For the Privy Council, Lord Robson said,
The case was tried before the judge alone; it turned entirely on questions of fact, and there was plain perjury on one side or the other. Their Lordships’ Board are therefore called upon, as were also the Court of Appeal, to express an opinion on the credibility of conflicting witnesses whom they have not seen, heard, or questioned. In coming to a conclusion on such an issue their Lordships must of necessity be greatly influenced by the opinion of the learned trial judge, whose judgment is itself under review. He sees the demeanour of the witnesses, and can estimate their intelligence, position, and character in a way not open to the Courts who deal with later stages of the case. Moreover, in cases like the present, where those Courts have only his note of the evidence to work upon, there are many points which, owing to the brevity of the note, may appear to have been imperfectly or ambiguously dealt with in the evidence, and yet were elucidated to the judge’s satisfaction at the trial, either by his own questions or by the explanations of counsel given in presence of the parties. Of course, it may be that in deciding between witnesses he has clearly failed on some point to take account of particular circumstances or probabilities material to an estimate of the evidence, or has given credence to testimony, perhaps plausibly put forward, which turns out on more careful analysis to be substantially inconsistent with itself, or with indisputable fact, but except in rare cases of that character, cases which are susceptible of being dealt with wholly by argument, a Court of Appeal will hesitate long before it disturbs the findings of a trial judge based on verbal testimony.