CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Cutts J, Tipples J)
23 July 2020
A lie about fertility was not sufficiently closely connected to the performance of sexual intercourse so as to be able to negate consent under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.74. It related to the possible consequences of unprotected sex but not to the physical performance of the act itself.
CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Cutts J, Judge Karu)
8 July 2020
A defendant’s conviction for sexual offences was not rendered unsafe by virtue of the fact that a police caution, which had been admitted in evidence at trial to give the jury a full picture of his character, was deleted after the trial.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Sweeney J, Murray J)
30 June 2020
A jury’s decisions to convict a defendant of oral rape but to acquit of vaginal rape were not irreconcilable where the victim had been asleep at commencement of the oral sex and had mistaken the offender for her boyfriend. Social media messages detailing the defendant’s involvement in a sexual conquest game were properly admitted as important explanatory evidence and evidence relevant to consent and the jury had been correctly directed as to the relevance of the messages.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Sir Nicholas Blake)
23 June 2020
The court gave guidance on issues arising in criminal investigations and proceedings relating to the retention, inspection, copying, disclosure and deletion of digital records held on electronic devices such as mobiles phones by prosecution witnesses, including complainants.
DC (President of the QBD, William Davis J)
20 May 2020
An application for disclosure was refused where the claimants had all the information necessary to challenge a special prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute a victim who had allegedly made a false allegation of rape against their son. Disclosure of the documents sought had no relevance to the decision not to prosecute and the focus should have been whether the prosecutor’s decision was perverse.
QBD (Admin) (Haddon-Cave LJ, Holgate J)
1 May 2020
A magistrates’ court had been entitled to make a notification order under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.97 where an individual had been convicted of rape overseas. Where a person had committed a serious sexual offence so as to be subject to indefinite notification requirements, the continuation of such requirements for a minimum of 15 years did not constitute a disproportionate interference with his ECHR art.8 rights, despite the regime being automatic.
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)  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.
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.
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.
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.