Melville v Procurator Fiscal, Dundee

Criminal evidence and procedure – Threatening and abusive behaviour – Irregularly obtained evidence – Best evidence – Corroboration. Sheriff Appeal Court: Refusing an appeal by an appellant who was convicted of threatening and abusive behaviour by sending text messages to the complainer containing threatening and abusive remarks about Muslims, the sheriff having repelled both the appellant's objection to the admissibility of a transcript of mobile phone messages which he and the complainer had allegedly exchanged and his submission of no case to answer, the court concluded that, having decided that the evidence was improperly obtained by the complainer's husband, the sheriff was well entitled to hold that any irregularity should be excused; the transcript and the clear evidence of the complainer were best evidence of the offending messages, not the complainer's iPhone and the forensic report of its contents; and there was sufficient circumstantial evidence to corroborate the complainer's evidence that the appellant was the source of the messages.

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