CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Nicol J, Johnson J)
19 December 2019
Although the transcript of a Crown witness’s interview should have been disclosed to the defence, there was no contradiction in it compared to what was said at trial that was capable of affecting the safety of an offender’s conviction for possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
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) (Fulford LJ, Nicklin J, Sir Kenneth Parker)
26 November 2019
An individual’s conviction for two counts of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue were safe. Although there had been failures in the prosecution’s disclosure process, they had not been in bad faith and they had been cured by the time of the trial. The prosecution had also been entitled not to investigate further the allegation that there had been another conspirator, due to insufficient evidence against him.
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) (Leggatt LJ, Popplewell J, Judge Marson QC)
18 July 2019
Convictions for rape and indecent assault were deemed unsafe where a judge had failed to give a jury clear directions as to whether, and if so how, they could rely on the evidence of each victim when considering the allegations made by the other.
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Warby J, Judge Potter)
9 July 2019
A sentence of two years’ imprisonment for possession of a Taser disguised as a torch was upheld where proper account had been taken of exceptional and mitigating circumstances justifying a departure from the mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years’ imprisonment pursuant to the Firearms Act 1968 s.51. A deterrent sentence was required, and in view of the appellant’s bad character there was no justification for suspending the sentence.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Picken J, Swift J)
13 June 2019
A trial judge had been entitled to admit bad character evidence following a Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(e) application by an accused’s co-defendant, as going towards the accused’s propensity to tell the truth, despite having refused the prosecution’s s.101(1)(d) application to admit the same bad character evidence due to its weaknesses.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Popplewell J, Sir Kenneth Parker)
14 May 2019
Evidence of a rape conviction more than 20 years old was admitted at the trial of a defendant accused of kidnapping and intent to commit a sexual offence. Although there was no evidence of continuing propensity in the years between the two offences, the cumulative effect of similar features between them amounted to a “very special and distinctive feature” within the meaning of R. v M (Michael)  EWCA Crim 3408, resulting in a striking similarity between them.
CA (Crim Div) (Bean LJ, Sir David Calvert-Smith, Judge Adele Williams QC)
15 March 2019
A judge had been entitled to refuse severance of an indictment, meaning that an offender was tried for historic and recent counts of child sexual offences at the same time. The Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 r.3.21(4)(a) had removed the technical barriers to joinder in appropriate cases: where evidence on one count would be properly admissible on the other as evidence of bad character it was hard to argue that the offender would be prejudiced in his defence by having both counts on the same indictment. In the instant case, the recent counts would have been admissible as bad character evidence at the offender’s trial on the historic counts and vice versa.
CA (Crim Div) (Green LJ, Soole J, Judge Walden-Smith)
16 January 2019
A judge had not erred in admitting evidence of a defendant’s previous convictions during a trial for kidnapping, rape and assault as rebuttal evidence under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(g) against the defendant’s attack on the complainant’s credibility.