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27 JUL 2006

CRIMINAL LAW: R v L [2006] EWCA Crim 1902

(Court of Appeal; Sir Igor Judge P, Sir Mark Potter P, Mr Justice Crane; 27 July 2006) [2006] 2 FLR (forthcoming)

In the care proceedings the judge took the view that he was unable to say, on the evidence, whether one parent was more likely to have inflicted the injuries on the child than the other. Only the father was prosecuted for the death of and injuries to the child. The father argued that in view of the care judgment and finding the Crown was wrong to assume that the mother had not caused or played some part in the death and injuries. He also argued that it was contrary to public policy for a competent court to make a finding which was factually contrary to the finding of another competent court on the same facts. The judge in the criminal proceedings rejected those submissions and the jury were not made aware of the care findings. The evidence available was for all effective purposes the same in both proceedings.

The two sets of proceedings, care and criminal, were different in a number of respects. The decision in the care proceedings was not, and could not be, a final determination of the criminal proceedings. The appeal was dismissed.

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