Officers advanced training school - summary of evidence



Officers advanced training school - summary of evidence


Covers definition, purpose, when and by whom to be taken, action before taking, procedure - explanation to the accused, procedure - taking the summary, evidence, procedure - making up papers, summoning of witnesses, action by C.O, conclusion and appendix with an example and questions..



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Six page typewritten document

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[date stamp of No. 1 Officers Advanced Training School Jun 1945]
Appendix A: Specimen Summary of Evidence
References: M.A.F.L. R.P.4, 5 and 8
A.P. 837, Sect. 27
[underlined] Definition [/underlined]
1. C.O. having investigated charge can order summary of evidence to be taken, i.e., a written record of evidence against the accused and, if the accused so desires, of evidence in his favour. Should be carefully and accurately taken to ensure prompt and proper administration of justice.
[underlined] Purposes [/underlined]
2. (a) To assist C.O. and A.O.C. in deciding whether case should go to trial by C.M. and, if so, upon what charges.
(b) To enable accused to know case against him and prepare his defence.
(c) To supply Prosecutor’s brief
(d) To inform President of C.M. of nature of case.
(e) To assist court in deciding whether to accept plea of guilty if offered and, if accepted, in determining proper sentence.
[underlined] When and by whom to be taken [/underlined]
3. If possible on same day as ordered. Any officer not likely to be required as a witness. (Officers inexperienced in taking S. of E. may be put under instruction).
[underlined] Action before Taking [/underlined]
4. Officer detailed should:-
(a) Ascertain whether C.O. directs evidence to be taken on oath.
(b) Obtain outline of case from C.O.
(c) Consider what offence(s) appear to have been committed and study relevant sections of A.F.A.
(d) Consider what facts must be proved to establish that offence(s) committed by accused and evidence required to prove such facts.
(e) Interview any persons who may be able to give relevant evidence. Accused need not be present.
(f) Arrange for attendance of witnesses – see para. 17 below.
(g) Study references quoted in A.P. 837, para. 782 (ix).
(h) In cheque cases and where evidence required of entries in bankers’ books see A.M.C.O. A.56/42.
(j) See that accommodation arranged and Bible, M.A.F.L. and A.P. 837 provided. A.P. 837, Sect. 27 should be referred to throughout.
[underlined] Procedure – Explanation to Accused [/underlined]
5. When ready to start accused and escort to be marched in, then explain to accused:
(a) That Summary of Evidence about to be taken.
[page break]
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(b) That at the moment the charge against him is ……….. (read).
(c) That, after S. of E. has been considered, charge may be dismissed, altered or new ones added.
(d) That evidence will be taken on oath (if C.O. has so ordered); or that accused may demand so.
(e) That witnesses will give evidence in turn, and accused has right to cross-examine them.
(f) That accused not bound to make statement or give evidence (i.e. on oath); but that, after prosecution witnesses have given evidence, he will be cautioned and may then make statement or give evidence.
(g) That he may call witnesses in his defence.
(h) If asked, that accused cannot claim to be represented at S. of E.
Accused then to be asked if he fully understands; if not, make clear.
[underlined] Procedure – Taking the Summary [/underlined]
6. Proceedings conducted formally, but accused, escort and each witness permitted to sit. Accused must be present throughout. Only one witness to be in room at a time.
7. Use foolscap paper, leaving 1-inch margin on left. Prepare heading as in Appendix to this precis, recording fact of oath.
8. Call in first witness and administer oath if necessary (for form of oath see M.A.F.L., p. 543); record his number, rank, names (surname in CAPITALS), unit and station. Record his evidence in narrative form, beginning with description of his duties.
9. Ask accused if he wishes to cross-examine witness, recording his choice. If accused cross-examines, record as questions and answers.
10. Read over evidence to witness (including questions and answers), if he disagrees with record, add as in 2nd witness’s evidence in Appendix. Witness to sign at end (after cross-examination and alteration, if any).
11. Proceed with each witness for prosecution in turn, using separate sheet for each, until evidence completed.
12. Warn accused in exact terms of caution set out in R.P. 4 (E). Unless caution given, any statement or evidence given by accused is inadmissible against him. Accused may either:-
(a) Decline to make a statement or give evidence, or
(b) Make statement, or
(c) If all evidence being given on Oath, give evidence on Oath.
Warning and accused’s choice to be recorded. Officer taking S. of E. should [underlined] not [/underlined] give advice to accused. A.P. 837 para. 798.
13. Accused [underlined] not [/underlined] to be questioned on his statement. Statement to be read over to him; he may, but is not bound, to sign it.
14. Accused may call witnesses; they are not to be cross-examined, but accused may ask questions to bring out their evidence, recorded in narrative form and signed.
15. When all evidence taken, certificate to be added – see Appendix.
[page break]
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[underlined] Evidence [/underlined]
16. Rules of evidence as applied in Courts Martial operate. Main rules are:-
(a) Evidence must be relevant and admissible – see next para.
(b) Relevant documents should be “produced” by appropriate witness who can testify to entries in question.
17. Certain evidence is inadmissible, namely:-
(a) Hearsay.
(b) Opinion – except expert, e.g. medical, handwriting etc. See M.A.F.L. Chap. VI paras. 15 et seq.
[underlined] Procedure – Making up the papers [/underlined]
18. Read evidence through and arrange in logical sequence, number consecutively as follows:-
(a) Witnesses for prosecution
(b) Witnesses for defence
(c) Questions and answers throughout
(d) Pages of S. of E.
Exhibits (documents, or articles produced by witnesses), labelled with consecutive letters, should be annexed where practicable.
[underlined] Summoning of Witnesses [/underlined]
19. (a) [underlined] Service witnesses [/underlined] – attendance arranged through Service channels
(b) [underlined] Civilians [/underlined] – summoned by an order given in M.A.F.L., p. 542, signed by C.O.
[underlined] Dispensing with personal attenance [sic] of witnesses [/underlined]
20. Under R.P. 4 (G), if witness not readily available, statement of evidence may be obtained and included in S. of E., unless accused demands presence.
[underlined] Action by C.O. [/underlined]
21. C.O. considers S. of E. and decides whether to:-
(a) Dismiss case; or
(b) Deal with summarily if within powers; or
(c) If outside his powers, apply to A.O.C. for permission to deal with accused summarily; or
(d) Where officer (F.L. or below) or M.O. concerned, submit to A.O.C. for summary disposal; or
(e) Apply for trial by C.M.
(f) When insufficient evidence to support a charge with which the C.O. may not deal summarily (e.g. stealing) but sufficient to support one with which he may deal, (e.g. improper possession), he can alter charge and punish the accused.
[underlined] Conclusion [/underlined]
22. Importance of prompt and accurate taking of S. of E. again stressed. Officer taking should understand that rules of evidence as for civil courts apply to S. of E., and should study particularly A.P. 837, para. 786.
[underlined] Amendments to this Precis: [/underlined]
[page break]
in the case of
No. 1234567, Corporal John William, [underlined] MATTHEWS [/underlined]
No. 1001 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Somewhere,
(a) The Commanding Officer had directed that the evidence be taken on oath.
1st Witness for Prosecution No. 76543 Sergeant Robert [underlined] PEELER, [/underlined] S.H.Q., R.A.F. Station, Mildenfield (b) being duly sworn, states:-
I am N.C.O. i/c Station Police at Mildenfield. On 1st MARCH 1944 I was on duty in the Main Guard Room ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
(The accused declines to cross-examine the witness)
Cross-examined by the accused.
Question 1 ………………………………..
Answer 1 …………………………………..
Question 2 ………………………………..
Answer 2 …………………………………..
(Sgd) R. PEELER, Sgt.
2nd Witness for Prosecution No. 197531 AC2. Albert [underlined] DULLER [/underlined], No. 888 Squadron, R.A.F. Mildenfield (b) being duly sworn, states:-
On 1st March 1944 I was serving at R.A.F. Mildenfield and accommodated in barrack hut D. The accused airman, whom I recognise, slept in the same room……………………………………………………….
Cross examined by the accused
Question 3 ………………………………
Answer 3 ………………………………..
Question 4 ………………………………..
Answer 4 …………………………………..
On his evidence being read over to him, the witness desires to make the following (c) alteration:-
The barrack hut to which I have referred was hut B, and not hut D.
(Sgd) A. DULLER, A.C.2.
3rd Witness for Prosecution Mrs. Jean [underlined] McGILLICUDDY [/underlined] of 24, Orange Grove, Belfast, Northern Ireland, widow (see statement furnished under R.P. 4 G, attached as Exhibit A).
The accused is warned in accordance with R.P. 4 (E).
(d) The accused declines to make any statement or give evidence.
Certified that the foregoing summary of evidence consisting of (3) pages, was taken down by me at Mildenfield on 11th MARCH 1944, in the presence of the accused, and that (e) R.P. 4 (C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) were complied with
(Sgd) Henry Wright, F.L.
Officer taking Summary of Evidence.
[page break]
[underlined] APPENDIX “A” CONTD. [/underlined]
[underlined] EXHIBIT A [/underlined].
I am Jean McGILLICUDDY, of 24 Orange Grove, Belfast, Northern Ireland, widow ………………………….
10th, March 1944
(Sgd) Jean McGillicuddy.
I certify that owing to the expense and loss of time involved, in my opinion the attendance of Jean McGillicuddy could not readily be obtained.
The foregoing statement of her evidence, signed by her, has been read to the accused who does not demand the attendance of the witness for cross-examination.
(Sgd) Henry Wright, F.L.
Officer taking Summary of Evidence.
[underlined] NOTES [/underlined]
(a) [underlined] or [/underlined] The accused demands that evidence be taken on oath
[underlined] or [/underlined] the accused does not desire that evidence be taken on oath.
(b) Omit if evidence not on oath.
(c) [underlined] or [/underlined] addition.
(d) [underlined] or [/underlined] the accused states:-
or the accused being duly sworn states:-
(e) Omit (F) if evidence not taken on oath
Omit (G) if all witnesses attend personally.
[page break]
1. A C.O. investigates a case and remands accused for a S. of E. to be taken. When should the S. of E. be begun?
2. May a civilian witness be compelled to attend a S. of E.?
3. Is it always necessary for a witness to attend personally?
4. Can the accused by represented by counsel or defending officer at the taking of a S. of E.? [inserted] NO [/inserted]
5. When is the evidence taken on oath?
6. When is evidence of opinion admissible?
7. Accused at a S. of E. after formal caution, makes a statement; (a) will be [sic] sign the statement; (b) can he be cross-examined?
8. If the officer taking S. of E. fails to warn the accused by means of the proper caution, what effect will this have on any statement made or evidence given by him?
9. Who may cross-examine: (a) witness for prosecution; (b) witness for defence?
10. A witness at a Summary of Evidence hands to the officer taking the summary a letter written to him by the accused. How is this document referred to in the record of evidence?
11. How are questions and answers numbered?
12. Is a separate sheet used for the evidence of each witness?
13. You are taking a Summary of Evidence. On his evidence being read over to him, a witness disagrees with your record of what he said. What would you do?
14. A S. of E. is completed, but it is found that further evidence is required. In what form is this further evidence taken and how will it be headed?
15. Can witnesses’ expenses be paid to civilians attending S. of E.?
16. Can the officer taking S. of E. refer to Court of Inquiry proceedings held on incident leading to charge?
17. What is “hearsay” evidence? Is it admissible?
18. What must be proved before a confession is admissible?
19. Can a C.O. dismiss a charge after a S. of E. is completed?
20. Can officer taking S. of E. recall a prosecution witness for further evidence?


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