Case details

Saunders (Appellant) v The Queen (Respondent) (Bahamas)

Case ID: JCPC 2015/0045

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Case summary


Whether the Court of Appeal was wrong to dismiss the appellant’s appeal without a hearing; whether the criminal proceedings were vitiated by a procedural error at the committal stage; whether the appellant was denied a fair trial because DNA samples were not provided to the defence.


The appellant was convicted of rape in 1996 and sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment. He brought an appeal to the Court of Appeal of the Bahamas in 1997 which was dismissed without an oral hearing. He contends that his committal for trial was defective because the procedure for taking witness depositions did not comply with the then-applicable provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. He alleges various further defects in the trial process, including a failure to provide samples of DNA evidence to the defence. He appeals against his sentence on the basis that the judge failed to invite submissions from defence counsel before proceeding to sentence him. He further contends that it was not made sufficiently clear from what point the sentence should run, given that he was serving multiple other sentences concurrently at the time.



Melvin Saunders


The Queen



Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden

Hearing start date

27 Nov 2019

Hearing finish date

27 Nov 2019

Watch hearing
27 Nov 2019 Morning session