CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Cutts J, Eady J)
12 February 2020
In a rape trial where the central issue was credibility, the judge had been entitled to permit the prosecution to adduce evidence of a defence witness’s bad character under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.100(1)(b). The fact that the witness had been convicted of serious sexual offences might fairly be regarded as providing an explanation of why he might be prepared to lie to assist a friend accused of similar offences.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Spencer J, William Davis J)
19 December 2019
It was for the defence at trial to take decisions as to whether to use or act on disclosed unused material, and a failure to inspect such material was unlikely to justify a later application, following conviction, for it to be introduced as fresh evidence. The court emphasised that only in exceptional circumstances would evidence be admitted that could have been adduced at trial.
CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Lambert J, Judge Mark Brown)
6 December 2019
Convictions for assault by penetration and sexual assault were safe, despite inadmissible opinion evidence from prosecution witnesses having been adduced before the jury. The total sentence was, however, reduced from eight years’ imprisonment to five years to reflect the overall criminality involved.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Jacobs J, Judge Munro QC)
5 December 2019
When dismissing an appeal against a conviction for conspiracy to corrupt, the Court of Appeal made general observations on the purpose and nature of the summing-up of facts and the scope of a trial judge’s task in that respect.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Sweeney J, Sir Roderick Evans)
29 November 2019
In an indecent assault trial which turned on the comparative credibility of the complainant and the defendant, the judge should have given a full good-character direction in respect of the defendant. His failure to do so, coupled with his direction that the jury should treat the unchallenged evidence of the defendant’s character witnesses with caution, simply because they knew him well, rendered the defendant’s conviction unsafe.
CA (Crim Div) (Hamblen LJ, Andrew Baker J, Sir Roderick Evans)
17 October 2019
A conviction under the Child Abduction Act 1984 s.2(1)(b) was overturned where the defendant with communication difficulties had not had the benefit of an intermediary to assist him in giving evidence and in understanding the questions put to him in cross-examination. His co-accused, who had comparable communication difficulties, had had an intermediary throughout his trial; therefore, there was no parity of approach and there had been real unfairness to the defendant in relation to both the giving of his evidence and the jury’s ability to assess it.
CA (Crim Div) (Flaux LJ, Goose J, Julian Knowles J)
17 October 2019
Permission to appeal against sentence and convictions for manslaughter and child cruelty by the victim’s father were refused where there had been no error in the admission of bad character evidence at trial and the 10-year sentence of imprisonment was not manifestly excessive.
CA (Crim Div) (Haddon-Cave LJ, Cockerill J, Judge Bate)
8 October 2019
Applying the rule of speciality, an extradition defendant should only be dealt with for the offences detailed in the European Arrest Warrant. Furthermore, under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.240ZA and s.243, time spent in custody awaiting extradition counted towards a subsequent sentence of imprisonment.
CA (Crim Div) (Singh LJ, Julian Knowles J, Sir John Royce)
13 September 2019
Evidence of a blood sample taken after a road traffic accident remained admissible even though it was unlawfully obtained. The defendant had lied about his drug use at the time the sample was taken, and it was likely that the healthcare professional who took the sample would have altered her opinion as to whether his condition might have been due to drugs had she known the truth. The manner in which evidence was obtained was relevant to the exercise required by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.78, but did not automatically lead to its exclusion if its admission would not render the trial unfair.
QBD (Admin) (Nicola Davies LJ, Goss J)
31 July 2019
Offences relating to the control or management of a house in multiple occupation were continuing offences; the six-month time limit for laying of informations in respect of such offences therefore ran from the last date the local authority had knowledge of the offending.