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)  UKSC 67, expressly overruling R. v Ghosh (Deb Baran)  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.
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.
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.
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.
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) (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.