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The Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1988

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Inferences from failure or refusal to account for presence at a particular placeN.I.

6.—(1) Where—

(a)a person arrested by a constable was found by him at a place at or about the time the offence for which he was arrested is alleged to have been committed; and

(b)[F1that or another constable investigating the case] reasonably believes that the presence of the person at that place and at that time may be attributable to his participation in the commission of the offence; and

(c)the constable informs the person that he so believes, and requests him to account for that presence; and

(d)the person fails or refuses to do so,

then if, in any proceedings against the person for the offence, evidence of those matters is given, paragraph (2) applies.

(2) Where this paragraph applies—

(a)the court, in determining whether to commit the accused for trial or whether there is a case to answer;

[F2(aa)a judge, in deciding whether to grant an application made by the accused under

[F3(i)]Article 5 of the Criminal Justice (Serious Fraud) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 (application for dismissal of charge where a case of fraud has been transferred from a magistrates' court to the Crown Court under Article 3 of that Order;[F4 or]

[F4(ii)paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Children's Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (application for dismissal of charge of violent or sexual offence involving child in respect of which notice of transfer has been given under Article 4 of that Order); and]]

(b)the court or jury, in determining whether the accused is guilty of the offence charged,


(i)draw such inferences from the failure or refusal as appear proper;

Head (ii) rep. by 1996 NI 24

[F5(2A) This Article applies in relation to officers of customs and excise as it applies in relation to constables.]

(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply unless the accused was told in ordinary language by the constable when making the request mentioned in paragraph (1)(c) what the effect of this Article would be if he failed or refused to[F6 comply with the request].

[F7(3A) Where the accused was at an authorised place of detention at the time of the failure or refusal, paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply if he had not been allowed an opportunity to consult a solicitor prior to the request being made.]

(4) This Article does not preclude the drawing of any inference from the failure or refusal of a person to account for his presence at a place which could properly be drawn apart from this Article.

(5) This Article does not apply in relation to a failure or refusal which occurred before the commencement of this Article.

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