BCM v The Queen

The High Court has unanimously dismissed an appeal against the Queensland Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss an appeal challenging the reasonableness of BCM’s guilty verdict. BCM was convicted by a District Court of unlawfully and indecently dealing with a child in BCM’s care. The QCA unanimously dismissed BCM’s appeal against his conviction. Before the High Court, BCM challenged the adequacy and sufficiency of the reasons of given by the Court of Appeal, specifically arguing that the QCA failed to adequately assess the relevant evidence and give sufficient reasons for its conclusion in dismissing the appeal, and was wrong to find that the jury verdict was reasonable and supported by evidence. Although the High Court noted that the appellate court’s obligation to disclose its assessment of whether the evidence supported the verdict was not discharged by merely observing that the jury could accept the complainant’s evidence and act on it, the Court declined to remit the proceedings. Instead it examined¬† the second ground and rejected the appellant’s arguments that the verdicts were unreasonable or unsupported by the evidence on the basis of inconsistencies in the complainant’s evidence, holding that none of the appellant’s criticisms indicated inconsistencies of a kind that, in light of the whole of the evidence, could lead to a conclusion that the jury could not convict BCM. The case was formerly titled PEB v The Queen, but due to a consent order issued on 19 September 2013 the name of the matter has been changed to BCM v The Queen.

High Court Judgment [2013] HCA 48 27 November 2013
Result Appeal dismissed
High Court Documents BCM v The Queen
AV Recording Full Court Hearing
Full Court Hearing [2013] HCATrans 231  2 October 2013
Special Leave Hearing [2013] HCATrans 135 6 June 2013
Appeal from QCA [2012] QCA 333 4 December 2012