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.
CA (Crim Div) (Irwin LJ, Holgate J, Linden J)
3 August 2020
It had been unwise for two DNA experts, when recording their agreed conclusions, to reach the very broadly phrased formulation that it was “not realistic to expect anyone to be able to account for the ways in which their DNA may have been transferred by indirect methods”. Expert evidence should be confined to purely scientific questions, leaving open any issue as to the surrounding facts.
CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Judge Mayo)
17 July 2020
A conviction for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, committed in relation to the sale of solar panels, was upheld by the court. The judge had correctly directed the jury about inferences to be drawn from the appellant’s failure to mention facts in interview.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CA (Crim Div) (Singh LJ, Holgate J, Judge Lucraft QC)
17 June 2020
Evidence that a foreign national who had pleaded guilty to the production of cannabis was a victim of human trafficking at the time the offence was committed was admitted as fresh evidence over 12 months after sentencing. The Crown did not oppose the vacation of plea and it would be an injustice to allow the conviction to stand.
QBD (Nicol J)
4 June 2020
An application for an interim injunction by serving police officers to prevent the police force from examining data from their mobile phones was refused where the police force had retained the data for the purposes of an investigation into their alleged use of drugs on police premises. An application by the police force for transfer of the proceedings from the Media and Communications list to the Administrative Court was refused: although there was a live investigation and those conducting it were subject to public law duties, it was not a breach of public law duties that was being alleged but the infringement of private law rights.