INDECENT ASSAULT

[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 1790
[2019] EWCA Crim 1790
CA (Crim Div) (Hickinbottom LJ, Cutts J, Sir Roderick Evans)
17 October 2019

A sentence of eight years and eight months’ imprisonment was just and proportionate following guilty pleas to 13 historic offences of indecent assault of a girl under 16 years where the victims were the offender’s step-daughter and adopted daughter who had been abused in their beds at night.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1634
[2019] EWCA Crim 1634
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Lavender J, Fancourt J)
4 October 2019

In a complex trial in which 11 defendants faced numerous charges arising from their alleged sexual exploitation of teenage girls, the fact that one of the jurors had conducted internet research and told the others that one of the defendants had previously served a custodial sentence did not mean that the entire jury should be discharged. It was sufficient to discharge the juror in question, order a retrial in respect of the defendant in question, and permit the remaining jurors to continue in respect of the other 10 defendants.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1363
[2019] EWCA Crim 1363
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.

[2019] NICA 26
[2019] NICA 26
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, McBride J)
31 May 2019

A custodial sentence of 9 years and 6 months and a further probation period of one year imposed on a 91-year-old former monk for historical offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery was unduly lenient, and was replaced with a custodial term of 12 years.

[2019] EWCA Crim 545
[2019] EWCA Crim 545
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Goss J, Sir Brian Keith)
2 April 2019

The jury directions given at the trial of a well-known publicist for historical sexual offences had not been inadequate or unfair, and his conviction for indecent assault was safe.

[2019] EWCA Crim 447
[2019] EWCA Crim 447
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 31
[2019] EWCA Crim 31
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Elisabeth Laing J, Cheema-Grubb J)
15 January 2019

A sentence of three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment imposed on an offender for historic offences of buggery and indecent assault on a fellow resident at a children’s home was unduly lenient. The offender satisfied the dangerousness criteria and a sentence of five years and ten months’ imprisonment with a three-year extension period was appropriate.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2693
[2018] EWCA Crim 2693
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Lewis J, Judge Lodder QC)
23 November 2018

Concurrent sentences of two years’ imprisonment for historic offences of indecent assault and indecency with a child committed against the offender’s sister when he was aged 14-16 were reduced to concurrent one-year sentences. The offender, now over 70, was gravely ill and nearing the end of his life, and the original sentence was, in justice and in mercy, longer than necessary.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2552
[2018] EWCA Crim 2552
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Butcher J, Judge Katz QC)
9 November 2018

The court upheld an offender’s convictions for indecent assault and attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm committed against his younger brother when they were both under 18. It could not be said that the manner in which the trial was conducted by the offender’s own counsel was so flawed as to render his conviction unsafe.

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