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THE QUEEN v. ALEXANDER.
D. C., OaUe (Criminal), 12,590.Penal Code, s. 68—Enhanced punishment for previous convictions, tokenawardable—Ordinance No. If of J894—Relevancy of proof ofprevious convictions for order as to police supervision.
It is only a repetition of offences punishable under chapters XII.and XVII. of the Penal Code which is punishable by the doublepunishment provided by section 68 of that Code. Therefore it isirrelevant to charge or prove previous convictions in a trial for anoffence punishable under any other chapter.
Under the Ordinance No. 17 of 1894, it is relevant to charge andprove a previous conviction for any offence for the purpose ofplacing an offender under police supervision.
' I^H K. accused was indicted under section 315 of the Penal Code^ for voluntarily causing hurt to one Pandita Gunawardanawith an instrument for cutting. The indictment also containeda further charge of several previous convictions for theft punish-able under sections 367 and 368 of the Code.
The District Judge found the accused guilty under section 315,and in view of the previous convictions, all of which wereadmitted by the accused, appeared to think the punishment shouldbe enhanced owing to previous convictions. He sentenced theaccused to twelve months’ rigorous imprisonment and to receiveten lashes, and under the 6th section of the Ordinance No. 17 of1894 he further ordered him to be subjected to the supervision ofthe police for three years immediately after discharge from jail.
The accused appealed.
There was no appearance of counsel for the accused.
Loos, C.C., for the Crown.
9th July, 1898. Laweee, J.—
Prom the judgment of the District Court it seems that thelearned District Judge took the previous convictions into con-sideration and gave a longer period of imprisonment than he wouldhave given had no previous convictions been proved. I think itnecessary to correct this error in law, and to reduce the sentence ofimprisonment to six months’ rigorous imprisonment: the sentenceof lashes to remain untouched.
The accused was charged with having committed, an offencepunishable under section 315, which is part of chapter XVI. of thePenal Code. Now, as I read the 68th section, it is only a repetition
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of offences punishable under chapters XII. and XVII. which ispunishable by the double punishment provided by section 68.According to the Code, it is irrelevant to charge or prove previousconvictions in a trial under any other than chapters XII. andXVII., and the only previous convictions which can be proved areconvictions under these chapters.
For instance, in a trial for theft it is irrelevant and improper toprove a previous conviction for assault or causing hurt, or viceversa. A previous conviction of theft is not provable in a trialfor causing hurt for the purpose of enhancing the punishment.
By the Ordinance No. 17 of 1894 it is relevant to charge andprove a previous conviction of any crime for the purpose of enablingthe Judge to order the offender to be subject to police supervision,and to that extent the charge and proof here were right, but notto the extent of giving power to impose double the amount ofimprisonment.
THE QUEEN v. ALEXANDER