Regina v. Randall (Respondent)(On Appeal from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division))
32. Neale can be contrasted with R v Murray  RTR 239. The facts are conveniently summarised in the headnote as follows:
The previous convictions of the other driver included burglary, theft of a shotgun and possession of a firearm within five years of release from Borstal. Counsel argued that this driver's bad record made it more likely that the accused's account was correct. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal against conviction of reckless driving. Giving the judgment of the court Alliott J, who sat with Russell LJ and Mance J, observed that the evidence:
The contested material had in common sense a bearing on the issues in the case.
33. For these reasons I would hold that the Court of Appeal came to the right conclusion and that Kennedy LJ stated the law correctly.
34. I am reinforced in this conclusion by the fact that a broadly similar view has prevailed elsewhere in the Commonwealth: see R v Kendall and McKay (1987) 35 CCC (3d) 105; R v Crawford  1 SCR 858; R v Leon-Uzarraga and Lopez (1998) 104 BCCA 81; R v Suzack and Pennett (2000) 128 OAC 140; R v Darrington and McGauley  VR 353; R v Gibb and McKenzie  2 VR 155; R v Bannon and Calder (unreported) 21 September 1993, Supreme Court of Victoria.
35. For the avoidance of doubt I would further add that in my view where evidence of propensity of a co-accused is relevant to a fact in issue between the Crown and the other accused it is not necessary for a trial judge to direct the jury to ignore that evidence in considering the case against the co-accused. Justice does not require that such a direction be given. Moreover, such a direction would needlessly perplex juries.
36. In the Court of Appeal the Crown advanced an alternative argument which was summarised by Kennedy J as follows, at p 449, para 26:
The Crown did not pursue this argument before the House.
37. At the end of the oral hearing the Appellate Committee concluded that the appeal of the Crown should be dismissed for reasons to be given later. My reasons for assenting to that conclusion are set out in this opinion.
LORD HOBHOUSE OF WOODBOROUGH
38. I agree with the reasons given by my noble and learned friend Lord Steyn for the announcement at the end of the oral hearing that this appeal would be dismissed.
LORD SCOTT OF FOSCOTE
39. I have had the advantage of reading in advance the opinion of my noble and learned friend, Lord Steyn. I am in full agreement with the reasons he has given for the dismissal of this appeal.
LORD RODGER OF EARLSFERRY