Court of Appeal: Confession evidence and the circumstances requiring a voir dire

T. Cotton

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The appellant was convicted of seven counts of theft. She was a pharmacist and manager of a shop. It was alleged that she had stolen money from the shop by failing to put sales transactions through the shop till, and then keeping the money for herself. There was material evidence of this produced by an independent investigator who had undertaken purchases from the shop on two occasions. Later inspection of the till roll did not show these transactions although, in her defence statement and later at trial, the appellant stated that she was following instructions from her employer to forward the money from those transactions to him. The second piece of evidence relied on by the Crown was an alleged confession made by the appellant to two independent investigators during an interview carried out by them when investigating the alleged offences. The transcript of the interview, written by one of them, included the standard 'police' caution, which was countersigned by the appellant. The interview record shows the appellant saying that she felt justified in taking the money as she had not had a pay rise, and she was desperate for the cash. The appellant signed every page of the handwritten record of the interview, and she also produced an envelope containing some money she said she had taken from the till and which was kept in the shop. The jury found the appellant guilty by a majority verdict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-404
JournalThe Journal of Criminal Law
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


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