CRIMINAL EVIDENCE

[2019] EWCA Crim 2271

[2019] EWCA Crim 2271
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) (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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2174

[2019] EWCA Crim 2174
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.

[2019] EWHC 3317 (Admin)

[2019] EWHC 3317 (Admin)
DC (Lord Burnett LCJ, May J)
5 December 2019

The court emphasised that general complaints about the operation of a type-approved breath testing device should be addressed to the secretary of state, not used to ground a disclosure application. Defence representatives were responsible for ensuring that experts understood the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Rules and Directions, and that the expert reports which they served on behalf of their clients were reliable and admissible. If such reports were to be relied upon for the purpose of seeking further disclosure in relation to a type-approved machine, they should address all the matters identified in R. (on the application of DPP) v Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court [2017] EWHC 3719 (Admin).

[2019] EWCA Crim 2145

[2019] EWCA Crim 2145
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2100

[2019] EWCA Crim 2100
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2052

[2019] EWCA Crim 2052
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1889

[2019] EWCA Crim 1889
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Moulder J, Judge Thomas QC)
29 October 2019

In respect of alleged offences of fraud and engaging in an unfair commercial practice, a judge had correctly concluded that the enforceability of late payment and cancellation fees relating to the supply of domestic Energy Performance Certificates was a matter for him to determine. There was no legitimate interest in the charging of disproportionate late payment fees for the supply of the certificates.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1825

[2019] EWCA Crim 1825
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1722

[2019] EWCA Crim 1722
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.

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