Loss of evidence / failure to disclose unused material

1. Where the prosecution fails to take action to obtain relevant evidence or, having done so, the evidence is lost or destroyed, there may be an abuse of process.

2. There may also be an abuse of process if the prosecution fails to comply with disclosure obligations in respect of unused material.

3. The courts will consider the following factors in deciding whether, in the circumstances of the case, there has been an abuse of process 1:


  1. R (Ebrahim) v Feltham Magistrates Court: Mouatt v DPP [2001] 1 W.L.R. 1293. Back to reference of footnote 1
  2. R v Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court ex p. Bennett [1994] 1 AC 42, HL; R v Malcolm John Winter, unreported, 28 November 2007, CA. Back to reference of footnote 2
Updated 2021-08-27