R v Wood

R v Wood

(1982) 76 Cr App Rep 23

 

Court: CA

Judgment Date: circa 1982

Catchwords & Digest

 

CRIMINAL LAW, EVIDENCE AND PROCEDURE – EVIDENCE – METHOD OF PROOF – DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE – DOCUMENTS AND TAPE RECORDINGS – CALCULATIONS BY COMPUTER

After the theft of certain metals, metals of the same type were found in the defendant’s possession. In order to establish whether they were part of the stolen metals, chemists subjected them to elaborate analysis of which certain complicated calculations were a necessary part. These were carried out by means of a computer. On the basis of that analysis the metals in the defendant’s possession were found to be part of the stolen metals, and he was convicted of handling stolen goods. He appealed, contending that the computer results were inadmissible as being hearsay evidence: Held mere use of equipment in the course of investigation did not mean that the evidence so obtained was hearsay. In using the computer as a calculator, the chemists had only used it as a tool, and it had not contributed any knowledge of its own. Accordingly, the computer results were not hearsay; and the appeal would fail.

 

CRIMINAL LAW, EVIDENCE AND PROCEDURE – EVIDENCE – METHOD OF PROOF – HEARSAY: EXCEPTIONS – BUSINESS ETC DOCUMENTS – CALCULATIONS BY COMPUTER

After the theft of certain metals, metals of the same type were found in the defendant’s possession. In order to establish whether they were part of the stolen metals, chemists subjected them to elaborate analysis of which certain complicated calculations were a necessary part. These were carried out by means of a computer. On the basis of that analysis the metals in the defendant’s possession were found to be part of the stolen metals, and he was convicted of handling stolen goods. He appealed, contending that the computer results were inadmissible as being hearsay evidence: Held mere use of equipment in the course of investigation did not mean that the evidence so obtained was hearsay. In using the computer as a calculator, the chemists had only used it as a tool, and it had not contributed any knowledge of its own. Accordingly, the computer results were not hearsay and the appeal would fail.

 

Cases referring to this case

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Treatment Case Name Citations Court Date CaseSearch
Applied R v Skinner [2005] EWCA Crim 1439,  [2006] Crim LR 56,  [2005] All ER (D) 324 (May) CACrimD 20/05/2005 CaseSearch Entry
Followed The People (at the suit of the DPP) v Murphy [2005] IECCA 1,  [2005] 2 IR 125 IrCCA 21/01/2005 CaseSearch Entry
dictum Lord Lane CJ Applied Castle v Cross [1985] 1 All ER 87,  [1984] 1 WLR 1372,  [1985] RTR 62,  [1984] Crim LR 682,  128 Sol Jo 855 QBD 17/07/1984 CaseSearch Entry

 

Document information

 

Court

Court of Appeal

Judgment date

circa 1982

 

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