Flight

...evidence directed to flight suggests that the conduct of the accused, post the alleged commission of the offence, would tend to suggest that the accused committed the offence.

In contrast to evidence of lies, evidence directed to flight suggests that the conduct of the accused, post the alleged commission of the offence, would tend to suggest that the accused committed the offence.

The stereotypical example is that of a person who flees a scene (or a jurisdiction) in a manner that suggests fear of being arrested. As was set out in Quinlan v R [2006] NSWCCA 284, however, it is important that the jury be made aware of other reasons that the accused may have acted in the manner alleged, and that the jury should not reason that the conduct is evidence of guilt unless it is satisfied that the flight relates to the specific offence charged.

The conduct in respect of which considerations of directions about flight are somewhat broader than simple flight. In Steer v R [2008] NSWCCA 295, evidence was led of the defendant robbing a bank as being “consciousness in the appellant that he had wrongfully killed the deceased”

Cook

R v Cook [2004] NSWCCA 52

“The principles developed in relation to evidence of lies are readily adaptable to the circumstance where the Crown tenders evidence of flight said to be indicative of a consciousness of guilt.”

“Evidence of flight may be admitted where the jury may legitimately infer that the flight was occasioned by consciousness in the accused person of guilt - that is, of guilt of the offence with which he/she is charged.”