CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Nicklin J, Murray J)
16 July 2020
A sentence of life detention for attempted murder imposed on a young offender was quashed and replaced with hospital and restriction order under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 and s.41. The appeal court admitted fresh evidence that, at the time of the offence, the offender had been suffering from autistic spectrum disorder which was linked to the offence and which reduced his culpability.
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) (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.
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.
QBD (Admin) (Fordham J)
30 April 2020
A Polish national’s application for bail in extradition proceedings was allowed where there were no substantial grounds for believing that there was a real risk that he would fail to surrender. The court took into consideration new evidence supporting his position that he had communicated his whereabouts to the Polish authorities, concerns for his personal safety amidst the Covid-19 pandemic in prison, his ties to the UK and the fact that his daughter had put up her savings as security.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Lewis J, Sir Peter Openshaw)
17 March 2020
Where an individual who in 2008 had been convicted of placing a hoax bomb and preparing a terrorist act was subsequently diagnosed as having autistic spectrum disorder, that diagnosis did not affect the safety of his convictions. There had been directly relevant psychological evidence, available at the time of his trial, about his lack of understanding about the consequences of his actions, which his lawyers had chosen not to use because it conflicted with his defence.
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.
QBD (Admin) (Holman J)
4 February 2020
An appeal against extradition to Poland was allowed on the basis of fresh evidence both as to the difficult life history of the appellant and his partner and the circumstances of their relationship since the extradition hearing. The offender had already undergone significant punishment and, in the exceptional circumstances of the case, the ECHR art.8 rights of the appellant and his partner outweighed the normally weighty public interest in extradition.
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.
DC (Dingemans LJ, Lane J)
17 December 2019
The court dismissed a Turkish national’s appeal against extradition on the basis that it was impossible to say that the judge’s decision had been wrong. He had been entitled to accept that an assurance provided by the Turkish authorities sufficiently mitigated the risk of overcrowding; it had identified that he would be detained in a specific prison, there was nothing to suggest that that prison was overcrowded and, importantly, the authorities had also given a specific assurance that the individual would be accommodated in humane conditions.