PC (Bah) (Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden)
27 January 2020
An appellant challenging his conviction for rape 23 years after the trial could not rely on any lack of evidence resulting from his failure to obtain samples to carry out DNA testing. Any request for samples he had made during the trial had not been pursued. There had been no failure to disclose by the prosecution: the appellant had been made aware 18 months before trial of the prosecution’s expert evidence on DNA. The appellant had not been prevented from obtaining his own expert report.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Jacobs J, Judge Munro QC)
5 December 2019
When dismissing an appeal against a conviction for conspiracy to corrupt, the Court of Appeal made general observations on the purpose and nature of the summing-up of facts and the scope of a trial judge’s task in that respect.
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, McGowan J, Butcher J)
23 July 2019
A company was denied leave to appeal against its conviction for conspiracy to corrupt even though two directors who had constituted its “directing mind and will” (DMW) were not present at trial and did not give evidence. Their absence did not render the trial unfair, given that a company was a separate legal entity and there was no rule of law or practice which required a DMW to be indicted with the company or to be available at trial to give evidence.
CA (Crim Div) (Males LJ, Simler J, Murray J)
21 June 2019
In a trial of wounding with intent contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 s.18, the judge had been entitled not to leave to the jury an alternative count of simple wounding under s.20. The defendant’s position was not that he was guilty under s.20 having stabbed the victim without intending to cause really serious harm, but that he was not guilty at all. Accordingly, s.20 had not been an obvious alternative count.
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Goss J, Sir Brian Keith)
2 April 2019
The jury directions given at the trial of a well-known publicist for historical sexual offences had not been inadequate or unfair, and his conviction for indecent assault was safe.
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, Goose J, Recorder of Newcastle)
12 March 2019
A judge’s summing up had not been so unbalanced as to render a defendant’s conviction for buggery unsafe.
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Lewis J, Judge Lodder QC)
23 November 2018
Although a judge had unnecessarily and improperly intervened during a defendant’s examination-in-chief, the interventions were not so significant as to materially impair the defendant’s ability to put his case before the jury. The judge’s interventions, combined with deficiencies in his summing-up, had not deprived the defendant of a fair trial.
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Stuart-Smith J, May J)
10 October 2018
It was best practice for a judge to direct a jury before the cross-examination of a vulnerable witness that limitations had been placed on the defence counsel and to explain after the cross-examination the type of issues which the defendant would have wished to explore in further detail. Such directions should be repeated in the summing up.
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, William Davis J, Judge Dickinson QC)
27 September 2018
Although a judge’s summing up of identification evidence had been deficient in places, the totality of the evidence, which included cell site evidence placing the offender at the murder scene and a text message suggesting that he was with a co-defendant, meant that the conviction for murder was safe. The judge had been entitled to reject the submission of no case to answer.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Goose J, Judge Cutts QC)
21 June 2018
While a judge’s summing-up could have been more clearly expressed, it was not confusing, did not advocate the prosecution case and it did not render the trial unfair. Trial judges were reminded of the guidance and draft directions contained in the Crown Court Compendium. Those directions provided judges with an invaluable resource which, when adapted to the facts of a case, provided an appropriate framework for a legally correct direction.