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4.5.2 - Charge: Withdrawn Committal Plea

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It is not disputed that NOA initially pleaded guilty to NOO.[1]

You can use this guilty plea as an admission of guilt. However, before you can do so, you must consider two matters.

First, you must accept that the plea was a true acknowledgement of his/her guilt of NOO. That is, you must accept that when NOA pleaded guilty to NOO, s/he was admitting his/her guilt of that offence.

Secondly, you must accept that the plea was intended to be a true acknowledgment of his/her guilt. This requires you to accept that when NOA pleaded guilty, s/he meant to accept his/her responsibility for the crime of NOO, and that that admission was, in fact, true.

If a warning under Evidence Act 2008 s165 is necessary, add the following shaded section:

In considering this evidence, I must warn you of the need for caution when considering evidence of NOA’s earlier guilty plea.

Matters that may cause unreliability

I must give you this warning[2] because it is the experience of the law that evidence of admissions may be unreliable. This is because [identify all of the risks of unreliability posed by the specific evidence in the case. Some possibilities include:

Warning

The law says that every jury must take this potential unreliability into account when considering evidence of an admission. You must take it into account in deciding whether NOA’s plea was a true acknowledgement of his/her guilt of NOO and whether it was intended to be a true acknowledgement of guilt.

The prosecution invite you to use NOA’s earlier guilty plea as evidence of his/her guilt. [Describe relevant prosecution evidence and/or arguments].

The defence argued that you should not use the evidence in this way. They say [describe relevant defence evidence and/or arguments, e.g., "that NOA only pleaded guilty to bring an end to the matter" or "that NOA was not aware that s/he had a valid defence"].

It is for you to determine, based on all of the relevant evidence, whether NOA’s guilty plea was, and was intended to be, a true acknowledgment of his/her guilt of NOO. Unless you accept that both of these matters have been proven, you must disregard the evidence of NOA’s alleged admission.

 

Notes

[1] Name of Offence.

[2] The judge should add any other matters that may cause the evidence to be unreliable, such as if the evidence comes from an accomplice. If the evidence is given by a prison informer, use Charge: Confession to Prison Informer instead.

Last updated: 9 March 2017

See Also

4.5 - Confessions and Admissions

4.5.1 - Charge: Confessions and Admissions