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) (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) (Holroyde LJ, Whipple J, Judge Lucraft QC)
23 June 2020
A life sentence with a minimum term of 23 years, imposed in accordance with the transitional provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22, was unduly lenient in respect of an offender who had murdered eight people in a revenge-motivated arson attack. The appropriate term was not less than 27 years.
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.
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.
DC (Dingemans LJ, Spencer J)
6 February 2020
Although accused of serious crimes, two requested persons were discharged from extradition proceedings after India had failed to provide assurances that their potential life sentences would be reducible until 45 minutes before judgment was due to be handed down. India had known that assurances were required and should have indicated to the judge that it intended to seek them, so that a timetable could be prepared.
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.
CA (Civ Div) (Underhill LJ, Simler LJ)
31 October 2019
The High Court’s decision refusing permission to apply for judicial review in proceedings relating to a murder conviction was “a judgment…in a criminal cause or matter” within the meaning of the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.18(1)(a), restricting the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction to consider the appeal. There was no basis for concluding that the denial of a right of appeal in those circumstances amounted to an unjustified denial of the appellant’s right of access to justice.
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.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Warby J, Edis J)
17 September 2019
A challenge, by way of judicial review, by a young offender convicted of the murder and rape of a 14-year-old girl, to an excepting direction which discharged a reporting restriction order imposed under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 s.45(3), was refused.