Malik Cox v The King (JCPC 47 of 2020) [2023] UKPC 1 (31 January 2023)

Criminal law
Case summary
Appeal dismissed. There are three general features of this case that are worthy of mention as supporting the decisions of the lower courts [57].First, there was no evidence at all put forward by the defence. Malik Cox gave a “no comment” interview and chose not to give evidence at trial [58]. Secondly, the evidence of the prosecution’s witnesses at trial was consistent as between one another. In contrast to some trials, there was no conflict within the prosecution evidence given at trial [59].Thirdly, Aziz J decided that both Anthony Francis and Tyrone Smith were credible and reliable witnesses independent of each other. Even if the Board had decided (contrary to what we have actually decided) that Aziz J’s assessment had been unreasonable in respect of one of those two witnesses, there would still have been the evidence of the other which in itself, alongside the other evidence in the case, would have been sufficient to convict Malik Cox [60]. The Board concludes that this is not an exceptional case where it should depart from the decisions of the trial judge and Court of Appeal. The conclusions of Aziz J in respect of the evidence of Anthony Francis (Ground 1) and Tyrone Smith (Ground 2) were reasonable and were supported on the evidence and there has been no wrong decision on a point of law and no miscarriage of justice. The Court of Appeal was therefore entitled to uphold the decision of Aziz J [61].  Beacon Insurance Co Ltd v Maharaj Bookstore Ltd [2014] UKPC 21; [2014] 4 All ER 418,  R v Crawford (Cayman Islands) [2015] UKPC 44, Dass v Marchand [2021] UKPC 2, [2021] 1 WLR 1788, Sancus Financial Holdings Ltd v Holm (Practice Note) [2022] UKPC 41; [2022] 1 WLR 5181, considered. 

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