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) (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) (Thirlwall LJ, Spencer J, Sir David Foskett)
11 March 2020
The absence of specific references to time and location was not an omission or defect in the definitive guideline on unlawful act manslaughter: the list of aggravating factors in the guideline was described as “non-exhaustive”. In every case, there were a number of potentially aggravating factors and it was for the judge to identify them and accord them the appropriate weight.
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) (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.
DC (Dingemans LJ, Farbey J)
19 February 2020
It was in the public interest to bring committal proceedings against a former legal clerk who had made audio recordings of five sets of criminal proceedings in the Crown Court to assist with his note-taking, in contempt of court. The contempts were admitted, and taking into account all the relevant factors including his ill health, he was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Judge Wendy Joseph QC)
12 February 2020
Where a person imported and dealt in Class A drugs over a long period, it was inescapable that an immediate custodial sentence of some length would be imposed, regardless of whether that person was of positive good character with every expectation of good behaviour in future. A judge’s imposition of a suspended sentence in such circumstances had therefore been inappropriate.
DC (Leggatt LJ, May J)
5 February 2020
A 61-year-old man who had posted on his Facebook page photographs purporting to be of the convicted murderers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, in breach of a worldwide injunction prohibiting the publication of their identity, was given a sentence of four months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.
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 (Civ Div) (Underhill LJ, David Richards LJ, Leggatt LJ)
23 January 2020
The fact that an injunction against “persons unknown” referred to the requirement for an “intention” to impede lawful activities did not render the injunction insufficiently clear or certain to be enforceable by committal to prison following a breach. “Intention” did not have any special legal meaning and was not difficult for a member of the public to understand.