HMA v SI 2020

SI, an appellant, has had his appeal against conviction refused. SI was convicted of assaulting his daughter, who was a baby at the time. The incident took place in 2017. The appellant argued that the injuries to the child could have been caused by someone else.

The appellants position was the child has fallen off the sofa when they were unattended for a moment while in his care. However, this position was not supported by medical reports. At trial the position was maintained that the injures could have been maintained in someone else’s care. The appellant’s legal team argued that the sheriff had overstated to the jury that no other persons were involved with the care of the child which was not the position – it was just there was no evidence of this.

The Crown stated that the judge’s directions were correct. Lady Dorrian in concluding the appeal stated: “It would no doubt have been preferable had the sheriff been more precise in relation to the direction which is criticised, saying that there was no evidence of other incidents in the lead up to 30 May that would have explained the injuries being referred to, but the notion that the jury might thereby have been misled or somehow failed to give due weight to the defence submissions must be rejected.” The appeal court overall concluded: “The sheriff’s directions overall were quite clear, balanced, and not in any way liable to confuse the jury, or cause them not to give due consideration to any relevant points advanced for the defence.” The appeal was therefore refused.