HMA v Veronica Logan 2020

Ms Logan has successfully appealed against her drug convictions at the High Court of Judiciary. The High court ruled that the sheriff had erred by not allowing a challenge to the fact that the woman was not cautioned before she was questioned.

After trial the appellant was found guilty in relation to three charges in relation to supplying speed and heroin. The drugs were said to be found in her home as it was searched in early 2019. Before the trial began her defence counsel raise an issue in a preliminary plea that the appellant has not been cautioned and therefore was a question over the admissibility of evidence. The appellant had police turn up at her home asking about drugs as an anonymous caller had stated that the woman was being told to hold drugs against her will. The woman after being asked about this three times by officers became upset and showed the officer’s drugs. Prior to being questioned about whether she had drugs, even if this was to enquire if she was told to take them against her will the woman was not cautioned. It was clear that this was the reason the police had went to the home was to enquire about drugs.

The High Court agreed with the appellant that she should have been cautioned prior to this so this made this evidence inadmissible and the preliminary issue should have been upheld. Lord Turnbull state: “In our opinion, the combination of a failure to caution the appellant at any stage and the encouragement given to her to respond upon the premise that the police officers would provide her with help, resulted in unfairness such as ought to have led to the objection being upheld. The appeal shall be allowed, and the appellant’s conviction quashed.”