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The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Confessions by mentally handicapped persons

75.—(1) Without prejudice to the general duty of the court at a trial on indictment to direct the jury on any matter on which it appears to the court appropriate to do so, where at such a trial—

(a)the case against the accused depends wholly or substantially on a confession by him; and

(b)the court is satisfied—

(i)that he is mentally handicapped; and

(ii)that the confession was not made in the presence of an independent person,

the court shall warn the jury that there is special need for caution before convicting the accused in reliance on the confession, and shall explain that the need arises because of the circumstances mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b).

(2) In any case where a person is being tried summarily for an offence it appears to the court that a warning under paragraph (1) would be required if the trial were on indictment, the court shall treat the case as one in which there is a special need for caution before convicting the accused on his confession.

(3) In this Article—

“independent person” does not include a constable or a person employed for, or engaged on, police purposes;

“mentally handicapped” in relation to a person means that he is in a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning; and

“police purposes” includes the purposes of police cadets undergoing training with a view to becoming members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and of civilians employed for the purposes of that Constabulary or of any such cadets.

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