HM Advocate v Taylor

Criminal evidence – Sexual offences – Corroboration. High Court of Justiciary: Allowing a Crown appeal in a case in which the respondent was convicted of the offence of coercing another into being present during sexual activity by masturbating in view of his next door neighbour on several occasions between 16 October and 16 November of 2017, only the final incident being spoken to by more than one witness, the court held that the Sheriff Appeal Court had erred in determining that there was insufficient evidence to corroborate the libel in its entirety and that the principle of mutual corroboration could not be applied to proof of three of the four incidents the complainer witnessed: the doctrine of mutual corroboration could apply where the individual offences said to constitute a single course of criminal conduct persisted in by the offender were all committed against the same complainer and where the only separate source of evidence relied on for corroboration was evidence not from another complainer but simply from an independent witness to one of the offences; the Moorov doctrine could be used to corroborate evidence from the complainer about a number of incidents where those incidents were not charged separately but were included within one single 'composite' charge.

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