The following Corporate Crime Q&A produced in partnership with Jessica Maguire of Corker Binning provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The main issues raised in the appeal of R v Baxter concerned digital devices and evidence available from witnesses. The appeal raised four issues of principle that frequently arise in ongoing police investigations in relation to the mobile device of a witness.
There is no obligation on the prosecution to automatically obtain a witness’s phone. To request the phone, there must be reasonable grounds to believe it may contain material relevant to the investigation or the likely issues at trial. This will be case specific and will depend on the facts, the issues and any potential defence.
The duty of the prosecutor is to disclose any material which might be reasonably be considered capable of undermining the prosecution’s case or assisting the defence case. This duty is imposed by section 3 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996. This duty is ongoing.
Within the ‘Guide to reasonable lines of enquiry and communication evidence’ produced by the Director of Public Prosecutions in July 2018, it was stressed that mobile phones or other devices should not be obtained as a matter of routine from witnesses. In cases such as historical allegations or sexual offences committe
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