( 375 )
KING v. WALTER DON.D. C., Kandy, 1,359.
Evidence of an accomplice who had not been convicted, acquitted,. or pardoned—Evidence Ordinance, 1895, s. 133 and illustration (b) under s. 114—Admissibility of such evidence.
The evidence of an accomplice who stands indicted for the same offence,,but had not been convicted, acquitted, or pardoned, is admissible in law.
Although, as a general rule, a person ought not to be convicted on the-evidence of an accomplice, yet where the circumstances awom to leave no-reasonable doubt as to his guilt, it is to the interest of justice that he should!be convicted.
N this case the defendant appealed against his conviction for.receiving money having reason to believe that it was stolen,
on the ground that the evidence against him was that o.f an accom-plice, who was indicted for the 6ame offence, and had not beeneither convicted or acquitted or pafdoned.
Domhorst (with him H. Jay aw ardene)* contended that the-'evidence of such a person was inadmissible in law.
18th December, 1901. J3onser, C.J-—
It seems to me quite clear on principle that the evidence of.'an accomplice, who stands indicted for the same offence and had28-
December 18. ■
( 376 )
1901. not been cqnvicted, acquitted, or pardoned, is admissible. TheDecember 18- question of the weight to be given to such evidence whenBohsbr, C.J. admitted is a different one. Under the . old English Law, anaccomplice was always a competent witness although hie expecta-tion of pardon depended upon the defendant’s conviction; andthe present case is like the one which occurred not many yearsago in. Engand, where one Winsor was indicted, jointly withanother person, for murder. Winsor was put upon her trial, andthe other person, who had not been either convicted or acquittedor pardoned, was called as a witness against her, and upon theevidence of that witness Winsor was convicted. The question ofthe admissibility of the evidence of this witness was argued beforethe Exchequer Chamber, and the Court was unanimously ofopinion that the evidence was admissible, Winsor v. Queen,L. R. 1 Q. B. (1866}, 390.
Therefore, in point of Jaw, 1 hold that the appeal fails.
A.s regards the other' point, as to whether the appellant ought tohave been convicted on the evidence of his accomplice, I agreewith the District Judge that, although as a general rule a personought not to be convicted on the evidence of an accomplice, yet thecircumstances were such that it was necessary, in the interests ofjustice, that he should be convicted. There was, and could be, noreasonable doubt as to the guilt of the appellant. He is provedto have been in embarrassed circumstances. He was found inpossession of a large sum of money, much of it in notes of ahigh denomination. He gave no satisfactory account of how hecame by the money. X consider that he was rightly convicted.
KING v. WALTER DON