Jerry Dossou v Rex (CR-AP 2 of 2023) [2024] TCACA 10 (21 June 2024)


Appeal against Conviction - Disclosure – Expert Evidence – Admission of Expert Evidence – Timeliness of Disclosure – Adequacy of Expert Report – Whether the learned judge erred in allowing an Expert Report to be admitted- Summation –Adequacy of Summation-Whether the learned judge properly directed the jury.

Case summary

On 14th March 2023 following a trial by jury before Baptiste J, Dossou was convicted of one count of Carrying a Firearm and one count of Carrying Ammunition contrary to section 3 (1) of the Firearms Ordinance CAP 18:09. On 21st March 2023 he was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment on each count to be served concurrently. By a Notice of Appeal filed on 31 March 2023, the appellant seeks to appeal his conviction.  The issues are whether the Learned Judge erred in allowing the Crown to adduce the evidence of the forensic scientist, Jerome Remm, in circumstances where the Crown had failed to provide adequate disclosure in relation to the expert evidence and failed to comply with the Court’s orders for disclosure. Also whether the learned judge properly directed the jury. Determination of this appeal requires consideration about the rules of disclosure and admission of expert evidence, as well as a consideration of the adequacy of the summation of the learned judge delivered on 14th March 2023.

Held: The appeal is dismissed. In all the circumstances, in my view it cannot be said that the decision of the learned trial judge to allow the evidence of Mr Remm was so wrong that it resulted in the verdict being unsafe, or that the admission of the evidence prejudiced the defendant. At the trial the Counsel for the defendant was allowed to cross examine Mr Remm and could have addressed the reasons for his findings in cross examination. Had the defendant needed more time to “prepare for cross-examination on a technical, scientific subject area” as submitted, this could have been cured by an adjournment, if it was requested upon receipt of the CV and “overall narrative description”. Accordingly, this ground of appeal fails.

Examining the summation, the learned judge advised the jury that to convict they had to be sure of the guilt of the accused and that the prosecution bore the burden of proof. The learned judge also fairly summarized the Crown’s case and that of the Defence. In this case while every element of evidence was not addressed, I am satisfied that the summing up in its entirety did not occasion any prejudice to the appellant.

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