High Court of Australia

The Queen v Dennis Bauer (a pseudonym) [2018] HCA 40

12 Sep 2018

Case Number: M1/2018


Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon, Edelman JJ


Evidence – Criminal trial – Sexual offences with child under 16 years – Tendency evidence – Admissibility – Severance – Where evidence of complainant as to 17 sexual acts and several uncharged sexual acts admitted as tendency evidence – Where evidence of third party as to Charge 2 admitted as tendency evidence – Whether evidence of complainant and third party admissible as tendency evidence – Whether evidence of each charged act and uncharged act cross-admissible as tendency evidence in proof of each charge – Whether tendency evidence had significant probative value – Whether possibility of risk of contamination, concoction or collusion relevant to determination of probative value – Whether probative value substantially outweighed any prejudicial effect – Whether tendency notice defective – Whether Charge 2 should have been severed from indictment.

Evidence – Criminal trial – Recording of evidence – Admissibility – Where evidence of complainant recorded at previous trial admitted – Where prosecutor told court that complainant had strong preference not to give evidence at trial based on advice from counsellors – Where defence counsel did not challenge complainant's preference not to give evidence – Whether in interests of justice to admit recording.

Evidence – Criminal trial – Hearsay – Admissibility – Where complainant made representations to third party that she was sexually assaulted by respondent – Where representations made in response to leading questions from third party – Where inconsistencies between complainant's representations and other evidence given by complainant – Whether occurrence of asserted facts fresh in complainant's memory at time of representations – Whether probative value of evidence outweighed by danger of unfair prejudice.

Words and phrases – "charged act", "collusion", "complaint", "concoction", "contamination", "credibility", "cross-admissible", "discreditable acts", "fresh in the memory", "improper prejudice", "jury directions", "previously recorded evidence", "propensity", "recording", "reliability", "severance", "sexual attraction", "sexual interest", "sexual offence", "significant probative value", "single complainant", "special feature", "tendency", "uncharged act", "unfair prejudice", "willingness".

Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic) – ss 194, 379, 380, 381, 385.

Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) – ss 66, 97, 99, 101, 135, 137.

Jury Directions Act 2015 (Vic) – ss 61, 62.

Evidence Regulations 2009 (Vic) – reg 7.

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