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Appeal Against Conviction Refused

HMA v Brandon Douglas 2020

Mr Douglas has had his appeal against convicted refused at the High Court. The appellant was convicted a charge of attempted murder and robbery and one of assault and robbery along with two other men in relation to one charge and one other man in relation to the other.

The incidents related to two different men who were attacked at different times. Mr Douglas was on bail when the attack took place. The appeal only related to the attempted murder and robbery charge. At the trial the appellant legal team argued there was not sufficient evidence for the appellant to be found guilty of this charge.

The complainer had spent many days in hospital with broken ribs and a punctured lung and stated he thought he was going to die at the time of the attack. The appellant was sentenced to ten years and 3 months imprisonment. the appellant argued at the appeal the evidence was not there to show he was an active participant in this attack on this complainer and therefore the judge had erred in not upholding the submission made at the trial.

The trial judge had used evidence from the first charge to put everything together to conclude the jury could reasonably conclude that the appellant was an active participant on the attack. The appellant referred to this as speculation and there was also no evidence that he had a weapon in relation to this charge. The appeal was concluded with the High Court judges stating: “Counsel for the appellant accepted that there was evidence to establish that the appellant had been ‘at or about’ the locus. In our opinion the evidence went somewhat further than that, allowing the inference to be drawn that the appellant had entered the complainer’s house with the other three males… Apart from anything else, it would be to strain the jury’s credulity to suggest that, given his activities in the morning which were the subject of [the first] charge, the appellant’s admitted presence at the locus of [the second] charge in the evening was as an innocent bystander. It is artificial to compartmentalise, as it appeared counsel for the appellant was seeking to do, the evidence of what the appellant was alleged to have done earlier in the day of 21 November 2018 as relating exclusively to [the first] charge, and the evidence of what the appellant was alleged to have done later in the day as relating exclusively to [the second] charge.” The appeal was therefore refused.

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