CA (Crim Div) (Lindblom LJ, Hilliard J, Judge Flewitt QC)
6 May 2020
Where an offender had pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility, a judge had erred in assessing his “retained responsibility” as medium to high under the sentencing guideline. Although the judge concluded that the offending was caused by the offender’s anger, the psychiatric evidence clearly indicated that the most significant factor was his mental illness and that his anger at the time of the offence was not extraneous to his mental illness, but a manifestation of it. The offender’s retained responsibility was low, and it was appropriate to impose a hospital order under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 and a restriction order under s.41.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, McGowan J, Judge Bate)
1 May 2020
It was appropriate to make a football banning order in relation to a football supporter who pleaded guilty to an offence of affray involving rival football supporters shortly after watching a football match. Given the offender’s previous record of football-related disorder, there were reasonable grounds to believe that making an order would help prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with any regulated football matches.
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) (Fulford LJ, Holroyde LJ, Sir Peter Openshaw)
29 April 2020
The court provided guidance for sentencers on following the Sentencing Guideline “Arranging or Facilitating a Child Sex Offence” relating to offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.14. The judge should first identify the category of harm on the basis of the sexual activity the defendant intended, then adjust the sentence to ensure that it was proportionate to the applicable starting point and range if no sexual activity had occurred, including because the victim was fictional. Although that might lead to the result that a defendant who arranged the rape of a fictional child was punished more severely than one who facilitated a comparatively minor sexual assault, that was not necessarily wrong in principle.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD, Fulford LJ, McGowan J, Cavanagh J)
29 April 2020
The Court of Appeal affirmed that the test for dishonesty in the criminal context was that set out by the Supreme Court in Ivey v Genting Casinos UK Ltd (t/a Crockfords Club)  UKSC 67, expressly overruling R. v Ghosh (Deb Baran)  Q.B. 1053. The effect was that, in Ivey, the Supreme Court had altered the established common law approach to precedent in the criminal courts by stating that the test for dishonesty it had identified, albeit strictly contained in obiter dicta, should be followed in preference to an otherwise binding authority of the Court of Appeal.
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) (Fulford LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Sir Nicholas Blake)
26 March 2020
The Court of Appeal issued guidance in relation to the calculation of surcharge orders.
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) (Simler LJ, Goss J, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC)
19 March 2020
In circumstances where an offender had pleaded guilty to various road traffic offences, the Crown Court had imposed penalty points upon his licence where there was no power to do so as the offender had also been disqualified from driving. Further, two summary matters had been committed for sentence to the Crown Court under the wrong legislative regime, namely the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.3 when it should have been s.6, although that had not invalidated the entire committal.