CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Fraser J, Judge Michael Chambers QC)
24 July 2020
A recorder had erred in principle in withholding credit for a guilty plea when imposing the maximum fine available for a failure to comply with the requirements of a planning enforcement notice. The fact that the recorder would have imposed a heavier fine if permitted was irrelevant. However, the recorder was justified in making a confiscation order in the sum of the gross rental income obtained as a result of the criminal conduct inherent in the breach of the notice requirements.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Garnham J, Farbey J)
20 July 2020
A mother’s conviction on two counts of causing or allowing serious physical harm to her child contrary to the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 s.5 was quashed as the judge had erred in permitting the jury to reconsider its verdicts.
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.
Crown Ct (Southwark) (William Davis J)
17 July 2020
The court granted a declaration that a deferred prosecution agreement to be entered into by a company which had acted fraudulently in its dealings with the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice was in the interests of justice. The court also declared that the terms of the agreement were fair, reasonable and proportionate.
QBD (Admin) (Fulford LJ, Whipple J)
15 July 2020
A challenge to the lack of independence of the Criminal Cases Review Commission was rejected. Changes made following a review by the Ministry of Justice amounted to legitimate policy choices about how the CCRC should be constituted and did not represent an unlawful diminution of its independence or integrity.
QBD (Admin) (Rafferty LJ, Michael Supperstone QC)
15 July 2020
A judge had not erred in extending the custody time limit in relation to a defendant whose forthcoming trial had been suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SC (NI) (Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Briggs JSC, Lady Arden JSC)
1 July 2020
The Supreme Court explained the purpose and operation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.160A, which concerned a defendant’s interests in property where a confiscation order was being made. There were potentially two stages to confiscation proceedings, namely the making of the order and its enforcement, and s.160A was intended to combine them into one for simple cases. However, in more complex cases, particularly where property was jointly owned, the two-stage process could still occur and third party property interests could arise for consideration at the enforcement stage.
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.
DC (Flaux LJ, Elisabeth Laing J)
29 June 2020
An offence under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 s.67 was complete when a police constable or authorised person reasonably believed that an individual was drinking alcohol, and had a container for alcohol, in breach of a public spaces protection order. Once that reasonable belief had been established, it did not matter that the person later showed that there was no alcohol present.
CA (Crim Div) (Nicola Davies LJ, McGowan J, Linden J)
24 June 2020
Guilty pleas entered on the day of trial by an unrepresented defendant to three counts of breach of a non-molestation order were set aside and the convictions quashed. Unsolicited interventions by the trial judge which suggested that the defendant’s acceptance that he had technically breached the order meant that he had no defence, despite the defendant having raised the potential defence of reasonable excuse, had placed inappropriate pressure on him to plead guilty.