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To persuade a witness to alter evidence already given is an offence: see Rex v. Once an accused has by threat, bribe, etc., attempted to persuade a witness, the offence is complete. (2) That the learned Lord Chief Justice erred in directing that the truth or falsity of the intended evidence of the witnesses was not a material issue.

For the proposition that pressure can be put on a litigant or witness to drop an action: see Webster v. The jury heard counsel’s speeches and the summing up of Lord Widgery C. Keys not to give the evidence which he had mentioned in his statement to Mr. Are you satisfied beyond any reasonable doubt and so that you are sure that in writing this letter Mr. But they were all concerned with the manufacture of false evidence or the withdrawal of a true complaint. or who advise a prisoner to stand mute upon his arraignment etc….” Blackstone’s Commentaries, 15th ed. To dissuade or prevent witnesses from giving evidence, or to prevent a witness from attending the trial, or to prepare witnesses to suppress truth…” Compare Archbold Criminal Pleading Evidence & Practice, 38th ed. Pressure which may be permissible at one stage of the particular proceedings may be improper at another. 480 is authority for the proposition that preliminary statements to a solicitor and to a party are equally privileged and that therefore the defendant may have had no legal right to sue the two witnesses in this case for defamatory remarks either in their statements to Mr. But no such point was taken at the trial and we find it unnecessary to decide it now.

The offence of attempting to pervert the course of justice would not necessarily be committed by a person who tried to persuade a false witness, or even a witness believed to be false, to speak the truth or to refrain from giving false evidence, but, however proper the end, the means must not be improper (post, p. J.) the defendant, Alan Rex Kellett, was charged on two counts of an indictment with unlawfully attempting to pervert the course of justice by attempting to dissuade George Keys and Deirdre Susan Glanville from giving evidence in the then impending divorce suit between Margaret Kellett and himself, in accordance with statements which they had made to an inquiry agent. J.’s opinion of it and regarded him as having ruled it out of their consideration, we consider it no more than a make-weight in support of the defence that the defendant genuinely intended to sue for slander, whether the statements were withdrawn or not.

On June 20, 1974, at Plymouth Crown Court (Lord Widgery C. Assuming that the jury appreciated the point and Lord Widgery C.

The defendant was charged on two counts of an indictment with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The judge directed the jury that the defendant was guilty if he was threatening to bring a slander action against his neighbours with the intention of causing them not to give evidence in the divorce proceedings.

If you are satisfied so that you are sure that this threat of a slander action was an empty threat, and Kellett never intended to bring a slander action at all, and was merely using the threat of it as a lever to persuade Keys not to give evidence, if you are satisfied that is right, then you ought to convict this man on these two charges.

If you are satisfied so that you are sure that this threat of a slander action was an empty threat which Kellett never really intended to follow through, and put it up with the sole purpose of persuading Keys not to give evidence, then this charge is made out and he shall be convicted.

I telephoned him that evening, saying so, but Keys replied by saying ‘you go and do what you like.’ I do propose to proceed in suing Keys and his daughter, but I have a disinclination to engage in so much non-constructive action, and find that my impending divorce is more than sufficient to deal with at the moment.” In July 1973 Mr. He did not say then that it was a submission that there was no case to answer, but in answer to Lord Widgery C. he said that the jury might remain; and in consequence they heard an argument on the law which ended in a submission, based particularly on Webster v. 300, that the prosecution had not made out a prima facie case of an intention to pervert the course of justice. Accordingly, it seems to me that there is a case to answer and the matter will proceed.” Counsel for the defendant then called no evidence. Keys and whether, secondly, he is doing that with the intention of causing Mr. Those cases show also that tampering with evidence, inducing a person to give false evidence, or not to give evidence, for reward are instances of this common law offence, whether the evidence is to be given in criminal or in civil proceedings and whether the inducement is effective or, as in this case, not. 15, dealing with “Contempts against the King’s Courts ” the author states: “Also all who endeavour to stifle the truth, and prevent the due execution of justice are highly punishable; as those who being examined before the Privy Council concerning their knowledge of a crime whereof a third person is accused, disclose what passed in such examination; and also those who dissuade, or but endeavour to dissuade a witness from giving evidence against a person indicted etc. is that of intimidation or other improper demeanor practised towards the parties and witnesses in a court of justice”: see Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1st ed. The following conspiracies have been held criminal:… 4066, on “Conspiracy to prevent, obstruct, pervert, or defeat the course of public justice,” words which are taken from section 29 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1851 (repealed by the Criminal Justice Act 1948) making that conspiracy punishable by imprisonment with hard labour. (1969), dealing with this mis demeanour of interfering with witnesses has been dropped from the current 38th edition, where such interference now comes to be treated as a contempt in paragraph 3463. It was submitted that the answer to this question, favourable to the defendant, was to be found in the decision of Neville J. assert what you allege to be your legal rights in that way, I on my part shall give effect to the legal rights I possess and resume possession of my cottage.” If it had been a weekly tenancy, it could have been determined before the action in respect of the property could be tried. The decision will depend on all the circumstances of the case, including not merely the method of interfering, but the time when it is done, the relationship between the person interfering and the witness and the nature of the proceedings in which the evidence is being given. It may be that the defendant had enough knowledge of the law to believe that his right to sue them was at least doubtful and it may be that he had no chance of suing them successfully.


 
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