HDJS 2018

A man found guilty of sexually assaulting his own daughter and making and sharing indecent images of her has had an appeal against his conviction refused. The appeal was based on the fact that the sheriff refused the jury to view a number of the images during their deliberations, and this was a “miscarriage of justice” but the appeal court did not agree with this argument.

The accused was convicted in May 2017 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The father of two began being investigated in New Zealand before his move to Scotland. The jury had asked to compare images on the accused mobile phone and drop box but this was refused as it was decided that the jury were judges and not witnesses who needed to consider simply what was contained in the pictures that they had seen many times during the trial.

On appeal it was submitted by the appellant that the trial judge had erred in refusing the request by the jury, as the images were “real evidence” which the jury could have used to establish the identity of the perpetrator.

However the appeal court decoded what items the jury could be given was a matter for the trail judge and she did not err in law.Lord Carloway stated in the opinion: “Even if the court had considered that a misdirection had occurred, in light of the weight of this testimony, which was entirely uncontradicted, it would have been impossible to hold that any miscarriage of justice had occurred.”