Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED January 27, 2003

The appellant had no sound basis for giving a no comment interview and therefore the judge had not breached his rights under Art.6 European Convention on Human Rights by leaving the jury to decide whether to form adverse inferences from his silence.Appeal against conviction on a reference by the Criminal Cases Review commission following a trial at Swansea Crown Court on 28 July 1998 before HH Judge Stephens QC where the appellant was convicted of wounding with intent and sentenced to six years' imprisonment. At his police interview he remained silent and inferences were drawn at trial. The Commission contended that the appellants right to a fair trial under Art.6 European Convention on Human Rights was violated because: (i) the judge withdrew from the jury whether the appellant gave a no comment interview because of legal advice or because of a less innocent reason; and (ii) his solicitor was not called as a defence witness to explain why he advised the appellant to give a no comment interview.HELD: There was no soundly based objective reason for the appellant's silence (Condron [2000] Crim LR 679 applied). The jury had been entitled to draw adverse inferences from the no comment interview.Appeal dismissed.

[2003] EWCA Crim 01