CRIMINAL EVIDENCE

[2020] EWCA Crim 589
[2020] EWCA Crim 589
CA (Crim Div) (Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD, Sweeney J, May J)
1 May 2020

An appeal brought, following a referral by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, on behalf of a deceased husband against his 2005 conviction for the “Lady in the lake” murder of his wife in 1976 was dismissed. Notwithstanding the non-disclosure of relevant prosecution evidence, the strength of the circumstantial case against the husband had been very strong.

[2020] EWHC 799 (Admin)
[2020] EWHC 799 (Admin)
DC (Hickinbottom LJ, Swift J)
6 April 2020

It was a criminal offence for a shop to offer food for sale after its labelled use by date. The words “deemed to be unsafe” in Regulation 1169/2011 art.24 created an irrebuttable presumption that food placed on the market with an expired use by date was “unsafe” for the purposes of Regulation 179/2002 art.14.

[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.

[2020] EWCA Crim 482
[2020] EWCA Crim 482
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Fraser J, Hilliard J)
1 April 2020

A conviction for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs was quashed as, while it might have been open to the jury to conclude that the appellant was party to an agreement which involved the onward supply of drugs by him, there was insufficient evidence to establish that he was party to the larger conspiracy alleged. The trial judge had erred in refusing a submission of no case to answer. The court emphasised the importance of legal advisers complying with the time limits for submitting applications for permission to appeal.

[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 284
[2020] EWCA Crim 284
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Sweeney J, Lambert J)
28 February 2020

A judge had erred in refusing to admit bad character evidence against a witness whose credibility was at issue in a criminal trial. The witness had been accused of attempting to blackmail another witness by saying that she would allege sexual misconduct against him if he did not pay her money. The judge had erred in concluding that the blackmail allegation was not evidence of a false complaint and in holding that the allegation did not have substantial probative value because the evidential dispute could not be resolved by a jury.

[2020] EWCA Crim 270
[2020] EWCA Crim 270
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Spencer J, Griffiths J)
27 February 2020

The court refused to admit fresh psychiatric evidence in support of a possible defence of diminished responsibility to a charge of murder where the defence had not been pursued at trial, despite having been considered and raised in the defence statement. It would not be in the interests of justice to allow the evidence to be adduced.

[2020] EWHC 412 (Admin)
[2020] EWHC 412 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Chamberlain J)
25 February 2020

A magistrates’ court had not erred in making a closure order in respect of the flat of an individual who was being investigated for a drugs offence, and where a police search had discovered drugs and drug-dealing paraphernalia. CPR PD 52E, which applied to appeals by way of case stated, did not contain any provision about the filing of skeleton arguments or hearing bundles. That was a lacuna, and consideration should be given to amending it to impose a general requirement for the filing of skeleton arguments, agreed hearing bundles and authorities bundles.

[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.

[2020] EWCA Crim 124
[2020] EWCA Crim 124
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.

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