In R v Crellin Crim 2012/32 the High Court was asked to admit as hearsay evidence the statement of a witness who through fear would not give evidence.
As in most, if not all common law jurisdiction, hearsay evidence is not admissible as evidence in criminal trials except in certain circumstances.
One circumstance where hearsay evidence is allowed to be presented as evidence in a criminal trial in the Isle of Man is where the witness, through fear will not give evidence and if it is shown beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution that there is such fear then a statement made by the witness to a Police Officer can be read as evidence (Section 1 Criminal Justice Act 1991 an Act of Tynwald).
The issue of a witness being in fear and whether the admission of hearsay evidence deprives the Defendant of a fair trial has been the subject of numerous decisions in the Courts of England and Wales, but such issues have not arisen or come before the Courts in the Isle of Man.
In such circumstances where there is no body of case law in the Isle of Man, the Courts will look to other commonwealth jurisdictions for precedents.
In Re Frankland and Moore  A.C. 576 (PC) The Privy Council (the highest Appellate Court for the Isle of Man) stated that as a matter of practice reference is invariably made to the decisions of Courts of England and Wales and reference can be made to other Common Law jurisdictions particularly those who share the Privy Council as the ultimate Appellant Court for the jurisdiction, in arguments before Manx Courts.
Download the full article here: Witness in fear of testifying