Word Limit: 2500 Words
Derek and Luke are charged with theft of electronic goods from the shop in which they work. They both plead not guilty. The shop is owned by Adam who alerted the police to the theft when he noticed the missing items following the weekly inventory. Derek and Luke were the only employees working in the shop that week.
When questioned by the police Derek claimed, as he does at trial, that he did not know anything regarding the theft. The prosecution wishes to adduce evidence of a text message recorded on Derek’s mobile phone in the week the thefts took place. The text was sent to Luke and stated, ‘selling will be easy; we should go ahead with the plan asap’. Derek has two convictions for criminal damage in 2010, one for handling stolen goods in 2015 and one for fraud in 2017.
On the day Adam reported the theft, Luke was covering the afternoon shift. When he asked Adam what was going on, Adam replied, ‘I think you know all about this don’t you? You and your mate Derek have been stealing from me, haven’t you?’ Luke said nothing in reply. When questioned by the police he gave a no comment interview as advised by his solicitor. At trial Luke says that the text message referred to a plan the two friends had to sell their CD collections at a local car boot sale. Luke has no previous convictions and wishes to call his wife as a witness to testify that he has done charitable work for a youth centre for three years.
Discuss the evidential issues arising in this scenario.
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