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 Michael Bishop

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Number of posts : 399
Location : Glasgow
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Michael Bishop   Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:55 pm

Michael Bishop
Date Referred to Court:
13 March 2003
Offence:
Indecent Assault; contravention of section 10 of the Video Recordings Act 1984
Date of Conviction:
11 January 2000
Appeal Outcome:
unsuccessful
Date of Appeal Outcome:
11 March 2005
Judgment:
http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2005HCJAC40.html

APPEAL COURT, HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY

Lord Justice General

Lord Macfadyen

Lord Carloway

[2005HCJAC40]

Appeal No: XJ531/03

OPINION OF THE COURT

delivered by LORD CARLOWAY

in

REFERRAL

by

SCOTTISH CRIMINAL CASES REVIEW COMMISSION PROCEEDING BY WAY OF BILL OF SUSPENSION

in the cause

MICHAEL BISHOP

Appellant;

against

PROCURATOR FISCAL, Tain

Respondent:

_______





Appellant: M. Meehan, Advocate; Drummond Miller

Respondent: Di Rollo, Q.C., A.D.; Crown Agent

11 March 2005

The Stated Case

[1] On 11 January 2000, the appellant was convicted by the Sheriff of Grampian, Highland and Islands at Tain of a charge which libelled that :

"on 29 October 1998 in ... Tain, Ross and Cromarty, you did indecently assault L and did handle her breasts over her clothing and place your hands between her legs."

The evidence at the trial had commenced with the lodging of a joint minute narrating that both the complainer, L (aged 18), and the principal corroborating witness, K (aged 26), had a mild degree of mental handicap, but understood the difference between truth and falsehood. The first witness was M (52), the mother of K and guardian of L, both of whom lived with her. M regarded both the girls as her daughters. M was asked about K and L and said that they were a "a wee bit slow" and could neither read nor write. However, she said, neither had any difficulty in telling the truth and they did not make up stories or tell lies. The reason why M was asked to express a view on the general credibility and reliability of the witnesses appears to have been a concern by the sheriff over whether the witnesses were generally competent to give evidence, having regard to their level of intellectual functioning, rather than any anxiety to have a view on whether their prospective evidence ought to be regarded as credible.

[2] On the merits of the case, M said that she was in the habit of hiring video cassettes from the appellant (aged 50), who operated a van from which he traded. On the date libelled, M went out to play bingo. She had been aware that L was planning to visit the van to pay off a hire charge. On her return home from the bingo, M found L in tears, complaining that the appellant had been feeling her breasts and bottom. L gave evidence that she had gone out to the van and the appellant had touched her breasts and between her legs on top of her clothes, without her consent. This had been in the van. She said that the appellant had touched her, having approached her from behind. K had managed to jump from the van, but L could not do so because the appellant had a hold of her. K spoke to going to the van and the appellant touching L between her legs and on the breasts inside her clothing. She too said that she had jumped from the van and had seen L crying. According to K, the appellant had approached L from her front. The appellant was interviewed about the episode only on 5 March 1999. In that interview, and presumably also in evidence, the appellant accepted that both the girls had come into his van on the relevant date. He protested that the allegations of indecent assault were without foundation, accusing the girls of being "problematic customers", who had hired, but had not returned, video cassettes.

The Rest of the Decision is: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2005HCJAC40.html
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