RAPE

[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 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] UKPC 4
[2020] UKPC 4
PC (Bah) (Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden)
27 January 2020

An appellant challenging his conviction for rape 23 years after the trial could not rely on any lack of evidence resulting from his failure to obtain samples to carry out DNA testing. Any request for samples he had made during the trial had not been pursued. There had been no failure to disclose by the prosecution: the appellant had been made aware 18 months before trial of the prosecution’s expert evidence on DNA. The appellant had not been prevented from obtaining his own expert report.

[2019] EWHC 3177 (Fam)
[2019] EWHC 3177 (Fam)
Fam Div (Cobb J)
21 November 2019

The court upheld a finding of fact made during a fact-finding hearing in the context of a father’s application for a child arrangements order. The judge had carefully evaluated the evidence when she found that the father had raped the child’s mother, resulting in the conception of the child.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1634
[2019] EWCA Crim 1634
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Lavender J, Fancourt J)
4 October 2019

In a complex trial in which 11 defendants faced numerous charges arising from their alleged sexual exploitation of teenage girls, the fact that one of the jurors had conducted internet research and told the others that one of the defendants had previously served a custodial sentence did not mean that the entire jury should be discharged. It was sufficient to discharge the juror in question, order a retrial in respect of the defendant in question, and permit the remaining jurors to continue in respect of the other 10 defendants.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1568
[2019] EWCA Crim 1568
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1363
[2019] EWCA Crim 1363
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Popplewell J, Judge Marson QC)
18 July 2019

Convictions for rape and indecent assault were deemed unsafe where a judge had failed to give a jury clear directions as to whether, and if so how, they could rely on the evidence of each victim when considering the allegations made by the other.

[2019] EWCA Crim 887
[2019] EWCA Crim 887
CA (Crim Div) (Nicola Davies LJ, Spencer J, Morris J)
22 May 2019

Despite the absence of certain evidence at trial, the appellant’s convictions for sexual assault and rape of his half-sister were safe, because the totality of the trial process including the directions given and the summing up was fair.

[2019] EWCA Crim 665
[2019] EWCA Crim 665
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Warby J, Sir John Royce)
28 March 2019

There might be cases where guidance from the trial judge on myths and stereotypes in rape cases would be appropriate to benefit a defendant, but the instant case, in which the defendant was charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice after making repeated and false allegations of rape, was not one of them. Given the evidence called, even if the guidance had been given, it would not have assisted the defendant.

[2019] EWHC 183 (Admin)
[2019] EWHC 183 (Admin)
DC (Nicola Davies LJ, Nicol J)
5 February 2019

The Criminal Cases Review Commission had been justified in refusing to refer the claimant’s two convictions for sexual offences to the Court of Appeal. The fresh evidence on which he had sought to rely did not give rise to a real possibility that the convictions would not be upheld.

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