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Published: Fri, 02 Feb 2018

Webb and goldwin

Webb and Goldwin have been and arrested for three offences, these are possession of a controlled drug, supply of a controlled drug and possession with intent to supply a controlled drug. The two have been caught with 5 kilos of cannabis resin over five transactions taken place over a few weeks.

In accordance with the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 it is an offence under

The two were arrested with the help from Constable King and Hudson, these are police officers undercover known as Covert Human Intelligence Sources (C.H.I.S).

Section 25(7) Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (R.I.P.A) defines a C.H.I.S

As a C.H.I.S the aim for the two constables was to prove that Webb and Goldwin were still operating within the drug world, whether it was simply possession or supplying small to large amounts and there involvement with the activity, the C.H.I.S’s were there for a number of weeks making five separate transactions with Webb and Goldwin. As there was an arrest able offence at the first dealing with Webb and Goldwin it is questioned whether the C.H.I.S’s actions were appropriate and fair.

Section 82 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 defines a confession as:

As the definition states it does not have to be confessed to a person in authority. As the two Constables are operating as drug buyers, Webb and Goldwin are under the impression that they are dealing with general buyers and have no suspicion to hide anything from them. During the weeks that they have been dealing with each other it has to be said that there was interaction and conversations between the two parties, this can be held as a confession, although they are discussing dealings with the C.H.I.S’s they are still admitting there involvement and the C.H.I.S’s are still constables and in authority.

A confession does not always have to be in words as the definition states ‘Or otherwise’, this can be done by actions. The actions of Webb and Goldwin clearly confess to possession and supply of a controlled drug, this can be proven by there dealings with the C.H.I.S’s, and makes the case stronger as they have had 5 separate transactions with them.

Section 76 of Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 explains how a confession is seen in the eyes of the law.

In the case of R v Christou [1992] 1 QB 979, undercover police set up a jewellery shop called “Stardust jewellers”, this claimed to buy and sell jewellery, two undercover officers ran the shop to buy stolen property, cameras and sound records were set up so everything could be recorded. The two undercover officers acted like vendors asking shady questions like were best not to resell the goods, although fingerprints were recorded they were not used as evidence.

The case was ruled as not unfair to the suspect as the undercover officers were not questioning them in such they were having a conversation with them.

“The trick was not applied to the appellants; they voluntarily applied themselves to the trick. It is not every trick producing evidence against an accused which results in unfairness. There are, in criminal investigations, a number of situations in which the police adopt ruses or tricks in the public interest to obtain evidence.”

The evidence was used in this case is it was not a trick just to catch certain suspects it was open to the public, the people who entered the shop were whiling to sell the stolen goods and were not enticed.

At any trial there must be sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of such a crime this is what makes it a fail trail. The evidence must be relevant to the crime been prosecuted for and must have a link between the suspect.

Improperly obtained evidence has been admissible in court as long as it was relevant to the case, this means that the accused has to prove that they are not guilty as the evidence is that strong. This was usually left to the judge’s discretion whether or not the evidence was that important it was admissible or inadmissible.

Under section 78 of Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 it states that any evidence which was unfairly obtained should not be admitted into court as it will not be a fair trial on the defendant.

Illegally obtained evidence was seen as admissible in court as long it was relevant and importance to the case, Lord Goddard disagreed that this was fair to the defendant and in the case of R v Kuruma [1955] A.C. 197 stated:

“The test to be applied in considering whether evidence is admissible is whether it is relevant to the matters in issue. If it is, it is admissible and the court is not concerned with how the evidence was obtained”

He went on to say:

“No doubt in a criminal case the judge always has discretion to disallow evidence if the strict rules of admissibility would operate unfairly against an accused”.

In the case of Williams v DPP [1993] 3 All ER 365 police left a van containing dummy cartons of cigarettes in the street, the defendants proceeded to remove the cigarettes them the van. In court it was contended that the evidence obtained should be excluded because the van was placed with intent to temp. This was rejected and the evidence was used as it was deemed that the defendants did the offence on there own accord. like in the case of Christou it was not set for the defendants it was there opion.

In the case of R v Sang [1980] AC 402 the House of Lords stated that a judge was able to exclude evidence but not exclude relevant admissible evidence on the terms that it was obtained unfairly, unfairly obtained evidence by undercover police was held as entrapment and they were known as agent provocateur.

Lord Diplock stated

“What is unfair, what is trickery in the context of the detection and prevention of crime, are questions which are liable to attract highly subjective answers.”

In the case of R. v Sang [1979] UKHL 3 (25 July 1979) Lord Diplock Held:

“A trial judge in a criminal trial has always a discretion to refuse to admit evidence if in his opinion its prejudicial effect outweighs its probative value.”

“Save with regard to admissions and confessions and generally with regard to evidence obtained from the accused after commission of the offence, he has no discretion to refuse to admit relevant admissible evidence on the ground that it was obtained by improper or unfair means. The court is not concerned with how it was obtained. It is no ground for the exercise of discretion to exclude that the evidence was obtained as the result of the activities of an agent provocateur.”

If an officer is acting undercover then they must not act as an agent provocateur, this simply means they can include themselves in activities if they are going to happen but may not incite the suspect to proceed in illegal activity. As King and Hudson arranged to meet on 5 separate occasions it can be said that they acted as agent

provocateurs, even though Webb and Goldwin would have been supplying other people with drugs at the time it is the fact that King and Hudson kept going back for more. They will have been acting as agent provocateurs if it was in fact them getting into contact with Webb and Goldwin and asking to be supplied with the drug. If it was Webb and Goldwin contacting King and Hudson each time then this lays on there head as suppliers. It can be said though that if King and Hudson were not imposing as drug buyers then Webb and Goldwin would not have been offering any controlled drugs to them, this is enticing them to supply.

As Constables King and Hudson were found to have acted as agent provocateurs then they may have been liable to offences in the Serious Crime Act 2007 if the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 had not approved their conduct.

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