recent complaint

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At common law, evidence that the victim of a sexual offence made a voluntary complaint at the first reasonable opportunity was admissible (as an exception to the rule against hearsay) as evidence of the consistency of the victim's conduct with the account given by her in court. The common law rule has now been superceded by s 120 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which extends the ‘recent complaint’ exception to any offence and provides that such evidence may be admitted not just to show consistency but also as evidence of the facts stated.

Subjects: Law.

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