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Circumstantial Evidence

A recent criminal trial here in Ireland featured circumstantial evidence from the prosecution.

Many cases feature circumstantial evidence, particularly relating to efforts to prove the state of mind or mens rea of the accused.

What is unusual is to have the entire of the prosecution case based on circumstantial evidence.

It was stated in DPP v Kilbourne [1973] AC 729 that [circumstantial evidence] “works… by, cumulatively,… eliminating other possibilitiesâ€?.

(Of course that is what direct evidence does also).

What it is necessary to recognise in the case of circumstantial evidence is that it must be consistent with the guilt of the accused and inconsistent with any proposition consistent with innocence.