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, 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) (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 (NI) (Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ, Keegan J)
25 November 2019
The Court of Appeal (Northern Ireland) considered the appropriate reduction to a sentence when an offender pleaded guilty at arraignment but did not indicate his intention to plead guilty at the outset. In particular, it considered whether the attitude of the offender at interview should be taken into account, and whether the present guidance was consistent with the terms of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 art.33(1). It also considered whether there was an impact on the level of discount if the offender was caught red-handed or if there was no viable defence.
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) (Green LJ, Phillips J, Judge Molyneux)
4 October 2019
The court considered what would amount to a “sustained incident” to bring an offence within category 2 of harm in the sexual offences definitive guideline. The mere fact that an offender had remained in a position of trust in relation to a complainant and shared a home with her was not sufficient to create the continued linkage needed to make three assaults over the course of two years a single “incident”. Further, in determining whether a child was “particularly vulnerable due to … personal circumstances” so as to come within category 2, it was not sensible to construe the guidelines as though they were a statute. They could not predict every permutation of circumstances that might arise, and a combination of factors might be sufficient to bring a case within that rubric.
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Stuart-Smith J, Judge Marks QC)
2 September 2019
A total sentence of 13 years and 8 months’ imprisonment imposed in two separate criminal proceedings for various offences of fraud, money laundering and perverting the course of justice was not manifestly excessive. The judge had assessed the overall criminality thoroughly and had carefully considered totality.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Lavender J, Judge Martin Edmunds QC)
7 June 2019
The appropriate total sentence for a husband and wife who had pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage and perverting the course of justice was two years and two months’ imprisonment, where the offenders had committed a sustained attack on their neighbour, late at night, in the victim’s home, in the presence of her children, and destroyed CCTV evidence.
CA (Crim Div) (Spencer J, Judge Picton QC)
6 June 2019
A judge had erred in failing to apply the appropriate credit for a guilty plea and for failing to reduce a custodial sentence on the grounds of totality when sentencing an offender for offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and doing an act which harmed a witness.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Picken J, Sir David Foskett)
23 May 2019
The appropriate total sentence for two offences of sexual assault and one of blackmail was an immediate custodial term of three years. When imposing a suspended sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, the sentencing judge had given too much weight to mitigating factors, including the fact that the offender had Asperger’s Syndrome, and insufficient weight to the seriousness of the blackmail offence. He had also erred in finding that the victim’s apparent consent to sexual activity on one occasion had lessened the seriousness of the subsequent sexual assaults.