CA (Crim Div) (Macur LJ, Jay J, Judge Marks QC)
4 August 2020
The convictions of two young offenders for a gang-related joint enterprise murder were safe. The judge had not erred in admitting evidence of relevant previous convictions and had properly directed the jury on accessorial liability. Sentences of detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure imposed on the three young offenders convicted of the murder were reduced to reflect their age and circumstances.
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Fraser J, Judge Michael Chambers QC)
24 July 2020
A recorder had erred in principle in withholding credit for a guilty plea when imposing the maximum fine available for a failure to comply with the requirements of a planning enforcement notice. The fact that the recorder would have imposed a heavier fine if permitted was irrelevant. However, the recorder was justified in making a confiscation order in the sum of the gross rental income obtained as a result of the criminal conduct inherent in the breach of the notice requirements.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, McGowan J, Garnham J)
21 July 2020
The court considered the correct approach to rectifying a sentencing judge’s omission to impose a mandatory special custodial sentence under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.226A. Under the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.11(3), the Court of Appeal was precluded from substituting a mandatory sentence on appeal if that course would have the result of treating the defendant more severely than he or she had been by the sentencing court. However, a formulaic, mathematical or rigid approach was not appropriate and a significant number of disparate considerations had to be borne in mind.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Nicklin J, Murray J)
16 July 2020
A sentence of life detention for attempted murder imposed on a young offender was quashed and replaced with hospital and restriction order under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 and s.41. The appeal court admitted fresh evidence that, at the time of the offence, the offender had been suffering from autistic spectrum disorder which was linked to the offence and which reduced his culpability.
CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Nicklin J, Cutts J)
2 July 2020
The appropriate sentence following an offender’s guilty plea to life insurance fraud was four years and seven months’ imprisonment, taking into account the principle of totality, where the sentence was to be served consecutively to an earlier sentence.
SC (NI) (Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Briggs JSC, Lady Arden JSC)
1 July 2020
The Supreme Court explained the purpose and operation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.160A, which concerned a defendant’s interests in property where a confiscation order was being made. There were potentially two stages to confiscation proceedings, namely the making of the order and its enforcement, and s.160A was intended to combine them into one for simple cases. However, in more complex cases, particularly where property was jointly owned, the two-stage process could still occur and third party property interests could arise for consideration at the enforcement stage.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Spencer J, Murray J)
24 June 2020
The court reduced an offender’s community order from 18 months to nine months, and a rehabilitation requirement from 20 days to 10 days, for the public order offence of threatening violence, where the offender had been 17 years old at the time of the offence, but 18 at the time of sentence, and where his co-accused had all received much more lenient sentences in the Youth Court despite one of them being only three months younger than the offender and pleading guilty to the much more serious offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Whipple J, Judge Lucraft QC)
23 June 2020
A life sentence with a minimum term of 23 years, imposed in accordance with the transitional provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22, was unduly lenient in respect of an offender who had murdered eight people in a revenge-motivated arson attack. The appropriate term was not less than 27 years.
CA (Crim Div) (Simler LJ, Turner J, Cutts J)
22 June 2020
The court reduced two sentences for offences of conspiracy to supply cocaine. In relation to the first appellant, who was the sole carer of her 7 year old son, the sentencing judge had afforded insufficient weight to the definitive guidelines which specifically listed being the sole carer for dependent relatives as a factor reducing seriousness. In relation to the second appellant it had not been necessary to go outside of the sentencing range provided by the category 1 “significant role” guidelines in light of his role in the conspiracy.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde J, Andrews J, Martin Spencer J)
21 May 2020
The Court of Appeal clarified the circumstances in which a sexual harm prevention order could be varied by a Crown Court. Where the Crown Court was merely sentencing an offender for breach of such an order, it did not have the power to vary the order or impose a fresh order unless a proper application had been made by the prescribed person, and to the prescribed court, as set out in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.103E.