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.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Julian Knowles J, Judge Michael Chambers QC)
16 August 2019
A trial judge had been wrong to allow the prosecution to admit part of a defendant’s defence statement at trial. It would not have helped the jury to resolve an issue in the case, as required by the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 s.6E(5)(b), and it was not clear that the defendant had changed his defence; an indication in the statement that he questioned the identification evidence was ambiguous.
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, McGowan J, Sir John Royce)
25 July 2019
The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction for murder as it could not be said that a direction given by the trial judge in answer to a question asked by the jury during their deliberations was inadequate. Minimum terms of 30 years’ imprisonment were also held to be appropriate where the offenders had systematically ill-treated the victim, who had been employed as their nanny, before her death in appalling circumstances.
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Edis J, Judge Potter)
24 July 2019
A defendant convicted of murder at the age of 15 was refused an application to adduce fresh psychiatric evidence aimed at explaining his reasons for maintaining his innocence at trial. His admission of guilt after conviction was tactical and made in order to gain sentencing advantage.