LAA321 Criminal Evidence
Answer two of the three questions below
1.Choose an aspect of the current law on spousal compellability for the prosecution that you would reform. Explain why and how you would change this aspect of the law, referring to relevant primary and secondary sources in the discussion.
2.Fourteen year old Abi, who has learning difficulties, lives with her mother, Cerys, step-father, Dean, and seventeen year old sister, Eva. Cerys’ job requires her to travel a lot and she only lives at home one week in every month.
Dean allegedly abused Abi for years and he is charged with several counts of sexual offences. His friend, Kai, is charged with an offence of rape in relation to Eva.
a)The prosecution has discovered the following evidence:
i.Abi told her friend, Misha, from the teen club, “Yesterday, my step-dad came into my room. He does it every time my mum’s away.” Misha could tell that something was very wrong, and said, “And he raped you?” Abi said yes, and told Misha in detail what had happened.
ii.Four months later, Nadiya and Poppy, leaders at the teen club, questioned Abi because Nadiya thought she recognised some worrying signs in Abi’s behaviour. Nadiya told Abi, ‘If someone’s hurting you, you should tell us. Get it over with, then we’ll take you for pizza and we’ll buy you something nice.’ Abi seemed reluctant to talk. Poppy said, ‘Abi, you don’t have to tell us anything. We’ll still take you for pizza and shopping, if you like.’ Abi then made detailed allegations that Dean had been abusing her.
Advise the prosecution whether the above evidence is admissible.
b)The police took a statement from Cerys when Dean was arrested. She told them that she had sometimes worried about Dean’s demeanour around Abi and that she had even considered that he might be abusing her, but that she had in the end dismissed the idea as absurd.
At trial, during examination-in-chief by counsel for the prosecution, Cerys says that Abi has made up the allegations against Dean. She asserts that Dean has been a good father to Abi and that she has never worried about him being Abi’s carer while she’s away with work.
Kai’s wife, Ruby, gave a statement to the police. In that statement, she said that her marriage was not in a good state. She also referred to entries that she made in her diary about suspicions she had that Kai was sexually interested in Eva.
Ruby refuses to testify against Kai.
Advise the prosecution.
3.Consider whether s 41(3)(c) of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 should be repealed.