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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Section 112:  Admissibility of evidence of previous complaints

533.Section 120 of the 2003 Act provides for the admission of certain previous statements of witnesses and is part of the code on hearsay evidence set out in that Act.

534.A previous statement will be admissible as evidence of the facts contained within it as if it were oral evidence provided the witness who made it is called to give evidence in the relevant proceedings, states that he or she made the previous statement and believes it to be true, and one of the following also applies:

  • section 120(5) – the statement describes or identifies a person, place or thing:

  • section 120(6) – the statement was made when matters were fresh in the witness’s memory and he or she cannot reasonably be expected to remember the matters stated;

  • section 120(7) – the statement consists of a complaint by the victim of the alleged offence which satisfies various requirements including the requirement that it was made as soon as could reasonably be expected after the alleged conduct.

535.Section 112 amends section 120(7) of the 2003 Act so as to remove the requirement that “the complaint was made as soon as could reasonably be expected after the alleged conduct”. Provided the other criteria for admissibility set out in section 120(7) are met, such complaints will be admissible regardless of when they were made.

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