YOUNG OFFENDERS

[2020] EWCA Crim 360
[2020] EWCA Crim 360
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.

[2020] EWCA Crim 284
[2020] EWCA Crim 284
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.

[2020] EWCA Crim 327
[2020] EWCA Crim 327
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, May J, Judge Stockdale QC)
21 February 2020

In an appeal against a rape conviction, the trial judge’s omission to direct the jury in the form recommended in R. v Sheehan (Michael) [1975] 1 W.L.R. 739 on the relevance of intoxication to intention did not render the conviction unsafe. The Sheehan direction was not a direction on a matter of law, but on how the jury should approach its fact-finding task. The jury had been directed in the clearest terms to assess the evidence and decide what factual inferences to draw.

[2020] EWCA Crim 155
[2020] EWCA Crim 155
CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Elisabeth Laing J, Judge Wall QC)
13 February 2020

The Court of Appeal upheld the convictions of two young offenders for conspiracy to commit robbery. The trial judge had been entitled to continue with the trial after a 16-year-old prosecution witness with ADHD, who had given evidence in chief and who had been cross-examined in part on behalf of one of the accused, became distressed and refused to continue to give evidence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2286
[2019] EWCA Crim 2286
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Fulford LJ, Holroyde LJ)
20 December 2019

In conjoined appeals against sentence brought by two young offenders and an adult offender, the court considered the proper approach to sentencing offenders who suffered from autism or other mental health conditions or disorders.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2282
[2019] EWCA Crim 2282
CA (Crim Div) (Nicola Davies LJ, Jacobs J, Judge Lodder QC)
14 November 2019

A sentence of 20 months’ detention imposed following a guilty plea to causing serious injury by dangerous driving was reduced to 14 months to reflect the young offender’s personal mitigation, including his age, inexperience, injuries and remorse. He was six weeks short of his eighteenth birthday at the time of the offence and, in reducing the sentence, the court took account of the guideline for sentencing children and young people, which referred to appropriate sentences where a significant age threshold was passed.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1865
[2019] EWCA Crim 1865
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Carr J, Judge Thomas QC)
25 October 2019

A judge had failed to pay adequate regard to the likelihood of a young offender’s development and susceptibility to change in the right environment when imposing an extended sentence for offences including robbery. The judge had been wrong not to find that the offending, serious though it was, could be sufficiently punished and the public sufficiently protected by a determinate sentence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1718
[2019] EWCA Crim 1718
CA (Crim Div) (Hamblen LJ, William Davis J, Andrew Baker J)
11 October 2019

In assessing the dangerousness of a young offender a judge should specifically address, and give sufficient weight to, the age and apparent maturity of the offender.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1583
[2019] EWCA Crim 1583
CA (Crim Div) (Nicola Davies LJ, Lavender J)
20 September 2019

When sentencing an 18-year-old offender, a judge had erred in failing to take as his starting point the sentence likely to have been imposed on the offender when the offence was committed. The offender was 17 years old when the offence was committed and the maximum sentence available to the court would have been 24 months’ detention.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1568
[2019] EWCA Crim 1568
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Warby J, Edis J)
17 September 2019

A challenge, by way of judicial review, by a young offender convicted of the murder and rape of a 14-year-old girl, to an excepting direction which discharged a reporting restriction order imposed under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 s.45(3), was refused.

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