CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Cutts J, Tipples J)
30 April 2020
A suspended sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment was unduly lenient in the case of a 47-year-old offender who had pleaded guilty to offences of sexual activity with a 15-year-old child and inciting her to engage in sexual activity. The appropriate sentence was a suspended custodial term of 24 months. When considering the suspension of a custodial sentence, prison conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic were a relevant factor and sentencing courts should take account of the fact that the impact of a custodial sentence was likely to be heavier during the emergency.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Fraser J, Hilliard J)
1 April 2020
A conviction for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs was quashed as, while it might have been open to the jury to conclude that the appellant was party to an agreement which involved the onward supply of drugs by him, there was insufficient evidence to establish that he was party to the larger conspiracy alleged. The trial judge had erred in refusing a submission of no case to answer. The court emphasised the importance of legal advisers complying with the time limits for submitting applications for permission to appeal.
CA (Civ Div) (McCombe LJ, Peter Jackson LJ)
27 March 2020
A ticket tout’s appeal against a sentence of 21 weeks’ imprisonment for contempt of court was dismissed where sufficient credit had been applied for his guilty plea made at the door of the court, and the six-month starting point taken had been entirely appropriate given that the breach had been committed during the currency of a suspended sentence imposed for a similar breach of a High Court order.
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Lewis J, Carr J)
19 March 2020
A sentence of three years and four months’ imprisonment imposed on a man who had pleaded guilty to conspiring to produce and supply cannabis would be reduced to a term of two years and eight months’ imprisonment, partly because of exceptional circumstances in the form of significant health issues.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Cutts J, Eady J)
11 March 2020
When considering whether the value of two or more low-value shoplifting offences could be aggregated for the purposes of determining a judge’s sentencing powers, the phrase “charged on the same occasion” in the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.22A(4)(b) referred to when the accused appeared before the magistrates’ court to answer the charges.
CA (Crim Div) (Haddon-Cave LJ, Eady J, Johnson J)
23 January 2020
A sentence of 27 months’ imprisonment which had been imposed on a man who had pleaded guilty to entering into or becoming concerned in a money-laundering arrangement was not manifestly excessive. The man had been a trusted courier of large amounts of money in a cigarette-smuggling operation.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Nicklin J, Sir Kenneth Parker)
26 November 2019
An individual’s conviction for two counts of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue were safe. Although there had been failures in the prosecution’s disclosure process, they had not been in bad faith and they had been cured by the time of the trial. The prosecution had also been entitled not to investigate further the allegation that there had been another conspirator, due to insufficient evidence against him.
CA (NI) (Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ, Keegan J)
25 November 2019
The Court of Appeal (Northern Ireland) considered the appropriate reduction to a sentence when an offender pleaded guilty at arraignment but did not indicate his intention to plead guilty at the outset. In particular, it considered whether the attitude of the offender at interview should be taken into account, and whether the present guidance was consistent with the terms of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 art.33(1). It also considered whether there was an impact on the level of discount if the offender was caught red-handed or if there was no viable defence.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, William Davis J, Judge Lodder QC)
19 November 2019
A judge had erred when imposing a life sentence on an offender already serving an extended determinate sentence, in setting the minimum term to run from the expiry of the custodial element of the extended sentence rather than from the offender’s earliest release date from that sentence.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Cockerill J, Judge Bate)
19 November 2019
A sentencing judge had erred in failing to reach a conclusion on the category of culpability under the Manslaughter Definitive Guideline 2018 of a woman convicted of manslaughter for stabbing to death her partner after a history of domestic violence. A category and starting point should be decided before consideration of the aggravating and mitigating factors.