Dagmar Dundee is charged with conspiracy to commit an armed robbery of a local bank. Many conversations between Dundee and his alleged co-conspirators are legally intercepted and recorded. Some of these conversations are spoken in ‘Pig Latin’ so as to avoid being understood by the Police. In order to assist the jury understand the conversations, the prosecution calls a police officer, Officer Murray, to give evidence about the meaning of the telephone conversations. Officer Murray has no formal training in understanding Pig Latin but acquired an understanding of Pig Latin since joining the robbery squad 4 years ago. Over the last 4 years he has monitored conversations recorded as part of 40 telephone intercept warrants in which Pig Latin was used. Officer Murray is to give evidence that he is familiar with the structure of Pig Latin and, in particular, the fact that users of Pig Latin commonly remove the first letter of a word and place it at the end as well as adding ‘ay’ or ‘ecans’ after it (so ‘pump’ becomes ‘um-pay’ or ‘um-pecans’), and sometimes place ‘sn’ at the start of a word (so ‘pump’ becomes ‘snum-pay’ or ‘snum-pecans’). One particular sentence that is intercepted is : ‘I m-aay oing-gay o-tay ob-recan a snank-bay’. Officer Murray says that this translates to ‘I’m going to rob a bank’. Assume that other evidence establishes the existence of the conspiracy and the main issue in the case is the whether the prosecution can prove that the conspiracy is to rob a bank, or to commit some other unspecified offence.
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