CASE SUMMARY OF:
Thomas E. Dowling v. Inspector-General of Police (1961) - CA
Interference with lower court;
(1961) All N.L.R. 811;
High Court of Lagos;
LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:
LAWYERS WHO ADVOCATED
* FOR THE APPELLANT
* FOR THE RESPONDENT
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"The circumstances of the cases are somewhat unusual. It would appear that after committing the act of which he was convicted, the appellant was blackmailed by his accomplice. So on advice he went to the police for protection and made a full and free confession.
A trap was laid by the police and I am informed that the alleged blackmailer was caught. Both the appellant and the blackmailer were then prosecuted separately into two different courts presumably on different charges. The appellant pleaded guilty and was sentenced.
The cases of the blackmailer has not yet been tried."
HOLDING & RATIO DECIDENDI
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Where a person who is being blackmailed seeks police protection, the proper course is for the police to investigate the complaint and, if satisfied that there is sufficient evidence, to prosecute the blackmailer.
Only after the trial of the blackmailer should the question of prosecuting the victim be considered, and, in practice, it is only in exceptional cases that it is advisable to do so. - De Lestang, CJ. Dowling v. IGP (1961)
Whether a prosecution should be instituted or not in any given cases is of course a matter entirely for the Director of Public Prosecutions and the duty of the courts is solely to try the cases in accordance with the Law and impose the appropriate sentence. - De Lestang, CJ. Dowling v. IGP (1961)
The court will not interfere with the sentence unless it is manifestly excessive in the circumstances of the cases or wrong in principle. - De Lestang, CJ. Dowling v. IGP (1961)
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