PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS

[2020] EWCA Crim 137
[2020] EWCA Crim 137
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Cutts J, Eady J)
12 February 2020

In a rape trial where the central issue was credibility, the judge had been entitled to permit the prosecution to adduce evidence of a defence witness’s bad character under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.100(1)(b). The fact that the witness had been convicted of serious sexual offences might fairly be regarded as providing an explanation of why he might be prepared to lie to assist a friend accused of similar offences.

[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 2236
[2019] EWCA Crim 2236
CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Jacobs J, Judge Walden-Smith)
5 December 2019

Sentences of two years’ imprisonment and two years and six months’ imprisonment imposed on two men who had stolen money from a blind busker were not manifestly excessive. The sentencing judge had been entitled, in the interests of justice, to depart from the sentencing guideline because of the offenders’ serious and extensive criminal records.

[2019] EWHC 3031 (Admin)
[2019] EWHC 3031 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Judge Cotter QC)
11 November 2019

A prisoner had not made out his challenge to a decision to recategorise him from a category D to a category C prisoner, the decision having been based on ongoing confiscation proceedings brought by HMRC and the latter’s belief that, if placed in open conditions, the prisoner might escape and seek to hide or dissipate his assets. Contrary to the prisoner’s submission, the policy on recategorisation enabled ongoing confiscation proceedings to be taken into account, and it was not necessary that a confiscation order should have been made or enforced.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2004
[2019] EWCA Crim 2004
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Yip J, Judge Sloan QC)
7 November 2019

An order under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.41 restricting the discharge of an offender detained in hospital under s.37 for 14 offences involving indecent images of children was not justified. In his particular circumstances, the offences did not in themselves give rise to a future risk of serious harm to the public, his previous convictions were relatively minor, and he had been at large in the community since those convictions for over two years without exhibiting any violence or threats of violence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1815
[2019] EWCA Crim 1815
CA (Crim Div) (Spencer J, Edis J)
26 September 2019

A sentence of three and a half years’ imprisonment for inflicting grievous bodily harm where the victim had been in the first trimester of pregnancy was not manifestly excessive given the seriousness of the injury caused with a single punch and the context of domestic violence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 935
[2019] EWCA Crim 935
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Popplewell J, Sir Kenneth Parker)
14 May 2019

Evidence of a rape conviction more than 20 years old was admitted at the trial of a defendant accused of kidnapping and intent to commit a sexual offence. Although there was no evidence of continuing propensity in the years between the two offences, the cumulative effect of similar features between them amounted to a “very special and distinctive feature” within the meaning of R. v M (Michael) [2006] EWCA Crim 3408, resulting in a striking similarity between them.

[2019] EWCA Crim 859
[2019] EWCA Crim 859
CA (Crim Div) (Andrew Baker J, Sir John Royce)
3 May 2019

A judge had erred in sentencing a repeat “third strike” domestic burglar on the basis that a minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment should be imposed, which was in excess of the minimum sentencing provisions in the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.111 and beyond the top of the relevant category range in the sentencing guidelines. The sentence was reduced from five years’ imprisonment to 44 months, taking into account the offender’s guilty plea.

QBD (Admin) (Walker J)
12 March 2019

The fact that a requested person had recently arrived in the UK was not an exceptional circumstance within Crim PD XI para.50A.4 Practice Direction (CA (Crim Div): Criminal Proceedings: General Matters) [2015] EWCA Crim 1567 which could render his extradition proportionate, despite the low-level of offence for which extradition was sought. The requesting state was refused permission to rely on further evidence on appeal to show that the requested person was a fugitive from justice and had a history of offending.

[2019] EWCA Crim 879
[2019] EWCA Crim 879
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, Elisabeth Laing J, Judge Wendy Joseph QC)
22 January 2019

A sentence of 876 days’ imprisonment imposed for burglary of a dwelling-house was unduly lenient. The offender was a prolific offender who had not been deterred by previous custodial sentences for similar offences. He fell to be sentenced under the minimum sentencing regime in the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.111, and the instant offence was his sixth qualifying offence. There were several aggravating factors and a starting point of five years’ imprisonment was appropriate with a one-third discount on account of his guilty plea.

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