Adu Kofi V. The Queen (1955)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Appeals in Criminal Cases—Guilt not proved with certainty—Conviction set aside.
In this appeal (No. 72/54) there was no appearance for the appellant; D. J. Sheridan, Director of Public Prosecutions, appeared for the Crown; the following judgment was delivered:
Foster-Sutton, P. It is well established that a Court of Criminal Appeal will not interfere with a conviction merely because it considers that it would probably have come to a different conclusion if it had tried the case, so long as the evidence furnishes sufficient material for the verdict.
But it has frequently been held by the Court of Criminal Appeal in England and also this Court that where the verdict cannot be supported having regard to the evidence because it was unsafe to convict upon the evidence then it is the duty of the Court to quash the conviction.
It is clear from the learned trial Judge’s summing-up to the jury that he had grave doubts about the matter and when they returned a verdict of “guilty” he stated that had it been left to him he would have acquitted.
In our view the guilt of the appellant was not proved with that degree of certainty required in a criminal case. We accordingly allow the appeal and set aside the conviction and sentence, and direct that a judgment and verdict of acquittal be entered.
Appeal allowed; verdict of acquittal entered.