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(1962) JELR 69557 (HC)

High Court  •  10 Dec 1962  •  Ghana



APALOO J.: As long ago as 1894, it was stated in the case of Makin v. Attorney-General for New South Wales [1894] A.C. 57 at p. 65 that “it is undoubtedly not competent for the prosecution to adduce evidence tending to shew that the accused had been guilty of criminal acts other than those covered by the indictment, for the purpose of leading to a conclusion that the accused is a person likely from his criminal conduct or character to have committed the offence for which he is being tried.” The prosecution in recording a statement of the accused’s previous convictions and submitting it to the court as part of their case have indubitably offended against what I would call one of the most deeply rooted and jealously guarded principles of criminal justice. In a case which is admittedly wholly circumstantial, I find it impossible to say that if this highly prejudicial evidence had not been communicated to the court, the learned circuit judge would have inevitably come to the same conclusi…

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