Rex V. Emanuel Adebowale And Five Others (1941)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal law and procedure—Charges of Stealing, contra. section 390 (4) and of Receiving stolen property, contra. section 427 of the Criminal Code—Misdirection—Failure to warn jury as to statements made by co-accused—Guilty knowledge—Possession or control of stolen property—Material witness—Redundant verdict and sentence.
The first three appellants were charged with offences against ssetionp 413 (1) and 390 (4) (c) and also against section 427 and receiving stolen property, which consisted of a number of cases of gin stoke from a Customs Warehouse. The first three appellants were convicted of stealing and receiving, and the last three appellants were found guilty of receiving. The principal ground of appeal raised by all appellants was that the jury was not warned that statements made by co-accused and their evidence in Court should be regarded as that of accomplices requiring corroboration.
Held : (1) that neither the statements nor the evidence contained anything material which could be regarded as prejudicing the others and the rule as to corroboration applies only to witnesses called for the prosecution :
- there were circumstances from which guilty knowledge could be inferred by the jury and it could not be said that their verdict was wrong:
- assistance in disposing of stolen property is expressly stated in section 427 to be sufficient proof of receiving :
- by virtue of section 8 (2) of the Criminal Code a wife could only be called on the application of her husband:
- the first three appellants having been found guilty on the first count of Stealing, there was no need to take a verdict on the. second: Evidence supported either count.
Verdicts and sentences of first three appellants under section 390 (4) (c) quashed, their convictions and sentences on charge of receiving upheld and the sentences of other three appellants reduced.