JURY DIRECTIONS

[2020] EWCA Crim 597
[2020] EWCA Crim 597
CA (Crim Div) (Lindblom LJ, Hilliard J, Judge Flewitt QC)
6 May 2020

On a true construction of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 reg.5, the consequence of any breach of the exemption requirements under Sch.2 para.3(1) was that a waste treatment company’s operation was no longer an “exempt waste operation” and had ceased, on the breach, to be an “exempt facility”. At that point it could only be a “regulated facility”, for which no permit had been granted.

[2020] EWCA Crim 575
[2020] EWCA Crim 575
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) [2017] UKSC 67, expressly overruling R. v Ghosh (Deb Baran) [1982] 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.

[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 327
[2020] EWCA Crim 327
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, May J, Judge Stockdale QC)
21 February 2020

In an appeal against a rape conviction, the trial judge’s omission to direct the jury in the form recommended in R. v Sheehan (Michael) [1975] 1 W.L.R. 739 on the relevance of intoxication to intention did not render the conviction unsafe. The Sheehan direction was not a direction on a matter of law, but on how the jury should approach its fact-finding task. The jury had been directed in the clearest terms to assess the evidence and decide what factual inferences to draw.

[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.

[2020] EWCA Crim 38
[2020] EWCA Crim 38
CA (Crim Div) (Singh LJ, Spencer J, Judge Leonard QC)
21 January 2020

For the purposes of commission of the offence of possession of an article for use in fraud, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006 s.6(1), the phrase “for use in the course of or in connection with any fraud” could apply to articles that were used to mislead a victim, but also to articles created later in order to disguise or mask the fraud. There was nothing in the authorities to the effect that the relevant fraud could not be one which had been committed in the past.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2100
[2019] EWCA Crim 2100
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1896
[2019] EWCA Crim 1896
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Carr J, Judge Thomas QC)
24 October 2019

A sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment was manifestly excessive in respect of a husband who had been convicted of the attempted murder of his wife. The sentencing judge had erred in not giving proper consideration as to whether the offender’s adjustment disorder had impaired his mental functioning. The appropriate sentence was one of 17 years’ imprisonment.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1722
[2019] EWCA Crim 1722
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1734
[2019] EWCA Crim 1734
CA (Crim Div) (Hamblen LJ, Sweeney J, Moulder J)
3 October 2019

An appeal against a conviction for conspiracy to commit violent disorder was allowed because there was a real risk that the conviction was unsafe in the light of the confusing and potentially misleading directions given by the trial judge in answer to a jury question.

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