CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Elisabeth Laing J, Judge Wall QC)
13 February 2020
The Court of Appeal upheld the convictions of two young offenders for conspiracy to commit robbery. The trial judge had been entitled to continue with the trial after a 16-year-old prosecution witness with ADHD, who had given evidence in chief and who had been cross-examined in part on behalf of one of the accused, became distressed and refused to continue to give evidence.
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Judge Wendy Joseph QC)
12 February 2020
The court upheld a conviction for conspiracy to possess prohibited firearms with intent to endanger life in the case of an offender who had been involved in the importation of firearms, concealed in soft toys, from the US. It could not be said that the judge had erred in directions given to the jury in relation to circumstantial evidence and hearsay evidence.
CA (Civ Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Davis LJ, Simon LJ)
5 February 2020
In refusing to discharge an unexplained wealth order made against a non-EEA national, the Court of Appeal examined the statutory test for identifying a “politically exposed person” within the meaning of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.362B(4)(a) and confirmed that a broad approach was to be taken to assessing whether an entity was a “state-owned enterprise” for the purposes of Directive 2015/849 art.3(9)(g). It confirmed that neither the privilege against self-incrimination nor spousal privilege applied to the unexplained wealth order procedure.
QBD (Admin) (Supperstone J)
28 January 2020
The Crown Court had no jurisdiction to extend the 21-day time limit specified in the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.111 to state a case following an individual’s conviction in the magistrates’ court but before they were sentenced in the Crown Court. The time limit began on the day of an offender’s conviction; the reference in s.111(3) to it beginning the day that an offender was sentenced meant where the magistrates’ court had retained the matter for sentence.
QBD (Admin) (Lewis J)
21 January 2020
The court made a certificate under the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 s.16(2) in relation to property inherited after a confiscation order had been made in circumstances where the original offences had been committed before March 2003 and the Supreme Court had held that s.16(2) did apply to property acquired after a confiscation order had been made.
CA (Crim Div) (Singh LJ, Spencer J, Judge Leonard QC)
21 January 2020
For the purposes of commission of the offence of possession of an article for use in fraud, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006 s.6(1), the phrase “for use in the course of or in connection with any fraud” could apply to articles that were used to mislead a victim, but also to articles created later in order to disguise or mask the fraud. There was nothing in the authorities to the effect that the relevant fraud could not be one which had been committed in the past.
QBD (Admin) (Clive Sheldon QC)
16 January 2020
A Parole Board had erred in its decision not to recommend the transfer of an indeterminate-sentence prisoner to open conditions. In particular, it had failed to undertake the balancing exercise between the risks and benefits of such a transfer, as required by the directions issued pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 12 s.239(6).
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) (Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD, Garnham J, Chamberlain J)
17 December 2019
In light of a decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Appeal analysed the safety of the conviction of an offender who had assisted one of those responsible for the bombings which took place on the London transport system in 2005. Even though the Grand Chamber found that the proceedings before the domestic courts had violated the offender’s right to a fair trial under the ECHR art.6, that conclusion did not mean that the offender’s conviction was unsafe.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, William Davis J, Johnson J)
12 December 2019
On an ordinary reading of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.1(1), an appellate court had jurisdiction to entertain a defendant’s appeal against conviction on one count on an indictment, even though it had previously determined, on its merits, an appeal by the defendant against a conviction on another count on the same indictment. However, that jurisdiction was to be exercised sparingly and with caution.