17 June 2024


International Cases

Abdullahi Salad vs. Director of Public prosecutions for Western Australia

Australia

22.02.2024

Criminal

Jury can be satisfied of the guilt of the accused only if guilt is not simply a rational inference, but the only rational inference that the circumstances permit

The Appellant was convicted after trial in the Magistrates Court of one count of home burglary contrary to Section 401(2)(b) of the Criminal Code and one count of stealing contrary to Section 378 of the Criminal Code. The Appellant was sentenced to an intensive supervision order of 12 months for the burglary charge and no penalty was imposed for the stealing charge pursuant to Section 11 of the Sentencing Act, 1995. The appellant appeals against his convictions on the ground that the verdicts of guilty were unreasonable or could not be supported having regard to the evidence.

An appeal court, in determining whether a verdict of guilty on which a conviction is based is unreasonable or cannot be supported, must undertake its own independent assessment of the sufficiency and quality of the evidence and determine whether, in all the circumstances, it would be dangerous to permit the verdict to stand. The same principles apply to a verdict of guilty entered after a trial before a judge alone or before a magistrate.

The jury can be satisfied of the guilt of the accused only if guilt is not simply a rational inference, but the only rational inference that the circumstances permit. For an inference to be reasonable, it must rest upon something more than mere conjecture. The bare possibility of innocence should not prevent a jury from finding an accused person guilty, if the inference of guilt is the only inference open to reasonable people on a consideration of all the facts in evidence.

Present Court have considered the evidence of the complainant and Ms. Hunt that they observed three men in the general vicinity and also the images taken from the CCTV footage. The evidence concerning the three men is of limited relevance. Having full regard to the consideration that the learned Magistrate was the tribunal of fact entrusted with the responsibility of determining the guilt or innocence of the appellant, and having full regard to the consideration that the learned Magistrate had the benefit of having seen and heard the witnesses, present Court do not have a reasonable doubt as to the Appellant's guilt or as to the correctness of the decision. Leave to appeal is not granted. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Conviction Sentence Legality

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