, the appellants and others, all West Bromwich supporters, went near two public houses frequented by Bolton supporters. A fracas flared up and was recorded by video cameras permanently fixed to the buildings.

The recording of the brief incident showed a confused scene with many supporters and other members of the public. It was less clear than the recordings at the match. A police constable studied the black and white video film closely and analytically, together with colour film and photographs of supporters at the match. He viewed the recording of the incident 40 times and examined it in slow motion, frame by frame, rewinding and playing frequently.

The Crown, relying on the video recording, alleged that the appellant Peach raised his arms signalling an advance and threw a missile and Clare kicked out at a Bolton fan and also waved West Bromwich fans forward.

At the trial, the constable was allowed to give evidence as the video recording was played to the jury to indicate where acts of violence were taking place and to identify those committing the violent acts as persons, including the appellants, who were clearly shown on the colour film and still photographs. The appellants' case was that the identifications were mistaken.

They appealed against conviction on the ground that the jury should have seen the video without assistance from the constable as to the identity of those involved as he did not know the appellants and could not be regarded as an expert witness.

Roger JB Green (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellants; Nicholas Simmonds (CPS) for the Crown.

LORD TAYLOR CJ, giving the court's judgment, said that it was conceded that it was legitimate for the officer to point out to the jury whereabouts on the frame they should look for specific acts relied upon and if a witness knew a person it would be permissible to identify that person from a video.

The police constable had special knowledge that the court did not possess. He had acquired the knowledge by lengthy and studious application to material which was itself admissible evidence. To afford the jury the time and facilities to conduct the same research would be utterly impracticable.

Therefore, it was legitimate to allow the officer to assist the jury by pointing to what he asserted was happening in the crowded scenes on the film. He was open to cross-examination and the jury, after proper direction and warnings, were free either to accept or reject his assertions.

Although the constable did not know either appellant, he had taken high- quality colour film and photographs of the supporters at the stadium. There was no issue that the appellants were clearly shown on the colour film and photographs. By repeated study of those likenesses, the constable was well qualified to say he knew what A looked like and could identify him on the black-and-white video film.

As technology developed, evidential practice would need to be evolved to accommodate it. While the courts must be vigilant to ensure no unfairness resulted, they would not block steps which enabled the jury to gain full assistance from the technology. The appeals failed.

Ying Hui Tan, Barrister

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz