Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/ghanalegal/domains/ghanalegal.com/public_html/engine/Drivers/mysql.php on line 101 THE STATE v. LAWMANN | GhanaLegal - Resources for the legal brains

THE STATE v. LAWMANN


  • appeal
  • 1961-11-24
  • SUPREME COURT
  • GLR 698-708
  • Print

VAN LARE, SARKODEE-ADOO AND CRABBE, JJ.S.C.


Summary

Criminal law and procedure?-Contents of an indictment.Criminal law?-Forgery?-Proof of handwriting.

Headnotes

By a deed of gift executed in 1932 by the head and principal members of his family, the appellant was granted a piece of land. The original deed of gift remained in the appellant's possession and was not seen again until 1937 when the appellant took it to P.W. 3 in connection with a loan transaction. P.W. 3 deposed that he found the original measurements of 175 ft. by 175 ft. had been changed on the plan to 675 ft. by 675 ft. and also that the figures and words, one, had been erased and six substituted in the document. He questioned the appellant about this. P.W. 7 also saw the original deed at this time and also noticed these alterations, which were duly reported to the family. In 1951 an incident occurred in which the appellant was again accused of altering the deed of gift for it was then discovered that whilst the site plan showed an acreage of 0.703 the dimensions in the body of the instrument read 675 ft. by 675 ft.The appellant alleged that soon after this incident he lost the original document. At his trial, therefore, on an indictment containing five counts, all in connection with the alleged forgery, the prosecution had to rely on secondary evidence, to wit, photostat copies which were found in the possession of the appellant during the search of his premises.The prosecution alleged that the site plan had been forged as well as the signature of the draughtsman and surveyor, Mr. Burgesson. In proof of the alterations and erasures noticed by P.W. 3 and P.W. 7, the prosecution also called a Mr. Holloway of the Ghana Police Service in charge of the scientific and photographic section of the C.I.D. who had conducted a scientific examination of the photostat copies, and in proof of the forgery of the late Mr. Burgesson's signature the prosecution led in evidence a Mr. Amuah who knew that signature.The appellant was convicted on all counts. During the hearing of this appeal it was conceded that acquittal or conviction on the various counts depended on the jury's verdict on the first count of forgery. This count read:"First CountFORGERYContrary to section 314 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 9.PARTICULARS OF OFFENCEPATRICK TIMOTHY TETTEY LAWMANN on a day unknown in or about the year 1932, at Accra in the Eastern Judicial Division of Southern Ghana with intent to defraud forged a certain document purporting to be a Deed of Gift dated 30th November, 1932."Counsel for the appellant argued (1) that the indictment on the first count was bad because no particulars of the alleged forgery were given; (2) that since there was no expert evidence as to forging of the figure 6 it was wrong to leave the issue of the forgery of the word six to the jury without drawing their attention to the absence of evidence of forgery in respect of the figure six; (3) that the trial judge failed to direct the jury as to what was required in law to prove handwriting [p.699] or signature; and (4) that the verdict was unreasonable and could not be supported by the evidence.

Judgement

APPEAL against conviction and sentences on an indictment containing five counts (forgery, uttering a forged document and possessing a forged document) before Acolatse J. sitting with a jury in the High Court, Accra.

JUDGMENT OF CRABBE J.S.C.

Crabbe, J.S.C. delivered the judgment of the court. The appellant in this case was on the 24th May, 1960, searched by a detective corporal of the Ghana Police and two photostat copies of a deed of gift, dated the 30th November, 1932 (exhibit B1 and exhibit B2) were found in his possession. He was subsequently charged at the Criminal Sessions at Accra on an indictment containing five counts, as follows:

"First Count

FORGERY

Contrary to section 314 of the Criminal Code Cap. 9 [p.700]

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE:

PATRICK TIMOTHY TETTEY LAWMANN on a day unknown in or about the year 1932, at Accra in the Eastern Judicial Division of Southern Ghana, with intent to defraud, forged a certain document purporting to be a Deed of Gift dated 30th November, 1932.

Second Count

UTTERING FORGED DOCUMENT

Contrary to section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap. 9.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

PATRICK TIMOTHY TETTEY LAWMANN on the 19th day of June, 1957, at Accra in the Eastern Judicial Division of Southern Ghana, with intent to pervert the course of justice, uttered a certain forged document purporting to be a Deed of Gift dated 30th November, 1932, knowing it to be forged.

Third Count

UTTERING FORGED DOCUMENT

Contrary to section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap. 9.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

PATRICK TIMOTHY TETTEY LAWMANN on the 25th day of June, 1957, at Accra in the Eastern Judicial Division of Southern Ghana, with intent to pervert the course of justice, uttered a certain forged document purporting to be a Deed of Gift dated 30th November, 1932 knowing it to be forged.

Fourth Count

UTTERING A FORGED DOCUMENT

Contrary to section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap. 9.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

PATRICK TIMOTHY TETTEY LAWMANN on the 22nd October, 1957, at Accra in the Eastern Judicial Division of Southern Ghana, with intent to defraud, uttered a certain forged document purporting to be a Deed of Gift dated 30th November, 1932, knowing the same to be forged, by registering it with the Deeds Registry, Accra.

Fifth Count

POSSESSING A FORGED DOCUMENT

Contrary to section 325 of the Criminal Code Cap. 9.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

PATRICK TIMOTHY TETTEY LAWMANN on or about the 24th day of May, 1960, at Accra in the Eastern Judicial Division of Southern Ghana, with intent to defraud, had in his possession a forged document purporting to be a Deed of Gift dated 30th November, 1932."

He was tried before Acolatse, J., sitting with a jury, convicted on all the counts and sentenced to one year's imprisonment with hard labour, sentences to run concurrently. Against that conviction he has appealed to this court.

The pith of the prosecution's case is that the appellant had forged the deed of gift, dated the 30th November, 1932, and that consequently exhibits B1, B2 and E which are photostat copies of the original deed and the site plan show the forgeries. It is not disputed that the photostat copies found in the appellant's possession on the 24th May, 1960 as charged in count five were uttered by him in judicial proceedings on the 19th June, 1957, and the 25th June, 1957, as alleged in counts 2 and 3 respectively and also that he uttered it on the 20th October, 1957, for registration at the Deeds Registry, Accra, also as alleged in count 4. The only issue, therefore, was whether the original of these photostat copies had been forged by the appellant as charged in count one. It was conceded [p.701] at the trial, and now in this appeal, that acquittal or conviction on the various counts depended on the jury's verdict on the first count of forgery.

A deed of gift in general comprises of a typed document and a site plan, one being complementary to the other, and therefore a forgery on any part of either of them is forgery of the whole deed of gift.

In this case there is no dispute that the appellant was granted a piece of land by his family at Nima, a suburb of Accra, and that the deed of gift on the land was executed on the 30th November, 1932, by the head of the family and other principal members of the said family. But it was contended by the prosecution that the grant of the land to the appellant covered only an area of 175 ft. by 175 ft. and that the appellant at a subsequent date altered these figures to read 675 ft. by 675 ft. The prosecution further alleged that the site plan had also been forged as well as the signature of the draughtsman and surveyor, Mr. Burgesson.

The original document was not available at the trial because the appellant said he lost it within the precincts of the Supreme Court during the hearing of the famous Kokomlemle case in 1951. To prove forgery therefore the prosecution had to rely on the two photostat copies, exhibit B1 and exhibit B2, secondary evidence, which were found in the possession of the appellant during the search of his premises.

The task of the prosecution was to prove not only that exhibit B1 and exhibit B2 show forgeries but that the forgeries were by the appellant. And to establish these two facts the prosecution called as witnesses some of the important members of the Odoi Kwao Family who deposed from their own personal knowledge the circumstances and the nature of the grant which the family made to the appellant in 1932. Amongst these witnesses was one John Armah Kofi Mensah (P.W.4) whose evidence for the sake of clarity we quote as follows:

"I know the accused. He is my cousin and a member of the family. The accused saw me in connection with some family land that he wanted. This was in 1929. He made the request to me. The family agreed to his request. I was deputed by the family with the accused and his surveyor, one Mr. Simpson and some members of the family to go to the land. We went and surveyed a portion of the land for accused and gave him a dimension of 150 ft. by 100 ft. We then returned home. The accused performed the necessary custom by providing drinks for the grant of the land to him.

In 1932 the accused approached the family again. He told us that a portion of the land granted to him was being taken for construction of public road and he wished the family to give him an additional land to make up. The family agreed. I with some other members of the family were deputed to the spot. Nikoi Olai Kotey was among the party deputed with the accused to go and view the land. A surveyor by name, Asante went with us. We measured a portion of the land for the accused giving him a dimension of 175 ft. by 175 ft. in place of the original grant of 150 ft. by 100 ft. We erected corner pillars to demarcate the boundaries of the land for accused.

The accused prepared a document on the land for execution in the same year, 1932, as a deed of gift dated the 30th November, 1932. The document was executed by Augustina Ahima Owoo and others. I was a signatory to the document. The dimensions of the land stated in the document which we executed were 175 ft. by 175 ft. Some of the signatories to the document were illiterates. One Mr. Hammond, friend of the accused, interpreted and explained the document in Ga to us. This Mr. Hammond is a witness in the case." [p.702]

This witness was followed by Leeford Charles Hammond (P.W. 5) who is nearly 71 years of age, and an old classmate of the appellant. According to Hammond he was one day in 1932 approached by the appellant who asked him to accompany him (appellant) to his family, the Odoi Kwao Family, and to read and translate in Ga a document to which was attached a site plan to the illiterate members of the family. The witness agreed and he accompanied the appellant to the family house where he read the document and translated and explained it in Ga to the family. Then he wrote the names of all the illiterate members of the family present in the document and after each had touched his pen he made their marks. He himself signed the document as the interpreter and witness to their marks.

The witness said that five years later the appellant came to him with the original deed of gift and asked him to swear to an affidavit in support of the signatories to the document, but he noticed at that time that the figures, and words of the dimensions ?- 175 ft. by 175 ft. had been altered to read in words and figures 675 ft. by 675 ft. He therefore pointed this out to the appellant and refused to swear the affidavit. Again, about four years ago after the appellant had again failed to persuade him to swear the affidavit he was called to the chambers of Mr. C. C. Lokko, a legal practitioner, where in the presence of Mr. Lokko he gave his reasons for refusing to swear to the affidavit. In the course of his evidence Hammond was shown exhibit Bl and exhibit B2 and in answer to a question he said as follows:

"I see here two photostat copies. The dimensions stated in each are 675 ft. by 675 ft. I say definitely no, these dimensions are not the same as the dimensions given in the original document as 175 ft. by 175 ft. which I read and interpreted to the family. The site plan in exhibit B and B2 is different from the site plan in the original document".

It is clear from the evidence that no one, at any rate no members of the family, saw the original deed of gift again after its execution in 1932 until 1937 when the appellant took it to Edward Laud Nikoi Olai Kotey (P.W. 3) in connection with a loan transaction. This witness also deposed that he found that the original measurement of 175 ft. by 175 ft. had been changed to 675 ft. by 675 ft., and also the figure I had been erased and the figure 6 substituted and the word six had been substituted for the word one in the document. He immediately asked about these changes in the dimensions and the appellant admitted that he changed the measurements in the document, his reason being that if there was to be a distribution of the family land his share would be greater than 675 ft. by 675 ft.

It seems that P.W. 5 (Hammond) also saw the original deed of gift in 1937 when he noticed certain erasures and alterations in connection with the dimension of the area originally granted. This matter became known to the family and all efforts by the family to persuade the appellant to produce the original deed of gift for scrutiny were of no avail.

The witness for the prosecution, notably P.W. 3, P.W. 6 and P.W. 7 gave an account of an incident that took place in 1951 in the chambers of the late Mr. James Quist-Therson who was the solicitor for the Odoi [p.703] Kwao Family in the Kokomlemle case. These witnesses testified that they and the appellant were invited by the late Mr. Quist-Therson for consultation and that during their discussions the appellant produced a document which was read by the lawyer and P.W. 7. Suddenly P.W. 7 is said to have exclaimed: "If it is true that you have forged the document, it is true you have forged it". According to P.W. 7 he stood behind the lawyer when they were reading the document and he discovered that whilst the site plan showed an acreage of 0.703 the dimensions in the body of the document read 675 ft. by 675 ft. Now, 675 ft. by 675 ft. would definitely give an acreage of more than 0.703. This therefore makes it plain that the dimensions of the plot had been altered from 175 ft. by 175 ft. to 675 ft. by 675 ft. All the witnesses agreed that the appellant at this juncture snatched the document from the hands of the lawyer but he surrendered it on the request of the lawyer. The document was properly examined and the witnesses observed certain erasures and other alterations in connection with the area granted and consequently on the advice of the lawyer the appellant did not tender the original deed of gift dated the 30th November, 1932, during the course of his evidence at the trial in the Kokomlemle case.

In further proof of count one the prosecution called one Mr. B. S. Holloway of the Ghana Police Service in charge of the scientific and photographic section of the Criminal Investigation Department, Accra. In his evidence he said that the question of forgery did not interest him; the only thing he did was to conduct a scientific investigation on the photostat copies, exhibits B1, B2 and E given to him. This witness had not before him the original deed that was alleged to have been forged. We may here set out a few important extracts from his evidence in order to demonstrate the relevance of his testimony to the essential issues which the prosecution sought to prove. The following are the extracts from P.W. 10's evidence:

?"The examination was confined to the appearance of the type and the alignments of the type. In the first place the foreword 'Six' in the Indenture are bolder than the remainder of the type...

The reason for the word 'Six' being bolder than the rest of the type is consistent with either more force having been used with this word 'Six', or the surface being made more receptive by disturbance through mechanical erasure, or another machine having been used, or the same machine with a different ribbon...

With regard to alignment errors the word Six is out of the alignment in each case. Normally, if letters in a type-writer are out of line, through wear or damage this is consistent but in this particular case each word 'Six' is out of alignment to a different degree which is consistent with the paper having been moved or removed from the machine in each case and put back before the particular word is typed. If the word 'Six' had been erased while it was still in the machine the words following it would be in the same alignment as the word 'Six' but they are not. The words following the word 'Six' are in the same alignment as the word preceding the word 'Six' which is consistent with the typing having been completed before the word 'Six' was inserted...

The alignment of the word 'Six' is at a different angle bearing between half a degree and two and a quarter degrees. These variations represent deviation from normal alignment...

It was found that the capital 'Ss' in the remainder of the document show an impression consistent of having been damaged. Six of these are shown on the [p.704] chart?-exhibit F?-as comparisons. They were extracted from the words seventy, South, and Donors. They register heavily on the lower part without hardly any impression on the top left hand side. This appears to indicate different machine used.

In the four words, six', ?'i' is out of alignment with the letter ?'x' and ?'s'. This is not uncommon and it may be due to manipulation of the shift key but the misalignment 'i' does not appear in other words. . .

I examined the site plan in exhibit E. The peculiar thing about that site plan is that although the measurements are 675 ft. x 675 ft. the drawn site is not square. The site plan measures 6 long and 6 wide. As it is the site plan cannot have a measurement of 675 ft. x 675 ft....

The site plan on exhibit Bl is square measuring 63/8 long and 63/8 wide, exhibit B2 also is square. I cannot explain the difference in the site plan on exhibit E and exhibit Bl. Exhibit E in respect of the site plan cannot be a reproduction of the site plan on exhibits Bl and 2.

My general opinion is that in the first place I said more force was used in respect of the word 'Six', to me that seems to be unlikely as an explanation for the word 'Six' being more bold, but the other three reasons owing to the surface being made more receptive by mechanical erasures or another machine may have been used or the same machine having been used with a new ribbon; all appear to me to be and could be an equal explanation."

After saying that there were so many possibilities that a typist might have made a legitimate mistake and corrected it the witness said as follows: "It is unlikely that if the typist made a mistake in the word Six it would appear in all four cases". Some of the words in the extracts have been underlined by us for the purpose of emphasis.

If this evidence is accepted then in our view it supports in a large measure the evidence of P.W.3, P.W.6 and P.W.7 that they had at some earlier dates noticed erasures and alterations in the original deed of gift dated the 30th November, 1932.

In section 329 of Criminal Code, Cap 9 it is provided as follows:

"(1) A person forges a document if he makes or alters such document, or a material part thereof, with intent to cause it to be believed?-

(a) that such document or part has been so made or altered by any person who did not in fact so make or alter it; or

(b) that such document or part has been so made or altered with the authority or consent of any person who did not in fact give such authority or consent; or

(c) that such document or part has been so made or altered at a time different from that at which it was in fact so made or altered;"

"(5) It is immaterial whether the person by whom, or with whose authority or consent, a document or part thereof purports to have been made, or is intended to be believed to have been made, be living or dead, or be a fictitious person;"

"(7) 'Alteration' includes any cancelling, erasure, severance, interlineation, or transposition of or in a document or of or in any material part thereof, and the addition of any material part thereto, and other act or device whereby the purport, operation, or validity of the document may be affected."

It is also the case for the prosecution that the signature of one Burgesson, surveyor and draughtsman, since deceased, on the site plan attached to each of exhibits B1, B2 and E was not the same as it appeared in the original which bore the late Burgesson's signature. In proof of the forgery of the late Burgesson's signature on the site plan the prosecution [p.705] led evidence by P.W.9 (David Emmanuel Amuah) who knew the signature of the late Burgesson. His evidence was short and it is as follows:

"Civil Service pensioner, Accra, Labadi.

I knew a man called Burgesson, now dead. He was a draughtsman and a land surveyor. He made a site plan on my land at Labadi for me. This is the site plan made in 1920. Burgesson was my cousin. It is his signature on the site plan. I know it. (Tendered. No objection. Marked D).

Cross-examined by counsel:?-

Burgesson was my cousin and how could you know he was not my cousin. I have no other document in my possession with Burgesson's signature on it. Re-examined by State Attorney:?-None".

It has been argued by counsel for the appellant that the evidence of P.W.9 was not sufficient and that to prove forgery the prosecution must produce for the purposes of comparison by the jury a handwriting of the appellant. It was further contended that to succeed the prosecution must show that the signature on the site plan attached to exhibit E was not written by the late Burgesson.

In our view a witness is competent to give evidence as to handwriting once it is shown that that witness was in some way acquainted with the party whose handwriting is in dispute. Thus in Phipson on Evidence (9th ed.) p. 416 the principle is stated in this way: "A statement that the witness is acquainted with the party's handwriting is generally sufficient in chief it being for the opponent to cross-examine as to means and extent". In this case the witness said that he knew the signature of the late Burgesson and he produced a site plan, exhibit D, which appears to bear the genuine signature of the late Burgesson written as far back as 1920. We think that it is not even essential to the proof that P.W.9 should have seen Burgesson actually write his signature: see Roscoe's Criminal Evidence, (16th ed.) p. 191. The cross-examination of this witness was most perfunctory and his evidence therefore stood uncontradicted.

The appellant has all along maintained that the land granted to him by the family and which was reduced into the deed of gift dated the 30th November, 1932, measured 675 ft. by 675 ft. He denied most emphatically throughout his evidence that the land given to him in 1932 measured 175 ft. by 175 ft. and that the incident in the chambers of the late Mr. Quist-Therson ever took place.

In the case where handwriting or any other writing is in dispute the Court of Criminal Appeal is entitled to examine the documents and come to its own conclusions: see Appea v. The King,1 also R. v. Rickard2 We have ourselves examined exhibits B1, B2, C, D, E, F, J J1 and we have formed the opinion that (1) it is not unreasonable to conclude that the words 'Six' in the body of the document had been forged; (2) the site plans, the photostat copies, give cause to believe that the original site plan had been forged; (3) the signature of Burgesson and the words "Surveyor and Draught" on the site plans are not the same as the proved specimen signature of Burgesson appearing on exhibit D and therefore [p.706] not genuine. We think therefore that exhibit B1 exhibit B2 and exhibit E show forgeries within the provisions of section 329 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 9.

But to succeed it is incumbent on the prosecution to lead evidence to establish that the documents were forged by the appellant. Here the only direct evidence that the appellant himself altered the dimensions of the area granted in the original deed of gift was that of P.W.3 who deposed that the appellant told him in 1937 that he had changed the dimensions in the original document but this the appellant strenuously denied. Be that as it may, we think it would be sufficient if the prosecution led circumstantial evidence from which the fact of the appellant having forged the documents could be inferred.

There can be no doubt that the original deed of gift dated the 30th November, 1932 remained exclusively in the possession of the appellant from the date of its execution. No one saw it again until 1937 when the alterations were noticed for first time by P.W.3, and it continued in the possession of the appellant until 1951 when he produced it with the erasures and alterations in the chambers of the late Mr. Quist-Therson. On the evidence there is little room for doubt that the appellant alone had the exclusive opportunity of forging these documents, and in the circumstances it is not unreasonable to find, as the jury did in view of their verdict, that the appellant was the forger. In R. v. James,3 Erle, J., said:

?"I think, if a man has an instrument in his possession without an indorsement or other writing, the subject-matter of the alleged forgery, and half an hour afterwards is found with the instrument indorsed, there is some evidence of forgery to go to the jury. Although the prisoner might not be able to write himself, yet if he got any one in the street to write the name, he is as much guilty of forgery as if he wrote it himself. I think in this case there is the same evidence to go to the jury on the counts for forgery as for uttering."

In this case the appellant led no evidence to show that the original deed of gift got into the possession of someone else after its execution in 1932 and in the light of the whole evidence in this case we think that either he must have forged the document himself or got someone to forge it for him.

Before starting his argument in this appeal counsel for the appellant with leave of the court abandoned the original grounds of appeal and argued the additional grounds which are in these terms:

"(1) In the absence of any evidence by the great expert that the figure 6 in exhibits B1 and B2 was forged it was wrong to leave the issue of the forgery of the word 'Six' to the jury without drawing their attention to the absence of the figure 6.

(2) The learned judge was wrong in failing to direct the jury as to what was required in law to prove handwriting or a signature.

(3) The indictment on the first count was bad because no particulars of the alleged forgery were given.

(4) The verdict is unreasonable and cannot be supported having regard to the evidence." [p.707]

Counsel argued the third ground first and submitted that the particulars of the forgeries in the body of the document and the site plan should have been given. Whilst we are with counsel on this point we think he overlooked the provisions of section 406 of the Criminal Code, 19604. These omissions were patent on the face of the indictment and the objection could have been taken at the arraignment, but this was not done. The objection appears to be based on section 202(2) of Criminal Procedure Code, 1960. This section which is similar to section 3(1) of the Indictment Act, 1915, of England, reads as follows:

"Every indictment shall contain and shall be sufficient if it contains a statement of the offence with which the accused is charged, together with such particulars as may be necessary for giving reasonable information as to the nature of the charge".

In R. v. McVittie5 an objection was taken under section 3(1) of the Indictment Act, 1915, that the indictment was bad on the ground of an omission of a certain particular. The appeal was dismissed and in doing so the Court of Criminal Appeal in England made the following observations:

"The indictment in the present case conformed to these provisions, save only in one respect. If the words in section 3, 'necessary for giving reasonable information', import an objective test (which we think they do) then the word 'knowingly' should have been included in the particulars. In our opinion this did not make the indictment a bad indictment, but simply a defective or imperfect one. A bad indictment would be one disclosing no offence known to the law, for example where it was laid under a statute which had been repealed and not re-enacted.

In the present case the indictment described the offence with complete accuracy in the 'Statement of Offence'. Only the particulars, which merely elaborate the 'Statement of Offence' were incomplete. The question of applying the proviso is to be considered, therefore, not on the basis that the indictment disclosed no known offence but that it described a known offence with incomplete particulars."

In the present case count one of the indictment disclosed an offence known to the laws of Ghana and despite the omission, all the material particulars were satisfactorily proved at the trial. We do not therefore think that the omissions caused an embarrassment or prejudice to the appellant and consequently there was no miscarriage of justice.

Counsel next argued grounds (1) and (4) together. It is true to say that the expert, P.W.10, did not deal with the figure '6' in the documents, but we think that the evidence of P.W. 10 should not be isolated from the rest of the evidence in the case. When the whole evidence is considered we are of the opinion that there was abundant evidence of forgery to go to the jury.

In arguing his last ground of appeal, ground (3), counsel lost sight of the fact that though the learned trial judge failed to direct the jury as to what was required in law to prove handwriting or signature that requirement was as a matter of fact satisfied by the evidence of P.W.6 who was acquainted with the handwriting of the late Burgesson. [p.708]

The whole case for the prosecution depended upon the factual testimony of witnesses who knew of the history of the grant of land to the appellant and also upon the result of scientific investigation by P.W.10. At the close of the whole evidence the learned trial judge summed up the evidence in a manner most fair to the appellant, and just before the jury retired to consider their verdict he charged them in these words: "Is there in fact an alteration in the photostat copy of exhibit B1? Is there in fact difference in the site plan or on exhibits B1 and E?"

These were questions of fact for the jury to determine and they answered both questions unanimously in the affirmative and convicted the appellant on all counts.

Where (1) there was evidence to go to the jury, (ii) there has been no serious misdirection or irregularity such as "deprives the accused of the substance of fair trial and protection of the law" and (iii) the verdict is one which a reasonable jury could arrive at, it is not for us to interfere, even though we may feel, and we do not in this case, that we might have come to an entirely different conclusion ourselves: see per Lord Goddard, C.J. in R. v. Hopkins-Husson6. We think that the three conditions are present in this case and we accordingly dismiss the appeal.

Decision

<P>Appeal dismissed.</P>

Plaintiff / Appellant

B. J. da Rocha

Defendant / Respondent

K. Dua Sakyi with him P. A. Adjetey

Referals

(1) Appea v. The King (1951) 13 W.A.C.A. 143

(2) R. v. Rickard (1918) 13 Cr.  App.  R. 140

(3) R. v. James (1849) 4 Cox C.C. 90

(4) R. v. McVittie [1960] 2 All E.R. 498; 44 Cr.  App.  R. 201

(5) R. v. Hopkins-Husson (1949) 34 Cr. App. R. 47.

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