ADMISSIBILITY

[2020] EWCA Crim 1028
[2020] EWCA Crim 1028
CA (Crim Div) (Macur LJ, Jay J, Judge Marks QC)
4 August 2020

The convictions of two young offenders for a gang-related joint enterprise murder were safe. The judge had not erred in admitting evidence of relevant previous convictions and had properly directed the jury on accessorial liability. Sentences of detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure imposed on the three young offenders convicted of the murder were reduced to reflect their age and circumstances.

[2020] UKSC 32
[2020] UKSC 32
SC (Lord Reed PSC, Lord Hodge DPSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Sales JSC, Lord leggatt JSC)
15 July 2020

There was no interference with an individual’s right to respect for his private life and correspondence under ECHR art.8(1) by reason of the use in a public prosecution of evidence obtained by a “paedophile hunter” group in the form of communications between the individual and a decoy purporting to be a 13-year-old child. Nor was there any incompatibility between the obligation on the state to protect rights arising under art.8 and the use by Her Majesty’s Advocate of evidence supplied by such groups.

[2020] EWCA Crim 855
[2020] EWCA Crim 855
CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Cutts J, Judge Karu)
8 July 2020

A defendant’s conviction for sexual offences was not rendered unsafe by virtue of the fact that a police caution, which had been admitted in evidence at trial to give the jury a full picture of his character, was deleted after the trial.

[2020] EWCA Crim 827
[2020] EWCA Crim 827
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Lavender J, Judge Chambers QC)
3 July 2020

The court outlined the type of evidence that might be adduced by a defendant charged with breaching the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 reg.23 by making illegal exports of household waste.

[2020] EWCA Crim 820
[2020] EWCA Crim 820
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Sweeney J, Murray J)
30 June 2020

A jury’s decisions to convict a defendant of oral rape but to acquit of vaginal rape were not irreconcilable where the victim had been asleep at commencement of the oral sex and had mistaken the offender for her boyfriend. Social media messages detailing the defendant’s involvement in a sexual conquest game were properly admitted as important explanatory evidence and evidence relevant to consent and the jury had been correctly directed as to the relevance of the messages.

[2020] EWCA Crim 790
[2020] EWCA Crim 790
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Sir Nicholas Blake)
23 June 2020

The court gave guidance on issues arising in criminal investigations and proceedings relating to the retention, inspection, copying, disclosure and deletion of digital records held on electronic devices such as mobiles phones by prosecution witnesses, including complainants.

[2020] EWCA Crim 575
[2020] EWCA Crim 575
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD, Fulford LJ, McGowan J, Cavanagh J)
29 April 2020

The Court of Appeal affirmed that the test for dishonesty in the criminal context was that set out by the Supreme Court in Ivey v Genting Casinos UK Ltd (t/a Crockfords Club) [2017] UKSC 67, expressly overruling R. v Ghosh (Deb Baran) [1982] Q.B. 1053. The effect was that, in Ivey, the Supreme Court had altered the established common law approach to precedent in the criminal courts by stating that the test for dishonesty it had identified, albeit strictly contained in obiter dicta, should be followed in preference to an otherwise binding authority of the Court of Appeal.

[2020] EWCA Crim 487
[2020] EWCA Crim 487
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Carr J, Goss J)
2 April 2020

A conviction for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, involving two co-conspirators only, was quashed as the trial judge had erred in admitting under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.74(1) evidence of the guilty plea of one co-conspirator in the trial of the other. In a “closed” conspiracy involving only two alleged conspirators, such evidence effectively decided the central issue of whether the defendants had entered into the conspiracy and should have been excluded under s.78 of the Act.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2491
[2019] EWCA Crim 2491
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, McGowan J, Butcher J)
25 March 2020

Although there had been failures by the prosecution to comply with disclosure requirements during the appellant’s trial for offences of possession of an imitation firearm and possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply, the judge had resolved those issues in a fair and proportionate way. The verdicts returned by the jury accorded with the evidence and there was no doubt about the safety of the conviction.

[2020] EWCA Crim 137
[2020] EWCA Crim 137
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Cutts J, Eady J)
12 February 2020

In a rape trial where the central issue was credibility, the judge had been entitled to permit the prosecution to adduce evidence of a defence witness’s bad character under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.100(1)(b). The fact that the witness had been convicted of serious sexual offences might fairly be regarded as providing an explanation of why he might be prepared to lie to assist a friend accused of similar offences.

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