A DEFENDANT whose case had been referred to the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division by the Criminal Cases Review Commission was permitted by section 14(5) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 to put forward any ground of appeal which arose from the original trial, whether or not it was a basis on which the CCRC had referred the matter to the court.
The Court of Appeal gave directions in a reference made by the Criminal Cases Review Commission in the case of Wallace Duncan Smith.
The defendant was convicted in 1994 of fraudulent trading and obtaining property by deception. His appeal against conviction was dismissed in 1995. The defendant subsequently complained to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which referred his case to the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division on two grounds.
At a directions hearing, the defendant indicated that he wished to pursue two further grounds. One of those grounds had been specifically rejected by the CCRC, and the other had not been before the CCRC at all. The defendant contended that it was open to him to take any ground of appeal that arose from the original trial, whether or not it was a basis on which the reference had been made. The defendant relied on section 14(5) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1995, which provided:
Where a reference . . . is treated as an appeal against conviction the appeal may be on any ground relating to the conviction whether or not
the ground is related to any reason given by the Commission for making the reference.
The Crown submitted that section 14(5) was permissive in the sense that it gave the court permission to consider any ground relating to the conviction, but that it did not mean that the defendant was entitled to have his ground pursued at the substantive hearing. …