R v Hanson, Gilmore and Pickstone  EWCA Crim 824
credibility restrictive view.The bad character provisions under the CJA 03 do not require a ?�striking similarity� to be established before past convictions become admissible. Under s.103(2) CJA 03 evidence of propensity to commit an offence of the type charged could be established by evidence of conviction for an offence of the same description or category. However s.103 (2) was not exhaustive of the types of previous conviction that might be relied on to show evidence of propensity to commit offences of the type charged. In a consideration of gateway (d) and its companion provision, s.103, held that not all previous convictions show �a propensity to be untruthful� for the purposes of s.103(1)(b). Previous convictions are likely to show such a propensity only where: (1) the earlier trials had been contested and the defendant had given evidence that the jury must have disbelieved; or, (2) the way in which the previous offences were committed showed a propensity to be untruthful (for example by making false representations). There is no justification for restricting evidence of a propensity to be untruthful to evidence of past untruthfulness as a witness in court. This case, which is fundamental to the interpretation of the bad character provisions affecting a defendant, should be carefully studied and noted. It is recommended that you should work initially from a full report of the case and then read the Commentary in Crim LR. Some of the cases below show the Hanson principles the court set out some factors which should be taken into account in assessing fairness:(a) The degree of similarity between the previous conviction(s) and the offence charged, although striking similarity is not required.53 (b) The gravity of the respective offences.54 It is submit Inted that this must mea it was held thatn the extent to which they are of similar or dissimilar gravity. (c) If the Crown case depends entirely on the bad character evidence, or if there is little other evidence against the defendant, then it would be unlikely to be just to admit the bad character evidence.55 (d) The older the previous conviction, the less likely it will be fair to admit it, all the more so when the features of similarity are less.56 It seems, therefore, that these factors compound one another.