R v Carbello

JurisdictionCayman Islands
Judge(Graham-Perkins, Magistrate)
Judgment Date24 April 1977
Date24 April 1977
CourtSummary Court (Cayman Islands)
Summary Court

(Graham-Perkins, Magistrate)


S. Panton and D. Ritch for the Crown;

N.W. Hill, Q.C. and C.S. Gill for the accused.

Cases cited:

(1) Kuruma v. R., [1955] A.C. 197; [1955] 1 All E.R. 236, dictum of Lord Goddard, C.J. considered.

(2) R. v. Barker, [1941] 3 All E.R. 33; (1941), 28 Cr. App. R. 52, dicta of Tucker J. applied.

(3) R. v. KingUNK(1968), 52 Cr. App. R. 353.

(4) R. v. Payne, [1963] 1 W.L.R. 637; [1963] 1 All E.R. 848, dicta of Lord Parker, C.J. applied.

Police-person in authority-evidence obtained by deception-police inspector friend of accused inducing belief that charge not to be pursued if accused produces evidence of offence is person in authority holding out promise of advantage-subsequent confession or production of incriminatory material inadmissible

The accused was charged with the unlawful possession of drugs.

The accused was arrested for behaving in an unusual manner on a public road. He was taken to the hospital and on the advice of two doctors who did not think a medical examination necessary, was taken to the police station. The following day, while still in custody but not yet charged with any offence, he was visited by a chief inspector whom he regarded as a friend. After failing to get an admission out of him, the inspector told him that if he had been using drugs on the evening before, he should reveal his source of supply and give up or destroy in my presence and that of his family any drug that he may have had. The clear implication was that if the accused did this, the matter would not be pursued further.

The accused responded to this by taking the inspector to his home, producing from its hiding place a bottle which he said contained cocaine and giving it to the inspector. The inspector then questioned the accused on the methods by which the contents of the bottle had been used, following which the accused was charged with the unlawful possession of drugs.

In evidence the inspector admitted that, unknown to the accused, his friendship with him was merely a ploy to obtain information from him from time to time. He also admitted that if the bottle and its contents had been destroyed as he had suggested to the accused, the whole foundation of the charge against him would have disappeared.

The accused objected to the admissibility (a) of the alleged confession to possessing cocaine and (b) of the evidence relating to the discovery of the bottle in consequence of that confession.

Held, ruling the evidence to be inadmissible:

It was obvious in this case that the accused responded to the inspectors invitation to hand over to him or to destroy in his presence any drug he might have had in his possession only because he believed the request was made in good faith by a friend and was further led to believe that he would go free if he complied. This was clearly a promise of advantage made to the accused by a person in authority which would make a

consequent confession inadmissible. Although in principle incriminatory material discovered in consequence of an inadmissible confession or other illegality would itself be admissible if relevant, the disclosure of such material as a direct result of an unambiguous promise of advantage held out by a person in authority would remain inadmissible. Even if this were not an established principle and its admissibility were a matter for the courts discretion, it was the courts view that the patent deception practised on the accused when he was in custody but not charged with any offence justified making such an order (page 253, lines 1128; page 254, lines 1117; page 254, line 39; page 255, line 19; page 255, line 32 page 256, line 4).

25 February 26th, 1977 the accused was in custody in a cell at
Central Police Station at George Town. He had been placed there
on the evening of Friday, February 25th by Cpl. Evon Parks on the
advice of a doctor attached to the George Town Hospital to which
institution he had been taken by Cpl. Parks as the result of certain
30 apparently unusual behaviour on his part on a public road.
At about 11.20 a.m. on Saturday, February 26th, Chief Insp.
Rudolph Evans, accompanied by Sgt. Rankine, went to the
accuseds cell and had a conversation with him. It does not
appear that the inspectors visit to the accuseds cell was
35 prompted by invitation extended by the accused. At the end of
the conversation during which the accused and the inspector
enquired somewhat solicitously about each others state of
health, the latter asked the accused if he wished to talk about
the events of the previous evening whereupon the accused said,
40 Yes, lets go some place where we can talk. The two men
proceeded to the inspectors office. They were alone, Sgt.
Rankine having left them at some point prior to their entry into the
inspectors office. In that office another conversation ensued.
The inspector told the accused that he had reason to believe that
his behaviour on the previous evening resulted from his having
5 taken drugs. To this assertion the accused made no response. It is
not without some real significance that the accused, as he was
entitled to do, remained silent in the face of this somewhat

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