Before an application for an inquiry into a conviction can be lodged, it must be sent to a Crown Prosecutor, to provide a response to the purported fresh evidence.
In this case, the Crown response included the following points.
1. The views expressed in my lengthy report were of no more value than that of the detective, making my opinion ‘simply the view of another person’.
2. I had not had the benefit of the infra-red headphones provided to the jury.
The point of infrared headphones is not their quality. In fact they are usually of lower quality than wired headphones. Their value is they can be used without wires, convenient for a jury. I of course use high quality wired headphones.
3. The defence had made no objection to the words, ‘at the start we made a pact’, only to their interpretation as referring to a pact to carry out the murder.
4. In any case the recording contained other material, besides ‘at the start we made a pact’ that supported the prosecution case.
5. The judge had had no difficulty in discerning the phrase.
6. The judge had given appropriate instructions to the jury, that they should focus on the audio evidence using the transcript only as an aid.
7. The jury was fully able to listen to the sound recording and make its own determination as to what could be heard.