THE PURPOSE of the procedure under section 4A Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964, by which a jury decided whether a defendant who had been found unfit to stand trial had done the acts alleged against him, was not a procedure to determine a criminal charge against that defendant, and was not, therefore, incompatible with article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The House of Lords dismissed the defendant's appeal against a finding under section 4A of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 that he had done the acts alleged against him.
The defendant was charged with two offences of indecent assault against a girl aged 14. He was aged 13 at the time of the offences. He was examined by psychiatrists before his trial, and they were agreed that he was unfit to stand trial.
A jury empanelled to decide whether the defendant was fit to stand trial pursuant to section 4 of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 found that he was under a disability and therefore unfit. A second jury empanelled pursuant to section 4A of the Act found that he had done the acts alleged against him in each count in the indictment. The defendant was subsequently absolutely discharged on both counts pursuant to section 4A (2) (iii) of the Act, and his father was directed to cause him to be registered as a sex offender.
The defendant appealed against the second jury's finding, arguing that the procedure under section 4A was incompatible with article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. His appeal was dismissed, and the defendant appealed against that decision.
He argued that the procedure under section 4A was to all intents and purposes a procedure to determine a criminal …