In a Criminal fraud case, Tasmanian Chief Justice Alan Blow made a slip of the tongue when he referred to the defendant as“Mr Guilty” in his summing up to the jury. Counsel for the defendant have taken the issue to the Court of Criminal Appeal arguing Justice Alan Blow had created a ‘prejudice or irregularity’ in the trial process. This is based on the argument that the reference made was an inference of the defendant’s guilt which is likely to have influenced the jury prior to their final decision being made.

Despite its potential, Appeal Judge David Porter suggested that it is unlikely the verdict will be overturned as the reference would not have had an impact on the jury. This is because Justice Alan Blow was reading from written material supplied to the jurors. An indication of the outcome may also be assessed from two unsuccessful Canadian appeals based upon judges accidentally referring to the defendants as “Mr Guilty”.

Information sourced from Australasian Lawyer