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 (Civ Div) (Underhill LJ, Simler LJ)
31 October 2019
The High Court’s decision refusing permission to apply for judicial review in proceedings relating to a murder conviction was “a judgment…in a criminal cause or matter” within the meaning of the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.18(1)(a), restricting the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction to consider the appeal. There was no basis for concluding that the denial of a right of appeal in those circumstances amounted to an unjustified denial of the appellant’s right of access to justice.
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Carr J, Judge Thomas QC)
24 October 2019
A sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment was manifestly excessive in respect of a husband who had been convicted of the attempted murder of his wife. The sentencing judge had erred in not giving proper consideration as to whether the offender’s adjustment disorder had impaired his mental functioning. The appropriate sentence was one of 17 years’ imprisonment.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Warby J, Edis J)
17 September 2019
A challenge, by way of judicial review, by a young offender convicted of the murder and rape of a 14-year-old girl, to an excepting direction which discharged a reporting restriction order imposed under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 s.45(3), was refused.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Julian Knowles J, Judge Michael Chambers QC)
16 August 2019
A trial judge had been wrong to allow the prosecution to admit part of a defendant’s defence statement at trial. It would not have helped the jury to resolve an issue in the case, as required by the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 s.6E(5)(b), and it was not clear that the defendant had changed his defence; an indication in the statement that he questioned the identification evidence was ambiguous.
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, McGowan J, Sir John Royce)
25 July 2019
The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction for murder as it could not be said that a direction given by the trial judge in answer to a question asked by the jury during their deliberations was inadequate. Minimum terms of 30 years’ imprisonment were also held to be appropriate where the offenders had systematically ill-treated the victim, who had been employed as their nanny, before her death in appalling circumstances.
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Edis J, Judge Potter)
24 July 2019
A defendant convicted of murder at the age of 15 was refused an application to adduce fresh psychiatric evidence aimed at explaining his reasons for maintaining his innocence at trial. His admission of guilt after conviction was tactical and made in order to gain sentencing advantage.
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Nicol J, Butcher J)
27 June 2019
The court considered the principles applicable where the prosecution called a witness but only considered part of their evidence worthy of belief, and wished to adduce other evidence to contradict the part that it considered inaccurate or false, without applying to have the witness declared hostile.
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Warby J, Picken J)
18 June 2019
There was a powerful case that the appellant was a party to a joint enterprise in which he had personally intended that grievous bodily harm would be inflicted on the victim. There was a proper basis on which to conclude that the jury’s verdict that he was guilty of murder would not have differed notwithstanding the change in the law of joint enterprise following R. v Jogee (Ameen Hassan)  UKSC 8.
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.