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 (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) (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.
QBD (Admin) (Lewis J)
21 January 2020
The court made a certificate under the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 s.16(2) in relation to property inherited after a confiscation order had been made in circumstances where the original offences had been committed before March 2003 and the Supreme Court had held that s.16(2) did apply to property acquired after a confiscation order had been made.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, William Davis J, Sir Kenneth Parker)
25 October 2019
A total sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment, comprised of consecutive sentences of seven years for five offences of human trafficking and five years for four offences of supplying drugs, was appropriate for a 21-year-old offender considering his relative youth and the fact that he had no real criminal history.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Julian Knowles J, Judge Dean QC)
8 October 2019
A sentence of three years and nine months’ imprisonment imposed following a guilty plea for the supply of morphine tablets was severe but not manifestly excessive in an unusual case where the supply had led to the death of the defendant’s friend. It was a serious aggravating factor that the defendant had been highly reckless in supplying a drug that he knew that in modest overdose was likely to kill, to a man who was intoxicated and unlikely to heed his warning to take no more than one tablet.
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Lavender J, Fancourt J)
4 October 2019
In a complex trial in which 11 defendants faced numerous charges arising from their alleged sexual exploitation of teenage girls, the fact that one of the jurors had conducted internet research and told the others that one of the defendants had previously served a custodial sentence did not mean that the entire jury should be discharged. It was sufficient to discharge the juror in question, order a retrial in respect of the defendant in question, and permit the remaining jurors to continue in respect of the other 10 defendants.
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Fraser J, Sir David Foskett)
6 June 2019
Sentences of six, nine and twelve years’ imprisonment were appropriate in the case of three offenders who, along with three others, had formed a syndicate for the supply of heroin and crack cocaine. The operation was a large-scale enterprise that had run for some six months and fell within Categories 1 and 2 of the relevant sentencing guideline.
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, McGowan J, Judge Wall QC)
14 February 2019
Difficulties faced appellants seeking to appeal their sentences in large conspiracy to supply drugs cases. The sentencing judge was uniquely well placed to consider the different conspirators’ roles and to calibrate the sentences, and unless it could be shown that he had sentenced on a factual basis which was obviously mistaken, had made an error of principle, or that in assessing the weight to be given to any relevant factors he had formed a view which no reasonable judge, acting reasonably, could have formed, the Court of Appeal was unlikely to interfere with his assessment.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, McGowan J, Judge Burbidge QC)
18 January 2019
The court reinforced the guidance given in R. v Thorsby (Adrian Kenneth)  EWCA Crim 1 regarding giving credit for time served pursuant to a qualifying curfew. Diligence was required from the parties’ advocates and the Crown Court so as to ensure that the sentencing judge was informed of instances where a qualifying curfew had been imposed upon an offender who had to be sentenced.