HMA v Khalid Jamal 2019

Mr Jamal has had his appeal against conviction rejected after arguing in the Appeal Court that a charge of sexual assault could not corroborate a charge of rape. The Appeal Court concluded that the act of penetration itself did not need to be corroborated scientifically and could be corroborated by the facts and circumstances where the evidence demonstrates a “course of conduct systematically pursued.” Mr Jamal was found guilty of one charge of sexual assault and one charge of rape after a Trial at Glasgow’s High Court. Both charges were in relation to different complainers.

The only evidence was that of the complainers during the Trial. Mr Jamal as a result of his conviction was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. Mr Jamal however appealed against his conviction on the basis that there was no mutual corroboration of the charges. Charge 1 included an attempted rape but Mr Jamal was only found guilty of a sexual assault in relation to this complainer. The appellant argued that there behaviour and circumstances were therefore different and the charges could not corroborate each other.

However, the appeal court did not agree with the appellant’s argument and dismissed the appeal. Lord Justice General stated that “Evidence of non-penetrative sexual conduct is capable of providing corroboration of penetrative conduct.”

It was also concluded the jury were entitled to come to this decision that the incidents could corroborate each other and therefore this consisted of a course of conduct. Lord Carloway in concluding the appeal also added: “There is no principle whereby what might be perceived as less serious criminal conduct, such as a non-penetrative offence, cannot provide corroboration of what is libelled as an apparently more serious crime involving penetration. The fundamental issue is whether the evidence demonstrates a course of conduct systematically pursued.”The conviction therefore stands.