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(a) that, in all the circumstances of the case, the evidence carries no risk of prejudice to the defendant, or
(b) that, taking account of the risk of prejudice, the interests of justice nevertheless require the evidence to be admissible in view of—

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(i) how much probative value it has in correcting the false or misleading impression,
(ii) what other evidence has been, or can be, given to correct that impression, and
(iii) how important it is, in the context of the case as a whole, for that impression to be corrected. (5) For the purposes of this section, a defendant is responsible for the making of an assertion if—


(a) the assertion is made by the defendant in the proceedings (whether or not in evidence given by him),
(b) the assertion was made by the defendant—
(i) on being questioned under caution, before charge, about the offence with which he is charged, or
(ii) on being charged with the offence or officially informed that he might be prosecuted for it, and evidence of the assertion is given in the proceedings,


(c) the assertion is made by a witness called by the defendant,
(d) the assertion is made by any witness in cross-examination in response to a question asked by the defendant and intended, in the opinion of the court, to elicit it, or
(e) the assertion was made by any person out of court, and the defendant adduces evidence of it in the proceedings. (6) Where it appears to the court that a defendant, by means of his conduct (other than the giving of evidence) in the proceedings, is seeking to give the court or jury an impression about himself that is false or misleading, the court may if it appears just to do so treat the defendant as being responsible for the making of an assertion which is apt to give that impression.


    (7) In subsection (6) "conduct" includes appearance or dress.


    (8) In determining whether the two conditions are met, the court must have regard to the following factors (and to any others it considers relevant)—


(a) the nature of the impression given by the assertion referred to in subsection (1), and how false or misleading that impression is;
(b) by whom and in what circumstances the assertion is or was made;
(c) the nature and number of the events, or other things, to which the evidence in question (the correcting evidence) relates;
(d) when those events or things are alleged to have happened or existed;
(e) where the correcting evidence is of a spent conviction, the fact that the conviction is spent;
(f) any risk that admitting the correcting evidence would be confusing or misleading, or would unduly prolong the proceedings. (9) Where in proceedings before a magistrates' court—


(a) the defendant is responsible for the making of an assertion which is apt to give the court a certain impression about the defendant,
(b) the prosecution allege that the impression is false or misleading, and
(c) in reliance on this section the prosecution propose to apply for leave under section 82B to adduce or elicit evidence to correct the impression,

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the court must first rule (without being given any details about the evidence) whether, however false or misleading the impression may be, it is unimportant in the context of the case as a whole for it to be corrected; and if the court makes a ruling to that effect, no evidence can fall within this section in relation to the assertion in question.


    (10) Only prosecution evidence can fall within this section.


    82K Evidence going to an issue between co-defendants


    (1) Evidence falls within this section if it has substantial probative value in relation to a matter which—


(a) is a matter in issue between the defendant and a co-defendant, and
(b) is of substantial importance in the context of the case as a whole. (2) For the purposes of this section, evidence is not to be treated as having the probative value mentioned in subsection (1) by virtue of its relevance to the question whether the defendant has a propensity to be untruthful unless the nature or conduct of his defence is such as to undermine the co-defendant's defence.


    (3) In assessing the probative value of evidence for the purposes of this section, the court must have regard to the factors listed in section 82B(2) (and to any others it considers relevant).


    (4) Only evidence—


(a) which is to be (or has been) adduced by the co-defendant, or
(b) which a witness is to be invited to give (or has given) in cross-examination by the co-defendant, can fall within this section.


    82L Trying more than one offence together


    (1) In section 5 of the Indictments Act 1915 (c. 90) (orders for separate trial etc) insert after subsection (2)—


    "(2A) Where—


(a) a person is charged with more than one offence in the same indictment,
(b) the prosecution propose to adduce evidence which is admissible in relation to one of the offences but which, in relation to another, is evidence of the person's bad character and is inadmissible, and
(c) the person applies before trial for an order that the offences mentioned in paragraph (b) above be tried separately, the court shall grant the application unless satisfied that trying the offences together would not prevent the defendant having a fair trial.


    (2B) The reference in subsection (2A) above to evidence of the person's bad character shall be read in accordance with section 82A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60)."


    (2) In subsection (3) of that section, after "before trial" insert "(in a case not falling within subsection (2A) above)".


    (3) Where in proceedings before a magistrates' court—


(a) it is proposed that the defendant be tried for two or more offences together,
(b) the prosecution propose to adduce evidence which is admissible in relation to one of the offences but which, in relation to another, is evidence of the person's bad character and is inadmissible, and
(c) the defendant objects before trial to the offences mentioned in paragraph (b) being tried together, the court may order those offences to be tried together only if satisfied that doing so would not prevent the defendant having a fair trial.


    82M Stopping the case where evidence contaminated


    (1) If on a defendant's trial on indictment for an offence—


(a) evidence of his bad character has been admitted with leave under section 82B, and

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(b) the court is satisfied at any time after the close of the case for the prosecution that—
(i) the evidence is contaminated, and
(ii) the contamination is such that, considering the importance of the evidence to the case against the defendant, his conviction of the offence would be unsafe, the court must either direct the jury to acquit the defendant of the offence or, if it considers that there ought to be a retrial, discharge the jury.


    (2) Where—


(a) a jury is directed under subsection (1) to acquit a defendant of an offence, and
(b) the circumstances are such that, apart from this subsection, the defendant could if acquitted of that offence be found guilty of another offence, the defendant may not be found guilty of that other offence if the court is satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1)(b) in respect of it.


    (3) If—


(a) a jury is required to determine under section 4A(2) of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 (c. 84) whether a person charged on an indictment with an offence did the act or made the omission charged,
(b) evidence of the person's bad character has been admitted with leave under section 82B, and
(c) the court is satisfied at any time after the close of the case for the prosecution that—
(i) the evidence is contaminated, and
(ii) the contamination is such that, considering the importance of the evidence to the case against the person, a finding that he did the act or made the omission would be unsafe, the court must either direct the jury to acquit the defendant of the offence or, if it considers that there ought to be a rehearing, discharge the jury.


    (4) This section does not prejudice any other power a court may have to direct a jury to acquit a person of an offence or to discharge a jury.


    (5) For the purposes of this section, a person's evidence is contaminated where—


(a) as a result of an agreement or understanding between the person and one or more others, or
(b) as a result of the person being aware of anything alleged by one or more others who are, or could be, witnesses in the proceedings, the evidence is false or misleading in any respect, or is different from what it would otherwise have been.


    82N Assumption of truth in assessment of probative value


    (1) Subject to subsection (2), a reference in this Act to the probative value of evidence is a reference to its probative value on the assumption that it is true.


    (2) In assessing the probative value of an item of evidence for any purpose of this Act, a court need not assume that the evidence is true if it appears, on the basis of any material before the court (including any evidence it decides to hear on the matter), that no court or jury could reasonably find it to be true.


    82O Court's duty to give reasons for rulings


    (1) Where the court makes a relevant ruling—


    (a) it must state in open court (but in the absence of the jury, if there is one) its reasons for the ruling;


    (b) if it is a magistrates' court, it must cause the ruling and the reasons for it to be entered in the register of the court's proceedings.

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    (2) In this section "relevant ruling" means—


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