CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Sweeney J, Lambert J)
28 February 2020
A judge had erred in refusing to admit bad character evidence against a witness whose credibility was at issue in a criminal trial. The witness had been accused of attempting to blackmail another witness by saying that she would allege sexual misconduct against him if he did not pay her money. The judge had erred in concluding that the blackmail allegation was not evidence of a false complaint and in holding that the allegation did not have substantial probative value because the evidential dispute could not be resolved by a jury.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Lewis J, May J)
20 February 2020
Suspended sentences of two years’ imprisonment for a robbery committed against a vulnerable disabled man in his home had been unduly lenient. The robbery had been planned, the victim had been targeted because of his perceived vulnerability and both offenders had previous convictions including, in one offender’s case, for a very similar offence committed against a vulnerable person. Despite the offenders’ considerable personal mitigation, the appropriate sentences were three years’ immediate imprisonment.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Foster J)
19 February 2020
When considering whether it was appropriate to impose an extended sentence on an offender who had already been recalled on licence in relation to an indeterminate sentence imposed for other offences, the fact that the offender had been recalled and the effect on the early release provisions was irrelevant. Insofar as there were conflicting Court of Appeal decisions on that point, R. v Smith (Nicholas)  UKSC 37 was to be followed.
CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Elisabeth Laing J, Judge Wall QC)
13 February 2020
The Court of Appeal upheld the convictions of two young offenders for conspiracy to commit robbery. The trial judge had been entitled to continue with the trial after a 16-year-old prosecution witness with ADHD, who had given evidence in chief and who had been cross-examined in part on behalf of one of the accused, became distressed and refused to continue to give evidence.
QBD (Admin) (Holman J)
4 February 2020
An appeal against extradition to Poland was allowed on the basis of fresh evidence both as to the difficult life history of the appellant and his partner and the circumstances of their relationship since the extradition hearing. The offender had already undergone significant punishment and, in the exceptional circumstances of the case, the ECHR art.8 rights of the appellant and his partner outweighed the normally weighty public interest in extradition.
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Carr J, Judge Thomas QC)
25 October 2019
A judge had failed to pay adequate regard to the likelihood of a young offender’s development and susceptibility to change in the right environment when imposing an extended sentence for offences including robbery. The judge had been wrong not to find that the offending, serious though it was, could be sufficiently punished and the public sufficiently protected by a determinate sentence.
CA (Crim Div) (Hickinbottom LJ, Carr J, Andrews J)
15 August 2019
Custodial sentences of 12 months imposed on two young women who had pleaded guilty to being involved in the staged robbery of a betting shop were quashed and replaced with shorter suspended sentences where the judge had not properly considered the complex personal circumstances and strong mitigating factors in both cases.
CA (Crim Div) (Bean LJ, Choudhury J, Judge Potter)
4 July 2019
It was unclear if a judge had found that an indeterminate sentence was necessary for two robberies, but after considering the factors in the offender’s favour, an extended sentence should have been imposed. The sentences of detention for public protection were quashed and substituted with concurrent extended sentences of 12.5 years’ detention, comprising a 7.5-year custodial sentence and an extended licence period of five years.
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Goose J, Judge Kinch QC)
11 April 2019
A total sentence of two-and-half years’ imprisonment imposed on an offender for a robbery at a convenience store whist carrying of a knife and an attempted robbery of a bookmakers was unduly lenient. The judge had significantly understated the gravity of the offending and had overstated the allowance to be made for the offender’s mitigation.
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, Popplewell J, Judge Walden-Smith)
30 November 2018
An appeal against a sentence of 10 years and five months’ imprisonment for the robbery of an elderly man at his home and a separate domestic burglary was dismissed. The offender was a career burglar with a bad record of previous convictions. Although a starting point of 12 years before discount for a guilty plea might be regarded as severe, it was not manifestly excessive.