Murder defence solicitor who ranks as a leading UK criminal lawyer

Jim is murder defence solicitor who is recognised as a leading criminal lawyer in the UK; he and his team have represented defendants in some of the most high profile murder cases prosecuted in England and Wales.

If you or a loved one are facing such an allegation, and, if you can afford to hire him, instruct Jim to help you to achieve justice in your case.

There are psychological barriers which may hinder justice in your case

Police murder investigations suffer from the same psychological barriers that apply to all problem solving and decision-making:

  • A desire to make sense and make connections as quickly as possible (“premature closure“);
  • A focus on information that confirms what is already believed or “known” to be the case (“confirmatory bias“).

If you are unfortunate enough to be at the sharp end of any criminal investigation, much less a murder investigation, in addition to those general psychological barriers you need to consider an additional barrier,  which is that nowadays the police are driven to consider all of the actions they take in terms of resource, weighing up the costs benefit of every aspect of their investigative effort.  What this means in practice is that the police inevitably and intentionally deploy the minimum resource necessary to get a “positive” outcome (“positive” in this sense means identifying and charging a suspect).

Remember that murder investigations are reactive in nature; the police engage in a backward search in order to identify likely suspects. They’ll:

  • Search for witnesses;
  • Search for physical evidence;
  • Search for other “crime-solving” information by reviewing their interviews of witnesses, suspects and other data collected in their information systems, such as:
    • The relevant Force Intelligence System;
    • The Police National Computer;
    • The Natation Criminal Intelligence Service Systems;
    • Forensic collation systems, such as:
      • DNA databases;
      • Footwear marks database;
      • Tyre marks databases; and
      • Offender profiling databases.

The problem from settling for “near enough” and the threat of “noble cause corruption”

The reality is that solving a crime is an inherently difficult task and most cases contain manifest gaps, inconsistencies, contradictions and ambiguities. These are amplified if each part of the prosecution team settles on gaining “near enough” – as opposed to a detailed – grasp of the prosecution evidence.

Matters can get even worse if officers believe they “know” the truth about what happened in your case, or think they “know” you are the offender and are prepared to engage in “noble cause corruption”, i.e. do whatever is necessary to increase the likelihood of your conviction.

You can gain a real advantage if you are prepared to pay for a properly resourced defence team.  Jim is certainly not cheap, and there are many other lawyers who will cost you less or nothing at all if they can claim payment from the government under the legal aid scheme. If you hire Jim Meyer as your lawyer, you aren’t just buying his time; you’ll benefit from his obsessive compulsion to dig into the detail of your case and to exhaust all lines of inquiry in an effort to secure you the best result.

How much will it cost?

If you instruct Jim, probably the first thing you will realise is that he is a straight-talking lawyer who provides honest and frank advice without any "BS". The same is also true about what he will tell you in relation to how much it will likely cost you to hire him, and he aims to be completely transparent about what he charges, what this pays for and how this compares to a lawyer being remunerated under legal aid. Jim believes this is the only way his clients can make a sensible, informed decision on how to proceed.

Jim has compiled a database of historical bills for matters in a single financial year to help him estimate how much a case will cost. Looking at this data there are 584 cases1 where:

  1. The main allegation was murder,
  2. There was a single defendant, who
  3. Pleaded not guilty, and
  4. Was subseqently tried before a jury in the Crown Court.

Based on this information, Jim's advice is:

  • The prosecution evidence in a typical case alleging murder normally runs to approximately 2,581 pages (note that this does not include CCTV, multi-media or digital evidence; nor does it include any unused material served by the prosecution [i.e. material which the prosecution believes may undermine its case or assist the case for the accused] or any evidence collected by the defence); the minimum number of pages was recorded as 13 and the maximum was 31,001;
  • A crown court trial where there is a single defendant and the main allegation is murder will normally comprise 103 prosecution witnesses and last around 16 days (the lowest number of witnesses recorded was 3 and the most was 349; the shortest trial recorded was 1 and the longest was 61);
  • For a trial lasting 16 days with 103 witnesses and a similar page count of 2581 pages, Jim estimates the total cost (including VAT and the advocates fee but excluding any other disbursements) will be in the range of £245,060 to £370,020. This compares to the typical fee2 of £46,800 paid to the legal team under legal aid.

1 Note that this doesn't represent all of the data on historical cases; in order to try to provide a "like-for-like" comparison it is restricted to cases where there was a single client and the matter was tried in the crown court. This will give you a general idea but obviously Jim will be able to advise you on the specifics of your particular case and the impact this may have on the likely cost.

2 This is an approximation. There are calculators available on the MOJ\'s website which will help you work out the fee claimable under the scheme, exluding any additional payment made for "special preparation".

Relevant cases in relation to murder

[2020] EWCA Crim 766
[2020] EWCA Crim 766
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Whipple J, Judge Lucraft QC)
23 June 2020

A life sentence with a minimum term of 23 years, imposed in accordance with the transitional provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22, was unduly lenient in respect of an offender who had murdered eight people in a revenge-motivated arson attack. The appropriate term was not less than 27 years.

[2020] EWCA Crim 589
[2020] EWCA Crim 589
CA (Crim Div) (Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD, Sweeney J, May J)
1 May 2020

An appeal brought, following a referral by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, on behalf of a deceased husband against his 2005 conviction for the "Lady in the lake" murder of his wife in 1976 was dismissed. Notwithstanding the non-disclosure of relevant prosecution evidence, the strength of the circumstantial case against the husband had been very strong.

[2020] EWCA Crim 270
[2020] EWCA Crim 270
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Spencer J, Griffiths J)
27 February 2020

The court refused to admit fresh psychiatric evidence in support of a possible defence of diminished responsibility to a charge of murder where the defence had not been pursued at trial, despite having been considered and raised in the defence statement. It would not be in the interests of justice to allow the evidence to be adduced.

[2020] EWHC 200 (Admin)
[2020] EWHC 200 (Admin)
DC (Dingemans LJ, Spencer J)
6 February 2020

Although accused of serious crimes, two requested persons were discharged from extradition proceedings after India had failed to provide assurances that their potential life sentences would be reducible until 45 minutes before judgment was due to be handed down. India had known that assurances were required and should have indicated to the judge that it intended to seek them, so that a timetable could be prepared.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2271
[2019] EWCA Crim 2271
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Spencer J, William Davis J)
19 December 2019

It was for the defence at trial to take decisions as to whether to use or act on disclosed unused material, and a failure to inspect such material was unlikely to justify a later application, following conviction, for it to be introduced as fresh evidence. The court emphasised that only in exceptional circumstances would evidence be admitted that could have been adduced at trial.

[2019] EWCA Civ 1841
[2019] EWCA Civ 1841
CA (Civ Div) (Underhill LJ, Simler LJ)
31 October 2019

The High Court's decision refusing permission to apply for judicial review in proceedings relating to a murder conviction was "a judgment...in a criminal cause or matter" within the meaning of the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.18(1)(a), restricting the Court of Appeal's jurisdiction to consider the appeal. There was no basis for concluding that the denial of a right of appeal in those circumstances amounted to an unjustified denial of the appellant's right of access to justice.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1896
[2019] EWCA Crim 1896
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Carr J, Judge Thomas QC)
24 October 2019

A sentence of 20 years' imprisonment was manifestly excessive in respect of a husband who had been convicted of the attempted murder of his wife. The sentencing judge had erred in not giving proper consideration as to whether the offender's adjustment disorder had impaired his mental functioning. The appropriate sentence was one of 17 years' imprisonment.

[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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1466
[2019] EWCA Crim 1466
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Julian Knowles J, Judge Michael Chambers QC)
16 August 2019

A trial judge had been wrong to allow the prosecution to admit part of a defendant's defence statement at trial. It would not have helped the jury to resolve an issue in the case, as required by the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 s.6E(5)(b), and it was not clear that the defendant had changed his defence; an indication in the statement that he questioned the identification evidence was ambiguous.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1283
[2019] EWCA Crim 1283
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, McGowan J, Sir John Royce)
25 July 2019

The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction for murder as it could not be said that a direction given by the trial judge in answer to a question asked by the jury during their deliberations was inadequate. Minimum terms of 30 years' imprisonment were also held to be appropriate where the offenders had systematically ill-treated the victim, who had been employed as their nanny, before her death in appalling circumstances.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1326
[2019] EWCA Crim 1326
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Edis J, Judge Potter)
24 July 2019

A defendant convicted of murder at the age of 15 was refused an application to adduce fresh psychiatric evidence aimed at explaining his reasons for maintaining his innocence at trial. His admission of guilt after conviction was tactical and made in order to gain sentencing advantage.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1151
[2019] EWCA Crim 1151
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Nicol J, Butcher J)
27 June 2019

The court considered the principles applicable where the prosecution called a witness but only considered part of their evidence worthy of belief, and wished to adduce other evidence to contradict the part that it considered inaccurate or false, without applying to have the witness declared hostile.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1217
[2019] EWCA Crim 1217
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Warby J, Picken J)
18 June 2019

There was a powerful case that the appellant was a party to a joint enterprise in which he had personally intended that grievous bodily harm would be inflicted on the victim. There was a proper basis on which to conclude that the jury's verdict that he was guilty of murder would not have differed notwithstanding the change in the law of joint enterprise following R. v Jogee (Ameen Hassan) [2016] UKSC 8.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1144
[2019] EWCA Crim 1144
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Picken J, Swift J)
13 June 2019

A trial judge had been entitled to admit bad character evidence following a Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(e) application by an accused's co-defendant, as going towards the accused's propensity to tell the truth, despite having refused the prosecution's s.101(1)(d) application to admit the same bad character evidence due to its weaknesses.

[2019] UKSC 26
[2019] UKSC 26
SC (Lord Reed DPSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lady Black JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Sales JSC)
6 June 2019

The court interpreted condition 4, set out in the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 s.1(6), which allowed the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland to issue a certificate directing that a trial should be conducted without a jury if he suspected that an offence had been committed as a result of, in connection with or in response to religious or political hostility of one person or group of persons towards another person or group of persons. The condition could be relied upon in respect of a member of the armed forces who shot a person whom he suspected of being a member of the IRA.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2140
[2019] EWCA Crim 2140
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Cutts J, Sir Peter Openshaw)
5 June 2019

A whole-life order was justified in the case of man who had been convicted of two counts of murder after carrying out two contract killings which involved substantial planning.

[2019] EWHC 1175 (Admin)
[2019] EWHC 1175 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Simon LJ, Farbey J)
10 May 2019

The Criminal Cases Review Commission's refusal to refer a murder conviction to the Court of Appeal in the light of fresh evidence was not unreasonable or unlawful. Even if that evidence had been accepted, there was no real possibility that the Court of Appeal would quash the conviction. The court stated obiter that the commission should be given an opportunity to make representations at an oral hearing before permission was given to bring judicial review proceedings against it.

[2019] EWHC 1100 (Admin)
[2019] EWHC 1100 (Admin)
DC (Irwin LJ, Jay J)
8 May 2019

A fresh inquest was ordered under the Coroners Act 1988 s.13(1)(b) into the death of a 14-year-old child in 1966, as new evidence was available which rendered a further inquest necessary and desirable in the interests of justice.

[2019] EWCA Crim 796
[2019] EWCA Crim 796
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Butcher J, Farbey J)
17 April 2019

The court gave guidance on the proper approach to an application to the Crown Court for a witness summons under the Criminal Procedure (Attendance of Witnesses) Act 1965 s.2.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1005
[2019] EWCA Crim 1005
CA (Crim Div) (Haddon-Cave LJ, Goss J, Judge Kinch QC)
16 April 2019

A judge had erred in stating that the sentence he imposed on an offender who had been convicted following a retrial would start on the day he was sentencing him. In accordance with the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 Sch.2 para.2(3), the sentence should have commenced from the date the equivalent sentence passed following the original trial would have begun.

[2019] EWCA Crim 627
[2019] EWCA Crim 627
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Simler J, Sir Brian Keith)
11 April 2019

A young offender's conviction for murder was not unsafe, as he had not shown that a change in the law regarding joint enterprise following his conviction would have affected the jury's verdict.

[2019] EWCA Crim 597
[2019] EWCA Crim 597
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Elisabeth Laing J, Cheema-Grubb J)
9 April 2019

A judge's failure to reduce to writing, and notify counsel of, a message he had received from a juror half way through his summing up in a murder trial offended against the principle of open justice and amounted to a material irregularity. However, it did not affect the safety of the conviction: the content of the message did not disclose any jury irregularity and did not suggest that the jurors were unable to remain faithful to their oaths.

[2019] NICA 18
[2019] NICA 18
CA (NI) (Deeny LJ, McCloskey J, Sir Ronald Weatherup)
2 April 2019

In determining the minimum term of imprisonment for a mandatory life sentence for murder, a judge had not erred in adopting the higher starting point of 16 years under the Practice Statement (Sup Ct: Crime: Life Sentences) [2002] 1 W.L.R. 1789 given the severity of the injuries inflicted on the victim before his death. Although, in principle, an intention to cause grievous bodily harm rather than to kill could attract some mitigation, the judge had correctly reasoned that the severity of the violence had not mitigated the offender's culpability.

[2019] EWHC 619 (Admin)
[2019] EWHC 619 (Admin)
DC (Leggatt LJ, Holgate J)
18 March 2019

In considering dual criminality, the rule in Assange v Sweden [2011] EWHC 2849 (Admin), that the court could only infer the mens rea required for the equivalent English offence if it was the inevitable inference from the particulars, only applied where the foreign offence was missing the mens rea element of the English offence. Where the foreign offence included that element, but the particulars did not address it, the court could still order extradition if mens rea was a possible inference from the conduct described. It would be for the foreign court to decide if it was proved.

[2019] EWCA Crim 343
[2019] EWCA Crim 343
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Farbey J, Judge Goldstone QC)
5 March 2019

A prison officer who was the recipient of an unsolicited comment by a defendant in custody was not investigating an offence so as to trigger an obligation to comply with the PACE codes of practice. A trial judge had therefore been entitled to admit her evidence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 916
[2019] EWCA Crim 916
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Sweeney J, Cheema-Grubb J)
28 February 2019

The court quashed a wife's conviction for the murder of her husband following the admittance of fresh post-conviction psychiatric evidence which suggested that she had been suffering from previously undiagnosed personality disorders at the time of the killing. The court expressed no view on whether the appellant had been the victim of coercive controlling behaviour by her husband, or the extent to which, if so, that had impacted on her ability to exercise self-control or on her responsibility for her actions.

[2019] EWCA Crim 198
[2019] EWCA Crim 198
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Nicol J, Sir Brian Keith)
20 February 2019

A reference by the Criminal Cases Review Commission relating to a murder conviction was unsuccessful where the court found that the subsequent judgments in R. v Jogee (Ameen Hassan) [2016] UKSC 8 and R. v Johnson (Lewis) [2016] EWCA Crim 1613 did not result in any substantial injustice to the offender by means of a change in the law.

QBD (King J)
12 February 2019

The court revoked the grant of bail to a 26-year old man who had been charged with murdering his grandfather on the basis that it was impossible to say that there was no significant risk of him committing, whilst on bail, an offence likely to cause physical or mental injury to another person.

[2019] EWHC 91 (Fam)
[2019] EWHC 91 (Fam)
Fam Div (Knowles J)
22 January 2019

The court granted permission for a 12-year-old ward of court to travel to India to give evidence against his mother in her criminal trial for the murder of his father.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2868
[2018] EWCA Crim 2868
CA (Crim Div) (Bean LJ, McGowan J, Judge Dean QC)
21 December 2018

During an appeal against a murder conviction, the prosecution was not allowed to adduce fresh evidence of a conversation the offender had had in a welfare visit with his case manager after his conviction, in which the prosecution considered he had admitted to the murder. Although such conversations were not subject to legal privilege, it would be contrary to public policy to breach the confidentiality of such discussions save for very good reason.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2959
[2018] EWCA Crim 2959
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Cutts J, Judge Lucraft QC)
20 December 2018

When setting a minimum term for murder, a reduction of 10 years to reflect the mitigating factor of an offender's young age was too high. A minimum term of 18 years did not reflect the criminal conduct of the premeditated stabbing of the victim with a knife in the street.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2884
[2018] EWCA Crim 2884
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, McGowan J, Kerr J)
18 December 2018

A jury's retention during their deliberations of a transcript of video evidence from the deceased in a murder trial, accusing the defendant of attempted robbery prior to his death, did not affect the fairness of the trial or the safety of the conviction. Although the judge had not given a direction warning the jury not to place undue weight on the transcript, he had given clear warnings about the hearsay evidence and when he had circulated his proposed directions to the advocates, neither had suggested such a direction.

CA (Crim Div) (Martin Spencer J, Goss J, Judge Katz QC)
1 November 2018

A life sentence with a minimum term of 11 years and 68 days was unduly lenient where an offender had killed his partner using two knives while under the influence of drugs, and was increased to a minimum term of 14 years and 190 days. However, it was not treated as a domestic violence case as there had been no history of domestic violence in the relationship.

CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, King J, May J)
5 October 2018

A judge had been right not to leave the partial defence to murder, loss of control, to a jury where the defendant had hit the victim multiple times with a hammer leading to his death. The Court of Appeal made a number of observations regarding a trial judge's approach to loss of control under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54(1), including that evidence was required for all three statutory components of the defence.

CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Edis J, Butcher J)
3 October 2018

The court quashed an 18-year minimum term attached to a life sentence imposed on an offender following his conviction for murder and replaced it with one of 21 years. Notwithstanding that the offender had taken a sword only a short distance outside the premises into the garden, he had taken a weapon to the scene and used it to kill within the meaning of para.5A of Sch 21 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 such that a starting point of 25 years was appropriate.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2083
[2018] EWCA Crim 2083
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.

[2018] EWCA Civ 1587
[2018] EWCA Civ 1587
CA (Civ Div) (McCombe LJ, King LJ, Coulson LJ)
5 July 2018

A senior investigating police officer had maliciously prosecuted three men for murder when presenting a case to the CPS based on the evidence of a witness he had prompted to implicate them. They were entitled to damages for the loss caused by that malicious prosecution and the officer's misfeasance in public office.

[2018] EWCA Crim 739
[2018] EWCA Crim 739
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Spencer J, Judge Burbidge QC)
17 April 2018

The court upheld an offender's convictions for murder and attempted murder following the fatal shooting of a member of a rival gang.

[2018] EWCA Crim 690
[2018] EWCA Crim 690
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, Spencer J, Carr J)
28 March 2018

A trial judge's decision to withdraw a murder charge from the jury was overturned where it was found that the victim's death by euthanasia was a direct response to his injuries and the unbearable suffering resulting from them for which the defendant was responsible. It was open to the jury to conclude that neither the victim's suffering nor his decision to end his life could be described as "voluntary" in the sense of being the product of free and unfettered volition presupposed by the novus actus interveniens rule.

[2018] UKPC 5
[2018] UKPC 5
PC (Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Lloyd-Jones)
12 March 2018

A prisoner facing the death penalty following his conviction for the murder of a fellow inmate was not permitted to admit fresh medical evidence in his appeal against conviction and sentence. He had wanted to rely on new evidence relating to his mental state at the time of the offence, with a view to supporting a case of diminished responsibility, but that evidence was directly contrary to the case advanced at trial, and there was nothing to explain the change of position. The Privy Council also rejected his renewed appeal against a judicial direction in respect of evidence of propensity.

[2018] EWCA Crim 19
[2018] EWCA Crim 19
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Warby J, Judge Mayo)
18 January 2018

A minimum term of 30 years imposed in connection with a life sentence for murder was justified where the offender had been convicted on the basis of a joint enterprise. A case would normally fall within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5 if it was a murder involving the use of a firearm, and the wording of that provision was not confined to the person who had pulled the trigger.

[2017] EWCA Crim 2061
[2017] EWCA Crim 2061
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Spencer J, Lavender J)
19 December 2017

The court considered the extent to which a mental disorder could be relevant to an assessment of "the circumstances of the defendant" when considering the partial defence of loss of control under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54(1).

[2017] EWCA Crim 1971
[2017] EWCA Crim 1971
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Green J, Judge Mark Brown)
1 December 2017

A judge's failure to direct the jury in a murder trial as to the utility and limits of hearsay evidence relating to the offender's reprehensible conduct prior to the offence had not undermined the safety of the conviction. The jury had been in a good position to assess the offender's character and disposition from the way he presented in the witness box.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1414
[2017] EWCA Crim 1414
CA (Crim Div) (Sweeney J, May J)
29 September 2017

A conviction for murder was not rendered unsafe by fresh evidence from three witnesses. The jury had been satisfied that the defendant was solely and exclusively responsible for the activities involving identity theft and fraud against the deceased, and that the connection between those activities and the victim's death established him as the only possible perpetrator of the murder. The evidence of the new witnesses could not have disrupted that conclusion and there was no possibility of a different outcome if the fresh evidence had been heard by any jury.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1391
[2017] EWCA Crim 1391
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Davis LJ, Treacy LJ, Sweeney J, Spencer J)
26 September 2017

The court determined that the interpretation in R. (on the application of Collins) v Secretary of State for Justice [2016] EWHC 33 (Admin) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 s.76(5A) on self-defence in householder cases was correct. The court also gave guidance on summing up in such cases.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1359
[2017] EWCA Crim 1359
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Stuart-Smith J, Soole J)
13 September 2017

Where it was asserted in any murder trial that both self-defence and loss of control arose, a rigorous evaluation of the evidence would be required before the issue of loss of control could be left to the jury.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1333
[2017] EWCA Crim 1333
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Phillips J, Garnham J)
7 September 2017

The court refused an application under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.76 to quash an individual's acquittal for murder in light of new DNA evidence. Although the evidence was strong, the individual was detained in a high security psychiatric hospital and only had weeks left to live due to terminal cancer, such that a retrial would not be in the interests of justice.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1174
[2017] EWCA Crim 1174
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Goss J, Sir Wyn Williams)
31 July 2017

A judge's intervention and direction to the jury during defence counsel's closing speech did not affect the safety of a defendant's conviction. She ought to have put to counsel what she intended to say before she said it, and if she intended to criticise him in front of the jury, she ought to have raised that with him first. Overall, however, the summing-up was thorough and fair.

[2017] EWCA Crim 937
[2017] EWCA Crim 937
CA (Crim Div) (Flaux LJ, Blake J, William Davis J)
7 July 2017

The court quashed a sentence of custody for life imposed in 2002 on a young offender for attempted murder. In the light of fresh psychiatric evidence, which confirmed that the offender had been suffering from a psychopathic disorder at the time of the offence, hospital and restriction orders were appropriate.

[2017] UKPC 18
[2017] UKPC 18
PC (StV) (Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson)
15 June 2017

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) Act (c.18) s.48(2) was in violation of the Constitution of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1979 Sch.1 para.8 in so far as it precluded an extension of time for appeals against the death sentence. The words "Except in the case of a conviction involving sentence of death" in s.48(2) should be treated as deleted.

[2017] EWCA Crim 834
[2017] EWCA Crim 834
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Holgate J, Judge Collier QC)
13 June 2017

Minimum terms of 29 and 26 years' imprisonment for murder committed by two 22-year-old offenders were not manifestly excessive where they had subjected the victim to a brutal attack in his own home. The lengthier term for one offender reflected the further aggravating factor of his guilty plea to perverting the course of justice, his previous convictions and lack of remorse. It was also relevant that the offenders had conspired to rob the victim, for which they received concurrent sentences of 13 years.

[2017] EWCA Crim 740
[2017] EWCA Crim 740
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Mitting J, Singh J)
9 June 2017

The court refused permission to amend grounds of appeal out of time to include a ground relating to joint enterprise, where the application was made by an offender convicted of murder before the decisions in R. v Jogee (Ameen Hassan) [2016] UKSC 8 and R. v Johnson (Lewis) [2016] EWCA Crim 1613. Substantial injustice had not been demonstrated sufficient for exceptional leave to be granted.

[2017] EWCA Crim 739
[2017] EWCA Crim 739
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Blake J, Lewis J)
9 June 2017

Minimum terms of 17-and-a-half years' detention were appropriate for a 14-year-old boy and girl who had planned and brutally carried out the murder of the girl's mother and younger sister. The removal of reporting restrictions was a reasonable and proportionate measure, notwithstanding the age of the appellants, properly balancing their welfare against ECHR art.10 rights and the public interest.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1353
[2017] EWCA Crim 1353
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, Popplewell J, Judge Paton)
8 June 2017

Life sentences with a total minimum term of 23 years were imposed on offenders who had tortured a couple in their 60s in order to force them to hand over a large quantity of cash and had later shot a man in the head in a conspiracy to kill him.

[2017] EWHC 1219 (Admin)
[2017] EWHC 1219 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Gross LJ, Singh J)
25 May 2017

The Criminal Cases Review Commission had been justified in not referring the claimant's conviction for murder to the Court of Appeal.

[2017] EWCA Crim 647
[2017] EWCA Crim 647
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Treacy LJ, McGowan J)
23 May 2017

A person suffering from schizophrenia who killed while intoxicated could rely on the defence of diminished responsibility if their condition was of such severity that, even without intoxication, it would have impaired their responsibility. They could also rely on the defence if the schizophrenia was coupled with drink or drug dependence which together substantially impaired responsibility.

[2017] UKPC 14
[2017] UKPC 14
PC (StC) (Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes, Lord Hodge)
16 May 2017

The Privy Council dismissed a husband's appeal against his conviction for the murder of his estranged wife. Evidence of the husband's past violence towards her showed that he bore her ill-will and had the motive and inclination to attack her. The evidence did not go to his general credibility and was therefore admissible evidence in accordance with Makin v Attorney General of New South Wales [1894] A.C. 57.

CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Lavender J)
11 May 2017

Evidence produced after a conviction indicating that the defendant had mental limitations, which meant he had not been afforded any measures for vulnerable defendants before or during his trial, did not make the trial unfair. Although a joint enterprise direction was not compliant with the later case of R v Jogee (2016) UKSC 8, a Jogee-compliant direction would have made no difference as the defendant's intention could not have been clearer.

[2017] EWCA Crim 577
[2017] EWCA Crim 577
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Gilbart J, Judge Aubrey QC)
3 May 2017

A sentence of six years and eight months' imprisonment for attempted murder, where the offender had stabbed his friend several times in an unplanned attack following an argument, was not unduly lenient. Although the friend had suffered serious and long-term physical harm in the form of facial disfigurement, which justified a starting point of 15 years' imprisonment, the offender's immediate reporting of the incident to the police and his remorse were exceptional and required additional allowance going beyond the one-third discount for his early guilty plea.

[2017] EWCA Crim 705
[2017] EWCA Crim 705
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Holroyde J, Morris J)
6 April 2017

A minimum term of 24 years imposed on an 18-year-old following his conviction for a gang-related murder would be reduced to 21 years to ensure that there was no unfair disparity between his sentence and the 17-year terms imposed on his two co-defendants, who were aged 17 and 16 at the time of the offence.

[2017] UKPC 6
[2017] UKPC 6
CA (Trin) (Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson)
23 March 2017

The board considered the law applicable to mentally impaired persons who had been convicted of offences which carried a mandatory death sentence. Where an offender suffered from significant mental impairment, including severe learning difficulties, such that it would be unconstitutional to carry out the death sentence, the judicial exercise of the prerogative of mercy was capable of providing proper constitutional protection.

[2017] EWCA Crim 190
[2017] EWCA Crim 190
CMAC (Lord Thomas LCJ, Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Dame Heather Hallett, Openshaw J, Sweeney J)
15 March 2017

A marine's conviction for the murder of a wounded insurgent would be replaced by a verdict of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. At the time of the killing, the marine had been suffering from an adjustment disorder which substantially impaired his ability to form a rational judgment and exercise self-control.

[2017] EWCA Crim 419
[2017] EWCA Crim 419
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Haddon-Cave J, Soole J)
8 March 2017

Minimum terms of 28 years' imprisonment were appropriate following the conviction of two brothers for the callous, carefully planned murder of a woman with whom one of the brothers had been in a sexual relationship. The motive for the murder involved an element of gain, as the mutual employer of the victim and the brother actively discouraged such relationships between employees, which placed his employment and financial future at risk.

[2017] EWCA Crim 268
[2017] EWCA Crim 268
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Spencer J, Sir David Maddison)
23 February 2017

Convictions for robbery and murder were not rendered unsafe by the admission into evidence of a co-accused's guilty plea. The Court of Appeal also considered the impact on the convictions of the decision in R. v Jogee (Ameen Hassan) [2016] UKSC 8 in relation to the issue of joint enterprise.

[2017] EWCA Crim 59
[2017] EWCA Crim 59
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Hallett LJ)
22 February 2017

The Court of Appeal did not have the power to certify a point of law of general public importance under the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.33(2) when leave to appeal had been refused. The phrase "decision of the Court of Appeal on appeal" in s.33 clearly referred to the determination of an appeal which had been pursued with leave and determined on its merits.

[2017] EWHC 273 (QB)
[2017] EWHC 273 (QB)
QBD (Mitting J)
17 February 2017

Although a police officer had prompted evidence in a murder investigation from an unreliable witness, the CPS had taken an independent decision to charge four individuals and their claims for malicious prosecution failed. For the same reason a claim for misfeasance in public office against the officer failed with respect to three of the four; he had not caused them any loss because the CPS would have prosecuted them anyway.

CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Jeremy Baker J, Judge Munro QC)
7 February 2017

A judge's direction in a murder trial as to the meaning of "substantial" impairment within the Homicide Act 1957 s.2 as regards the defence of diminished responsibility had amply complied with the guidance given in R. v Golds (Mark Richard) [2016] UKSC 61; she had not elaborated unduly and the conviction was safe. The offender's sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 22 years, whilst severe, was not manifestly excessive.

CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Russell J, Recorder of Manchester )
1 February 2017

A jury in a murder trial had been entitled to reject the defence of diminished responsibility under the Homicide Act 1957 s.2 for an accused with an autistic spectrum disorder who had strangled a fellow care home resident in order to have sex with her undisturbed. The judge's misstatement in his summing up that that outcome was irrational, despite one expert's evidence to the contrary, and that the jury should focus on the decision-making process of the accused to assess his ability to form a rational judgment, had been helpful rather than adverse to the accused. However, it was over-refined to separate the decision-making process from the outcome and could lead to undue glossing of s.2.

[2017] EWCA Crim 31
[2017] EWCA Crim 31
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Jay J, Lavender J)
31 January 2017

A conviction for murder was safe, as a purported confession to the murder, made by a person who had been mentally ill at the time and had since retracted it, was unreliable and incapable of belief.

[2017] UKPC 1
[2017] UKPC 1
PC (Jam) (Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes)
30 January 2017

An appeal against a conviction for murder was remitted to the Court of Appeal of Jamaica as it was unsatisfactory for the Board to attempt to resolve, on paper, a factual dispute between the defendant and his counsel about legal advice.

[2017] EWCA Crim 107
[2017] EWCA Crim 107
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Lewis J, Russell J)
25 January 2017

A sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years imposed following a conviction for murder by way of joint enterprise was not excessive. It was not appropriate to reduce an otherwise appropriate minimum term because a co-accused might have been treated leniently, unless the differences in sentencing would cause right-thinking members of the public to consider that the offender had a justified sense of grievance.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1968
[2016] EWCA Crim 1968
CA (Crim Div) (Macur LJ, Turner J, O'Farrell J)
21 December 2016

A conviction for murder was unsafe where the prosecution had failed to disclose during the trial a crucial element of a police report which severely undermined the evidence of a key witness. The remaining evidence was dubious and provided only a weak case.

[2016] NICA 51
[2016] NICA 51
CA (NI) (Gillen LJ, Weatherup LJ, McBride J)
7 December 2016

A judge in a murder trial had erred in refusing to leave alternative counts of gross negligence manslaughter and unlawful act manslaughter to the jury, as both potential defences to the charge of murder had been plausibly arguable in the circumstances. Also, although a plea to manslaughter had not been accepted by the Crown, defence counsel's failure to reveal the precise basis on which the plea had been made was unsatisfactory.

[2016] EWCA Crim 2237
[2016] EWCA Crim 2237
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, William Davis J, Judge Stockdale QC)
6 December 2016

Social media messages in which a defendant had said that she might stab her boyfriend when stressed or angry had been correctly admitted as evidence that might assist the jury in determining whether the boyfriend's later death as a result of a knife in the heart had been an accident or a stabbing by the defendant with the necessary intent.

[2016] UKSC 61
[2016] UKSC 61
SC (Lord Neuberger PSC, Lady Hale DPSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Reed JSC, Lord Hughes JSC, Lord Toulson JSC, Lord Thomas JSC)
30 November 2016

The Supreme Court clarified the meaning of "substantially" in relation to the partial defence of diminished responsibility set out in the Homicide Act 1957 s.2, which required an abnormality of mental functioning which, among other things, substantially impaired the defendant's ability to understand the nature of his conduct, form a rational judgment or exercise self-control. The court also set out how juries should be directed on the issue.

[2016] EWCA Crim 2023
[2016] EWCA Crim 2023
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Goss J, Jefford J)
18 November 2016

A sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 10 years was appropriate following a conviction for attempted murder where the offender was suffering from a mental disorder requiring hospital treatment. The judge had not erred in finding that the mental disorder could be appropriately dealt with by imposing a sentence of imprisonment with a hospital and limitation direction under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.45A. However, the mental disorder was a significant factor which lowered the offender's culpability.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1715
[2016] EWCA Crim 1715
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, Elisabeth Laing J, Knowles J)
15 November 2016

Sentences of nine years' detention imposed following convictions for manslaughter were unduly lenient and replaced with 15-year sentences. The offenders, aged 17 and 18 at the time, had knowingly participated in a plan to assault and injure the victim, knowing that at least one knife would be used; those factors brought the case closer to murder and the offenders had to be sentenced accordingly.

[2016] EWCA Crim 2098
[2016] EWCA Crim 2098
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Elisabeth Laing J, Judge Topolski QC)
11 November 2016

A judge had erred in taking a starting point of 30 years when setting a minimum term of imprisonment in respect of a defendant's life sentence for murder. The defendant had set his partner alight which had led to her death, but the judge had placed too much weight on cases of pre-planned and deliberate arson causing death which attracted 30-year starting points. A starting point of 15 years was more appropriate.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1887
[2016] EWCA Crim 1887
CA (Crim Div) (Elias LJ, Gilbart J, Recorder of Preston)
10 November 2016

A conviction for murder on the basis of joint enterprise was upheld where there was evidence that the appellant was present at the scene of the crime at the relevant time and had actively encouraged criminal activity with the intention of doing so. The judge's direction to the jury had been sufficient in relation both to joint enterprise and to the matters which had to be established before guilt could be proved.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1712
[2016] EWCA Crim 1712
CA (Crim Div) (Bean LJ, Spencer J, Judge Peter Collier QC)
9 November 2016

The court upheld an offender's conviction for the murder of a fellow sex worker. The evidence against her, although circumstantial, was overwhelmingly strong, and the judge had not erred in admitting hearsay statements or evidence of bad character.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1913
[2016] EWCA Crim 1913
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Wilkie J, Lavender J)
8 November 2016

It had been open to a judge to rule that a witness was hostile where he had made a previous inconsistent statement that he had been at the scene of a murder and had seen the attackers, but had subsequently testified that he had not witnessed the attack.

[2016] EWCA Crim 2043
[2016] EWCA Crim 2043
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, William Davis J, Lavender J)
3 November 2016

The court refused permission to appeal against a conviction for murder where the defendant had relied on diminished responsibility. The reverse burden of proof in respect of diminished responsibility in the Homicide Act 1957 s.2(2) did not infringe ECHR art.6.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1940
[2016] EWCA Crim 1940
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, William Davis J, Lavender J)
1 November 2016

A conviction for murder, where the offender had committed the offence in a state of drug-induced psychosis whilst in an at-risk state for schizophrenia, was not quashed as the jury directions had been clear in relation to intent and diminished responsibility.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1613
[2016] EWCA Crim 1613
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Hallett LJ)
31 October 2016

In refusing conjoined appeals and applications for permission to appeal against conviction, the court considered the impact on the convictions of the decision in R. v Jogee (Ameen Hassan) [2016] UKSC 8, [2016] 2 W.L.R. 681 in relation to the issue of joint enterprise.

[2016] NICA 40
[2016] NICA 40
CA (NI) (Gillen LJ, Weatherup LJ, O'Hara J)
25 October 2016

The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal did not have jurisdiction to re-open six appeals against conviction arising out of the Supreme Court's judgment in R. v Jogee (Ameen Hassan) [2016] UKSC 8 which clarified the law on accessory liability. Putting the law right did not render all convictions invalid which had been arrived at over many years by faithfully applying the law as had been laid down in previous authorities. The appropriate recourse was for the defendants to refer their cases to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

[2016] UKPC 29
[2016] UKPC 29
PC (Bah) (Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes)
24 October 2016

Where a minor was in custody for police questioning, the law in many countries was that police interviews were to take place in the presence of an "appropriate adult". The police should inform that person that he was not expected to act simply as an observer. The purpose of an "appropriate adult" was to advise the person being questioned, to assess whether the interview was being conducted properly and fairly, and to facilitate communication. In the instant case, a 17-year-old's confession to murder was rendered unreliable by the fact that informal and unrecorded interviews had taken place whilst the police had been trying to locate an appropriate adult, who had then not been told his full function.

[2016] UKSC 55
[2016] UKSC 55
SC (Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Clarke JSC, Lord Hughes JSC, Lord Toulson JSC, Lord Hodge JSC)
19 October 2016

Where, in a criminal case, the Crown relied on several incidents to establish propensity on the part of the defendant, it did not have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that each incident had happened in the way alleged, and the jury did not have to consider the facts of each individual incident in isolation from one another. The jury had to consider the evidence in the round to determine whether propensity had been established to the criminal standard.

[2016] EWCA Crim 2108
[2016] EWCA Crim 2108
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Holroyde J, McGowan J)
19 October 2016

A 17-year sentence, following convictions for cruelty to a 17-month-old child and for his murder, was increased to 20 years where the offender had subjected the child to sustained violence in the weeks leading up to his death. A sentence of 20 months' imprisonment imposed on the child's mother following her guilty plea to child cruelty was increased to 30 months, where she had failed to alert the authorities to the injuries that she was aware the child had sustained.

[2015] EWCA Crim 2532
[2015] EWCA Crim 2532
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, King J, Judge Aubrey QC)
13 October 2016

A minimum term of 19 years imposed following an offender's guilty plea to the murder of his step-mother, which involved repeated stabbing with a kitchen knife followed by stamping to the head, was not a fair reflection of the competing aggravating and mitigating factors and was manifestly excessive. A minimum term of 16 years and eight months was appropriate.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1644
[2016] EWCA Crim 1644
CA (Crim Div) (Hamblen LJ, Holgate J, Judge Rook QC)
13 October 2016

The court allowed three offenders' appeals against their sentences for murder, manslaughter and perverting the course of justice. The minimum term applicable to the sentence of life imprisonment for murder was reduced from 18 years to 16 years, the custodial term of 12 years for the extended sentence for manslaughter was reduced to 10 years, and the sentence of three years and four months for perverting the course of justice was reduced to two years.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1392
[2016] EWCA Crim 1392
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Gilbart J, Sir John Royce)
23 September 2016

The convictions of two defendants for murder were unsafe and were quashed, as they relied largely on the credibility of a prosecution witness subsequently shown to be unreliable, and involved a failure by the prosecution to disclose evidence supporting defence attacks on that reliability.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1456
[2016] EWCA Crim 1456
CA (Crim Div) (Burnett LJ, Simler J, William Davis J)
23 September 2016

A conviction for murder was not arguably unsafe where, although a clear cause of death could not be ascertained, the issue of causation was left to the jury. Leave was granted to amend the grounds of appeal to deal with the way in which the question of causation was left to the jury.

CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Flaux J, Simler J)
13 September 2016

A judge had been entitled to withdraw the defence of loss of self-control, pursuant to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54 and s.55, from the jury where a man had sought to raise the defence when charged with murdering his wife.

[2016] EWHC 2008 (Admin)
[2016] EWHC 2008 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Langstaff J)
28 July 2016

An offender's progress in prison completing courses, jobs, charitable work and acting as a buddy did not amount to exceptional and unforeseen progress such as to justify reducing his minimum term.

[2016] EWHC 2007 (Admin)
[2016] EWHC 2007 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Langstaff J)
28 July 2016

An offender had reached the level of exceptional and unforeseen progress in prison required to reduce his minimum term following his murder conviction.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1047
[2016] EWCA Crim 1047
CA (Crim Div) (Lindblom LJ, Singh J, Kerr J)
22 July 2016

A judge had been entitled to impose a whole life order and a 30-year minimum term under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.4 and para.5 when sentencing two serving prisoners to life imprisonment for the murder of a fellow-prisoner in a "savage, brutal and frenzied" knife attack.

[2016] EWCA Crim 890
[2016] EWCA Crim 890
CA (Crim Div)
8 July 2016

Minimum terms imposed in respect of life sentences for murder were reduced as, notwithstanding the appalling and terrorising nature of the criminality involved, extended over two grave incidents involving firearms, terms of 26 to 36 years were too long given the relatively young age of the offenders and their lack of a history of serious violent offending.

[2016] EWCA Crim 673
[2016] EWCA Crim 673
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Cox J, Cheema-Grubb J)
12 May 2016

In a murder case in which the defendant was accused of stealing items belonging to the deceased, the trial judge had been entitled to allow the prosecution to adduce in evidence the defendant's previous convictions for robbery and aggravated theft.

[2016] EWCA Crim 474
[2016] EWCA Crim 474
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Cox J, Cheema-Grubb J)
11 May 2016

A judge who imposed life sentences on three offenders following their convictions for conspiracy to murder had erred in failing to provide specific reasons for departing from the normal rule that the minimum term to be served should not exceed half the notional determinate sentence.

[2016] EWCA Crim 551
[2016] EWCA Crim 551
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Saunders J, Blake J)
4 May 2016

The same facts which would have been used to support the inference of mens rea before the decision in R. v Jogee (Ameen Hassan) [2016] UKSC 8 would equally be used post-Jogee. What had changed was the articulation of the mens rea.

[2016] EWHC 984 (Admin)
[2016] EWHC 984 (Admin)
DC (Bean LJ, Carr J)
29 April 2016

Whilst there had been a procedural error by a judge in conducting a review of a prisoner's minimum term for murder by considering a victim personal statement by the victim's widow, who did not want the statement to be disclosed to the prisoner, the statement was irrelevant to the main issue in the review, which was whether the prisoner had made exceptional progress. Therefore, there was no material unfairness to justify quashing the secretary of state's decision to accept the judge's recommendations and refusing to reduce the prisoner's minimum term.

[2016] EWCA Crim 749
[2016] EWCA Crim 749
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Cox J, Judge Bourne-Arton QC)
21 April 2016

An extended sentence with a custodial element of 18 years imposed on a young offender following his guilty plea to attempted murder was unduly lenient. The condition of seriousness in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 12 s.225(2)(b) was satisfied where the offender had used extreme violence and had caused the victim to suffer life-changing injuries. A sentence of custody for life, with a minimum term of 10 years and 6 months, was substituted.

[2016] EWHC 3533 (Admin)
[2016] EWHC 3533 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Singh J)
7 April 2016

When reviewing a tariff imposed by the secretary of state on a life prisoner for murder, the seriousness of the offences was to be assessed in the context of the guidance in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21, while considering the judicial recommendations made at the time of sentencing. The original tariff fixed by the secretary of state should not just be replaced by the judicial recommendation, but in the instant case the seriousness of the offender's murder offences had already been reflected in the Lord Chief Justice's recommended tariff.

[2016] EWHC 731 (QB)
[2016] EWHC 731 (QB)
QBD (Nicol J)
6 April 2016

The court declined to set a minimum term under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.276 and Sch.22 para.2(b) in relation to a life prisoner who had pleaded guilty to six counts of murder in 1979. A whole life tariff was appropriate because his offences fell into the category of "exceptional seriousness" in Sch.21 para.4(1), and the fact that he suffered from a personality disorder was not enough to affect that conclusion.

[2015] EWHC 3613 (Admin)
[2015] EWHC 3613 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Mitting J)
17 March 2016

Where a prisoner had been sentenced to life imprisonment, under the law of England and Wales, the court would only take into account the seriousness of the offence once, namely when the minimum term was set, whereas under German law, the German court would consider the seriousness of the offence both when the term of imprisonment was first imposed and also at the 15-year review provided by the German Criminal Code.

[2016] EWCA Crim 52
[2016] EWCA Crim 52
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Nicol J, Coulson J)
8 March 2016

The first and second appellants' convictions for, respectively, the murder and manslaughter of a 15-year-old girl in 1981 were not rendered unsafe by the conduct, criticised in other cases, of the police officers involved in the investigation.

[2016] EWCA Crim 380
[2016] EWCA Crim 380
CA (Crim Div) (Jackson LJ, Irwin J, Sir David Calvert-Smith)
2 March 2016

The appellant, who had been convicted of murder, would not be permitted to adduce fresh testimony from a witness who had given evidence at his trial which was favourable to the prosecution. The fresh evidence, which appeared to undermine the prosecution case, was not capable of belief.

[2016] EWHC 383 (Admin)
[2016] EWHC 383 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Nicol J)
1 March 2016

A life sentence prisoner's progress in custody could not be described as exceptional so as to justify a recommendation for the reduction in his 13-year minimum term.

[2016] UKSC 8
[2016] UKSC 8
SC (Lord Neuberger PSC, Lady Hale DPSC, Lord Hughes JSC, Lord Toulson JSC, Lord Thomas LCJ)
18 February 2016

The doctrine of parasitic accessory liability, laid down by the Privy Council in Chan Wing Siu v R. [1985] A.C. 168, could not be supported. The Supreme Court re-stated the principles concerning the liability of accessories or secondary parties.

[2016] UKPC 6
[2016] UKPC 6
PC (Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson)
9 February 2016

Where an offender who had a history of a chronic mental disorder had been judged fit to plead to murder and had maintained both before and during trial his innocence, advancing the defence of diminished responsibility would be contrary to the defence he had elected to maintain, and his appeal against conviction failed. However, there was no reason why the period he had been in detention while he was unfit to plead should not be credited against his sentence.

[2016] EWCA Crim 4
[2016] EWCA Crim 4
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Holroyde J, William Davis J)
15 January 2016

Although a judge had erred in admitting, on a co-defendant's application under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(e), evidence of an offender's bad character as being of substantial probative value, convictions for murder and arson with intent to endanger life were not unsafe. The judge should have considered the issue of admissibility entirely by reference to the relevant provisions in the 2003 Act, and not by reference to common law principles, but had directed the jury regarding the limited value of the previous convictions in relation to propensity and the further evidence against the offender was very strong.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1936
[2015] EWCA Crim 1936
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Openshaw J, Sir Richard Henriques)
16 December 2015

Although a defence barrister's closing speech in a murder trial was ill-judged, patronising, and contained inappropriate attempts at humour and unprofessional observations about prosecuting counsel, it did not reach a level of incompetence that called into question the fairness of the trial or the safety of the conviction. The court also warned that it would not tolerate personal criticism of opposing advocates in addresses made to the jury.

[2015] EWCA Crim 2333
[2015] EWCA Crim 2333
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Openshaw J, Simler J)
16 December 2015

The court refused an application to treat an abandonment of an appeal against a conviction for murder as a nullity, as the offender had not been relying on incorrect legal advice when he abandoned his appeal.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1883
[2015] EWCA Crim 1883
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Lang J, Patterson J)
2 December 2015

A judge had been right to refuse severance of a defendant's indictment for attempted murder from his indictment for murder. Even though the victim in the attempted murder charge was a co-defendant in the murder charge, the judge had given clear directions to the jury on the admissibility of evidence.

CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Carr J, Kerr LJ)
24 November 2015

A sentence of three years' imprisonment for perverting the course of justice where an offender had burnt evidence in relation to a murder was not manifestly excessive, and any disparity between it and the sentence of a co-accused convicted of the same offence had not been to the offender's detriment, but illustrated that the co-accused had been fortunate to receive a three-year sentence.

[2015] EWCA Crim 2442
[2015] EWCA Crim 2442
CA (Crim Div) (Jackson J, Coulson J, Judge Collier QC)
23 November 2015

The court granted an extension of time and allowed the appeal of an offender who, 14 years after being sentenced, sought to argue that the judge should have given credit for time served in custody on remand. The offender had sufficiently explained his delay and could establish that the judge had intended to give credit.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1815
[2015] EWCA Crim 1815
CA (Crim Div) (Macur LJ, Cooke J, Cutts J)
20 November 2015

The murder convictions of three defendants were not rendered unsafe by a failure by the police to disclose that they had provided a "text" to the main prosecution witness in order to provide her with sentencing help in respect of separate criminal charges which she faced. If the jury had known about the police assistance there was nothing to suggest that it would have reached a different verdict because the defendants were convicted on a retrial and the witness had given consistent evidence at the first trial, before she faced any criminal charges.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1816
[2015] EWCA Crim 1816
CA (Crim Div) (Burnett LJ, Kenneth Parker J, Elisabeth Laing J)
20 November 2015

A sentence of 15 years' detention was appropriate for a 17-year-old offender following his conviction for the attempted murder of a 15-year-old fellow-pupil in a planned revenge attack during which the victim's skull was fractured with a hammer. Despite the offender's age, no mitigation arose from the fact that the attack might have been motivated by the victim having had a relationship with the offender's younger sister and the fact that the offender claimed to have been subjected to cultural pressure as a result.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1971
[2015] EWCA Crim 1971
CA (Crim Div)
19 November 2015

In a joint enterprise attack where the fatal blow inflicted on the victim could have been caused by a fist or by a chair, it had been open to the jury to conclude that the use of a chair and the use of a fist to inflict the injuries were not qualitatively different.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1953
[2015] EWCA Crim 1953
CA (Crim Div) (Beatson LJ, Andrew Smith J, Judge McCreath)
10 November 2015

A minimum term of 18 years was appropriate for an offence of murder where the offender stabbed the victim after leading him away from a confrontation, but did not have an intention to kill.

[2015] UKPC 42
[2015] UKPC 42
CA (BVI) (Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Carnwath, Lord Toulson)
12 October 2015

Sentencing judges in the British Virgin Islands were entitled to look at sentencing practices in other countries for guidance in murder cases; however, they should not bind themselves too closely to the regime of a particular country, including the UK. Local judges were in the best position to assess the appropriate tariff in their jurisdiction, subject to the statutory provisions applying there.

[2015] EWCA Crim 2499
[2015] EWCA Crim 2499
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, King J, Judge Aubrey QC)
8 October 2015

A young offender's sentence of a fixed custodial term of four years and six months with an extension period of two years for attempted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, after attacking a rival gang member with a knife on a crowded underground platform, was not manifestly excessive. The judge had been entitled to find that the offender was dangerous for the purposes of the imposition of an extended sentence.

[2015] EWCA Crim 2540
[2015] EWCA Crim 2540
CA (Crim Div) (Beatson LJ, Goss J, Judge Goldstone QC)
8 October 2015

When sentencing an offender to life imprisonment for attempted murder, a judge had been entitled to use a starting point for the minimum term above the range for level one offences in the sentencing guidelines. The offender had a previous conviction for manslaughter during which he had stabbed his first victim to death, he was on licence at the time of the attempted murder offence and had taken a knife with him to the second victim's home in order to commit the offence.

CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Walker J, Picken J)
8 September 2015

In a trial for murder involving four co-defendants, a judge had properly admitted bad character evidence of one offender's previous convictions for robbery and possessing a bladed article under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(d) and s.101(1)(e).

[2015] EWCA Crim 1426
[2015] EWCA Crim 1426
CA (Crim Div) (Macur LJ, Green J, Judge Bidder QC)
27 August 2015

ECHR art.7 had not been breached where an offender, sentenced in 2014 to life imprisonment for a manslaughter committed 14 years previously, had had his minimum term determined on current sentencing practice rather than the practice of the courts at the time of the offence. Unlike the minimum term for mandatory life sentences for murder which were subject to the statutory regime in the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the calculation of the minimum term in discretionary life sentences for manslaughter was an exercise in judicial discretion.

[2015] EWHC 2484 (QB)
[2015] EWHC 2484 (QB)
QBD (Green J)
25 August 2015

The court considered its approach to applications for access to personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 s.7(9) and to exemptions from disclosure under s.29.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1350
[2015] EWCA Crim 1350
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Stewart J, Edis J)
7 August 2015

The murder convictions of four men, following the fatal shooting of a man in the context of an ongoing feud between two drug gangs, were safe. The trial judge's summing up had not been biased in favour of the prosecution, and in relation to one of the defendants he had been right to admit evidence of his convictions for attempted murder committed shortly before the alleged murder and the fact that he had been shot two months earlier.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1555
[2015] EWCA Crim 1555
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Lang J, Lewis J)
30 July 2015

The Court of Appeal refused an application to treat an abandonment of an appeal against a sentence for murder as a nullity where the offender had not been relying upon incorrect advice when he abandoned his appeal.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1328
[2015] EWCA Crim 1328
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Holroyd J, Singh J)
29 July 2015

It was appropriate, in an extremely narrow band of cases and as an additional common law exception to the inviolable nature of legal professional privilege, to extend the principle in R. v Cox (Richard Cobden) (1884) 14 Q.B.D. 153 (Cox v Railton) by imposing a requirement that particular individuals could be present at client/lawyer discussions if there was a real possibility that the discussions would be misused in a way amounting to abuse of the privilege that justified interference.

[2015] UKPC 34
[2015] UKPC 34
PC (Trin) (Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson)
20 July 2015

In a murder trial where diminished responsibility had been put in issue, deficiencies in psychiatric reports, in the cross-examination of psychiatrists and in the summing-up relating to the psychiatric evidence led to an unsafe murder conviction.

CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Jeremy Baker J, Knowles J)
16 July 2015

Under the parasitic accessory liability doctrine, a person could be convicted of murder where they had acted as an accessory in the joint enterprise of possession of a firearm that was used in the murder. Possession was not a unique offence requiring both participants to act as principals.

CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Cox J, Judge Pegden)
14 July 2015

A total sentence of 28 years' imprisonment following guilty pleas to murder and two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm was reduced to 25 years' where a judge had failed to have sufficient regard to the principle of totality.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1336
[2015] EWCA Crim 1336
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Supperstone J, Judge Zeidman QC)
9 July 2015

The court upheld an offender's conviction for murder and preventing the lawful burial of a corpse where he and his co-accused had dropped a woman through a trapdoor in a grocery store and concealed her body for 12 days. The trial judge had been entitled to reject his submission of no case to answer, as there was sufficient evidence to conclude that a reasonable jury could find that more than one person had been involved in dropping the victim.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1494
[2015] EWCA Crim 1494
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Saunders J, Knowles J)
9 July 2015

Convictions for murder were not unsafe where a co-accused had given evidence after his conviction that he had been the one to stab the victim. His inconsistent accounts were troubling, and to the extent that his evidence was capable of belief, it added very little to what had been before the jury at trial: the Crown's case had been that there had been a murderous joint enterprise and it had not had to prove who had stabbed the victim.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1186
[2015] EWCA Crim 1186
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, Supperstone J, Judge Ford QC)
7 July 2015

Fresh evidence relied on by the appellant did not undermine the safety of his conviction for murder and wounding with intent.

[2015] NICA 54
[2015] NICA 54
CA (NI) (Higgins LJ, McLaughlin J, Sir Anthony Hart)
3 July 2015

Appeals against conviction and sentence for offences of murder, attempted murder and affray were dismissed where the presence of aggravating factors consisting of pre-meditation, the use of a knife, a record of violent offending and the devastating effect of the victim's death on his family, were not balanced by any mitigating factors which might have presented a reason for the downward variation of the higher starting point set out in the practice Statement adopted in R. v McCandless (Trevor) [2004] NICA 1, [2004] N.I. 269.

[2015] NIQB 57
[2015] NIQB 57
QBD (NI) (Stephens J)
26 June 2015

Although there had been a clear and unambiguous representation devoid of relevant qualifications, giving rise to a substantive legitimate expectation that a public inquiry would be established to examine the murder of the applicant's husband, there were overriding interests, including cost, which justified the secretary of state for Northern Ireland in frustrating her expectation by ordering a review instead.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1053
[2015] EWCA Crim 1053
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Teare J, Judge Hilliard QC)
17 June 2015

Minimum terms of between 31 and 20 years were appropriate in the case of four individuals who had participated in the sadistic murder of a homeless man.

[2015] EWHC 1622 (Admin)
[2015] EWHC 1622 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Holroyde J)
16 June 2015

It was appropriate to recommend a 12-month reduction in the minimum term which had been imposed on a young offender for an offence of murder on the basis that she had made exceptional progress whilst in custody.

[2015] EWCA Crim 585
[2015] EWCA Crim 585
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Cranston J, McGowan J)
12 June 2015

A suspect's acquittal would be quashed and he would be retried for murder where the Crown relied on DNA evidence obtained by tests carried out six years after the relevant samples were taken. In deciding whether a retrial was in the interests of justice within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.79(2), it could be necessary for the court to consider whether forensic scientists had acted with due diligence and expedition. However, the scientists' advice when the samples were taken that DNA testing was not appropriate did not demonstrate a lack of diligence.

[2015] EWCA Crim 2549
[2015] EWCA Crim 2549
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Teare J, Judge Inman QC)
4 June 2015

A sentence just short of 20 years' imprisonment was appropriate in the case of the appellant, who had been convicted of attempted murder after making a planned attempt to kill her lover by stabbing her in the neck.

[2015] EWCA Crim 2542
[2015] EWCA Crim 2542
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Openshaw J, Warby J)
21 May 2015

In a murder trial, a judge's decision to admit hearsay evidence of statements made to three witnesses by a co-defendant was not beyond the limits of discretion open to him. The co-defendant was available at trial to be cross-examined, and inconsistencies in the witnesses' hearsay accounts were for the jury to assess.

[2015] EWHC 919 (Admin)
[2015] EWHC 919 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Mitting J)
19 May 2015

The court refused to reduce the 12-year minimum term imposed on a young offender for murder. While the offender had made good progress in custody which could not have been foreseen at the time when he was sentenced, that progress could not be described as exceptional, either by reference to the standard of conduct to be expected of prisoners generally or to what might have been expected of the offender when he was sentenced.

[2015] EWCA Crim 817
[2015] EWCA Crim 817
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Walker J, Cranston J)
15 May 2015

A failure by the prosecution to disclose evidence that a main prosecution witness in a murder investigation was under investigation for fraud had had no impact on the safety of the conviction.

[2015] NICA 27
[2015] NICA 27
CA (Crim Div) (NI) (Higgins LJ, Coghlin LJ, Horner J)
8 May 2015

A count of "causing the death of a child under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 s.5" should have been withdrawn because s.5 created one indivisible offence of "causing or allowing" the death of a child. However, the presence of the count had not made the trial unfair on other counts, including murder,

[2015] EWCA Crim 952
[2015] EWCA Crim 952
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Hickinbottom J, Thirlwall J)
7 May 2015

Two appellants' convictions for murder were set aside and nullified where the Attorney General had not given consent for their prosecution as required where a defendant had previously been convicted of another offence arising out of the same circumstances. The court ordered a venire de novo and a retrial as there it was overwhelmingly in the public interest that those who were guilty of murder should be convicted and those in respect of whom there was a doubt of guilt acquitted, but the appellants should not suffer a detriment for the consequences of the error.

[2015] NICA 34
[2015] NICA 34
CA (Crim Div) (NI) (Girvan LJ, Coghlin LJ, Gillen LJ)
30 April 2015

Evidence of bad character which had not been the subject of a conviction could be regarded as tending to show that an accused had a propensity to behave in a particular way, provided the judge fairly reviewed the essential features of the evidence and made it clear in his directions that the jury should not rely on it unless they were sure of its truth.

[2015] UKPC 18
[2015] UKPC 18
PC (StC) (Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Hughes, Lord Hodge, Sir Nigel Davis)
20 April 2015

An appellant's murder conviction was safe: the grounds of his appeal had been sufficiently addressed by the trial judge, who had given explicit instructions to the jury in his summing up. There was no reason to think that the jury could not have been trusted to abide by those instructions.

[2015] EWCA Crim 581
[2015] EWCA Crim 581
CA (Crim Div) (Burnett LJ, Gilbart J, Judge Griffith-Jones)
1 April 2015

In a trial of six co-defendants, a judge had erred in holding that the disclosure of one defendant's solicitor's police station attendance notes in their entirety meant that legal professional privilege had been waived only in limited respects; privilege had been waived in respect of the whole content of the notes. However, the limits placed by that error on another defendant's ability to cross-examine the solicitor did not affect the safety of her conviction.

[2015] EWCA Crim 478
[2015] EWCA Crim 478
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Cooke J, Lang J)
24 March 2015

In a murder case in which the prosecution relied on CCTV footage showing the offenders, members of a gang wearing disguises, going to and from the scene of the crime, the judge had been entitled to admit evidence from police officers who had seen the footage and claimed to recognise the appellant.

[2015] EWCA Crim 477
[2015] EWCA Crim 477
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Haddon-Cave J, Judge Bourne-Arton QC)
24 March 2015

A judge had erred in refusing a submission of no case to answer in a murder trial, as the possibility that the victim's death was an accident could not safely be excluded.

[2015] EWCA Crim 712
[2015] EWCA Crim 712
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Holroyde J, Singh J)
18 March 2015

Fresh evidence put forward by an offender convicted of murder who claimed he had been suffering from alcohol dependency syndrome so that his responsibility was diminished and he was guilty only of manslaughter did not raise a reasonable doubt as to his guilt and would not reasonably have affected the jury's conclusion.

[2015] EWCA Crim 352
[2015] EWCA Crim 352
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Cooke J, Simler J)
13 March 2015

Where two defendants had run cut-throat defences to a charge of murder, the conviction of one of them was safe even though it had been based on evidence adduced at a late stage by his co-defendant and which was not relied on by the Crown.

[2015] EWHC 548 (Admin)
[2015] EWHC 548 (Admin)
DC (Aikens LJ, Popplewell J)
6 March 2015

It would be oppressive to extradite an individual to Croatia to serve a sentence for attempted murder after a 13-year delay. The requested person had been convicted in his absence and without his knowledge and, although he would probably be entitled to a retrial if returned, there was a real risk that he would be prejudiced in the conduct of any retrial by reason of the passage of time.

CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Stewart J, Lewis J)
26 February 2015

Offenders' convictions for a joint enterprise murder were quashed and substituted for convictions for manslaughter and affray, where it was not clear that they both had the common intention to kill or cause serious harm.

[2015] EWCA Crim 500
[2015] EWCA Crim 500
CA (Crim Div) (Burnett LJ, Gilbart J, Judge Griffith-Jones)
24 February 2015

Although there had been many lapses by the prosecution in the conduct of an accused's murder trial, including impermissibly referring to inadmissible bad character evidence in cross-examination, the trial judge's quick action had resulted in no harm being done. The prosecution's further failure to disclose phone records also did not render the appellant's conviction unsafe as that evidence had been, in the event, irrelevant.

[2015] EWCA Crim 178
[2015] EWCA Crim 178
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Coulson J, Gilbart J)
20 February 2015

In determining conjoined appeals by two young offenders against their convictions for murder, the court considered the law in relation to the partial defence of loss of control under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54 and s.55.

[2015] UKPC 7
[2015] UKPC 7
PC (Ant) (Lady Hale, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson)
16 February 2015

A murder conviction was restored where The Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Antigua and Barbuda) had been wrong to find that a judge had not explained provocation to a jury: the judge had made it amply clear that provocation arose if and only if the ingredients of murder, including intent, were proved. Additionally, the Appeal Court's decision to receive new defence evidence did not have to involve any finding that the evidence could reasonably have affected the outcome of the trial, and its subsequent determination that the new evidence added nothing to the agreed facts was correct.

[2015] EWCA Crim 71
[2015] EWCA Crim 71
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Wilkie J, Holroyde J)
10 February 2015

Convictions for conspiracy to murder were quashed where CCTV evidence, which was 22 minutes behind real time, did not support the Crown's case that the appellants had been in a car conspiring at the alleged times and locations.

[2015] EWCA Crim 330
[2015] EWCA Crim 330
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, Goss J, Judge Kramer QC)
5 February 2015

A sentencing judge had been fully entitled to find that a murder had been committed for gain, and to adopt a starting point of 30 years for the minimum term for the sentence of life imprisonment imposed, given the aggravating features of the victim's vulnerability, the offender's position as a trusted carer, the significant degree of premeditation, and the grotesque dismemberment of the body. However, she had erred in adjusting the starting point upwards by six years to reflect the aggravating features of the case; an upwards adjustment of four years would have been sufficient.

[2015] EWCA Crim 22
[2015] EWCA Crim 22
CA (Crim Div) (Elias LJ, William Davis J, Judge Batty QC)
30 January 2015

A judge had erred in his approach to questions of reliability in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.114(2) in deciding to admit into a murder trial an out-of-court statement by a defendant which incriminated one co-defendant but which another co-defendant wished to adduce. However, he had clearly considered that the evidence was potentially reliable and should be admitted.

[2015] EWCA Crim 111
[2015] EWCA Crim 111
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Globe J, Knowles J)
29 January 2015

Three concurrent life sentences, each with a minimum term of 18 years, imposed following convictions for attempted murder, were found to be unduly lenient and increased to 27 years. There could well be exceptional cases where, even if none of the victims had died, a whole life order might be appropriate, but that was not appropriate in the instant case.

[2015] EWCA Crim 110
[2015] EWCA Crim 110
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Hallett LJ, Globe J)
29 January 2015

A minimum term of 20 years' detention was not manifestly excessive for a 15-year-old offender who had pleaded guilty to the murder of his schoolteacher in a premeditated, planned, savage attack with a knife, notwithstanding his age and the fact that he suffered from a personality disorder.

[2015] EWCA Crim 3
[2015] EWCA Crim 3
CA (Crim Div) (Bean LJ, Globe J, Turner J)
20 January 2015

A knife had been "taken to the scene" for the purposes of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5A where an offender had taken a step or two out of his flat and fatally stabbed a man on his own doorstep.

[2014] EWCA Crim 2507
[2014] EWCA Crim 2507
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Green J, Goss J)
9 December 2014

A 2002 conviction for murder was unsafe in the light of the new approach to scientific evidence regarding the significance of gunshot residue particles. Although that change of approach was not necessarily determinative, the extent to which the evidence could provide positive corroboration for the further circumstantial evidence had required much more detailed analysis of the science and the evidence.

CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Popplewell J, Edis J)
9 December 2014

The admission of the video evidence of a six-year-old child in relation to the mistreatment of her brother prior to his death, where some of the child's evidence was fanciful, did not render a murder conviction unsafe.

[2014] EWCA Crim 2779
[2014] EWCA Crim 2779
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd LCJ, Hallett LJ, Edis J)
3 December 2014

Although the requirement to show that a killing had been committed "under the Queen's peace" might still play some part in the elements that had to be proved for murder, it could only go to the status of the victim, and had nothing to do with the status of the killer. It was not appropriate to reduce a whole-life prison sentence or a minimum term of 45 years' imprisonment which had been respectively imposed on two radicalised individuals for their commission of a well-publicised and barbaric murder of a fusilier in broad daylight on the streets of London.

[2014] EWHC 2849 (QB)
[2014] EWHC 2849 (QB)
QBD (Griffith Williams J)
26 November 2014

On a reference from the Secretary of State for Justice under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.273(1), the court determined the appropriate minimum term to be served by an offender following his conviction for murder in Germany and repatriation to the United Kingdom.

[2014] NICA 84
[2014] NICA 84
CA (NI) (Girvan LJ, Coghlin LJ, Gillen LJ)
25 November 2014

The appellants had put forward no grounds for impugning the safety of their convictions for murder and attempted murder in a case where the circumstantial evidence against them was very strong.

[2014] EWCA Crim 2387
[2014] EWCA Crim 2387
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, King J, Judge Stokes QC)
21 November 2014

Where there was unchallenged medical evidence of diminished responsibility and there was no other evidence which, looked at in the round, was at least capable of rebutting the defence, the trial judge should withdraw a charge of murder from the jury.

[2014] EWCA Crim 3048
[2014] EWCA Crim 3048
CA (Crim Div) (Burnett LJ, Coulson J, Judge Collier QC)
13 November 2014

A father and son who had committed acts of violence against a family of travellers had their convictions upheld. The judge's approach to the admissibility of hearsay evidence after seven of the witnesses had disappeared after receiving threats was meticulous, and his conclusion to admit the evidence was unassailable.

[2014] EWHC 3623 (QB)
[2014] EWHC 3623 (QB)
QBD (Coulson J)
3 November 2014

An order preventing a 16-year-old defendant's identification during proceedings on a charge of murdering his teacher was not extended to cover the period after his guilty plea. The defendant's rights under the ECHR art.2 would not be affected by his identification, and the balance between his welfare and the public interest in open justice came down firmly on the side of open justice.

[2014] EWCA Crim 2205
[2014] EWCA Crim 2205
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd LCJ, Wyn Williams J, Sweeney J)
31 October 2014

The court rejected separate appeals against the imposition of whole life orders in respect of two murders of children involving sadistic and sexual conduct.

[2014] EWCA Crim 2513
[2014] EWCA Crim 2513
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Kenneth Parker J, McGowan J)
28 October 2014

The court considered the safety of a murder conviction which relied on the analysis of a mixed profile Low Copy Number DNA. Two prosecution witnesses had produced inconsistent conclusions in 2011 and 2013 from the same sample. The court was prepared to accept that the 2013 analysis was a sufficiently reliable scientific basis in light of the fact that scientific understanding in the interpretation of mixed DNA profiles had developed significantly between 2011 and 2013.

[2014] EWHC 3254 (Admin)
[2014] EWHC 3254 (Admin)
QBD (Wilkie J)
20 October 2014

Where a child was detained following conviction for murder, the minimum term had to be subject to continuing review if there was clear evidence that progress in detention was at an exceptional and unforeseen rate. A reduction in the minimum term was not to be perceived by the victim's family as a failing in the criminal justice system; the length of the minimum term did not seek to reflect the worth of the victim's life, but rather the seriousness of the crime.

[2014] EWCA Crim 2322
[2014] EWCA Crim 2322
CA (Crim Div) (McCombe LJ, Spencer J, Judge Rook QC)
24 October 2014

An offender who had murdered her mother while drunk in the belief that hastening her death was an act of mercy was entitled to a reduction in her minimum term of imprisonment from 12 years to seven years.

[2014] EWHC 3313 (QB)
[2014] EWHC 3313 (QB)
QBD (Walker J)
10 October 2014

A life prisoner, who had made exceptional progress in prison, evidenced by his charity and community work, and by his conduct, succeeded in meeting the high threshold required to obtain a reduction in his minimum term from 15 years to 14 years.

[2014] NICA 69
[2014] NICA 69
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Higgins LJ, Coghlin LJ)
14 October 2014

A minimum term of 25 years was appropriate in the case of a man who had taken part in the terrorist murder of a police officer. The appropriate term for a 17-year-old who had taken part in the same murder was 18 years.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1916
[2014] EWCA Crim 1916
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Wilkie J, Elisabeth Laing J)
19 September 2014

A sentencing judge had erred in denying an offender full credit for his plea of guilty to murder, after observing that there was an element of calculation in the fact that he had only pleaded guilty once the medical evidence confirmed that the defence of diminished responsibility was not available to him.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1884
[2014] EWCA Crim 1884
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Mitting J, Sir Roderick Evans)
30 September 2014

Fresh medical evidence showed that an offender, who had pleaded guilty to six murders some 32 years earlier and was sentenced to life imprisonment, had a narcissistic personality disorder and anti-social disorder and that those had existed at the date of his confessions and pleas. However, there was no clear and compelling medical evidence showing that his confessions and pleas were the result of his personality disorders and, accordingly, the convictions were safe.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1862
[2014] EWCA Crim 1862
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Griffith Williams J, Nicol J)
19 September 2014

A judge had been entitled to rule that, although hearsay evidence in the form of a mobile phone recording of an alleged confession to murder was admissible if introduced into evidence by the person recording the conversation, it was not in the interests of justice to admit it as second-hand hearsay evidence.

[2014] EWHC 2756 (Admin)
[2014] EWHC 2756 (Admin)
DC (Laws LJ, Cranston J)
7 August 2014

Where an extradition request had been made in the UK in relation to an Albanian national who had been tried and convicted of murder in his absence, there was no reason to depart from the conclusion of the Scottish High Court of Judiciary in Kapri v Lord Advocate [2014] HCJAC 33, 2014 S.L.T. 557 that the level of corruption in the Albanian judiciary was not endemic. Nor was there any reason to depart from the High Court decisions in R. (on the application of Mucelli) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 95 (Admin) and Zeqaj v Albania [2013] EWHC 261 (Admin) on the right of retrial for persons tried in their absence, given that the Albanian government had issued an explicit guarantee in that regard.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1523
[2014] EWCA Crim 1523
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Melbourne Inman QC)
18 July 2014

In determining a charge of murder, a judge had not erred in allowing evidence to be adduced of previous convictions in a member state as evidence of the credibility of an offender's attack on the character of his victim. The judge's directions had eliminated the risk that the jury would treat the convictions as evidence of propensity.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1243
[2014] EWCA Crim 1243
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Nicola Davies J, Judge Rees QC (Recorder of Cardiff) )
20 June 2014

A judge in a murder trial had been entitled to find a witness unfit under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.116(2)(b) and admit hearsay evidence from her police interview after the witness statement resulting from the interview had already been read out in court. The judge had also been right to admit evidence from a podiatrist comparing a suspect's gait to that of a figure in CCTV evidence where the jury had been directed that they could act on the presence of features shared by the gaits only if they could observe the features for themselves.

[2014] NIQB 79
[2014] NIQB 79
QBD (NI) (Stephens J)
18 June 2014

The Royal Prerogative of Mercy which made provision for the accelerated release of prisoners had been exercised in limited and highly fact-dependent circumstances and had not been used to fundamentally change the legislative scheme so as to ensure the immediate release of a person who had served two years in prison but was then convicted of another offence. That would be totally contrary to the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 s.10(6), which only entitled a person to accelerated release upon subsequent conviction after having served two years of the sentence that was then imposed.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1196
[2014] EWCA Crim 1196
CA (Crim Div) (Sir John Thomas LCJ, Wyn Williams J, Phillips J)
17 June 2014

Sentences of life imprisonment with minimum terms of 40 years rightly reflected the entire criminality of two men who had been engaged as contract killers, gone to the wrong house, stabbed a 17-year-old to death and attacked his parents.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1418
[2014] EWCA Crim 1418
CA (Crim Div) (McCombe LJ, Supperstone J, Judge Goldstone QC (Recorder of Liverpool))
13 June 2014

In a murder trial, a judge had been correct to exclude the possibility of an alternative verdict of manslaughter by reason of loss of control where the defendant maintained that his wife had attacked him and then committed suicide.

[2014] NICA 41
[2014] NICA 41
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Higgins LJ, Coghlin LJ)
29 May 2014

In a case concerning the murder of a policeman in Northern Ireland, the judge had not erred by admitting evidence of a witness who claimed to have seen one of the defendants at the scene shortly before the murder, despite a failure by police to conduct an identification procedure in line with the Code of Practice under the Terrorism Act 2000. The witness had known the defendant for many years, claimed to have spoken to him at the scene, and was cross-examined about those matters during trial.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1029
[2014] EWCA Crim 1029
CMAC (Sir John Thomas LCJ, Sir Brian Leveson (President QBD))
22 May 2014

Where a member of the British armed forces had been convicted by a court martial of the murder of an insurgent in Afghanistan, its finding of guilt on the basis of a simple majority verdict was safe. The particular circumstances of the offence did not require an additional term by way of deterrence, and it was appropriate to reduce the minimum term the appellant had to serve before being considered for parole from 10 years to eight years.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1001
[2014] EWCA Crim 1001
CA (Crim Div) (Macur LJ, Bean J, Rees J)
20 May 2014

The appropriate minimum term of a life sentence imposed for conspiracy to murder, for a schizophrenic dangerous offender who had instigated a conspiracy to murder and rob a well known singer, was six-and-a-half years' imprisonment on conviction. The appropriate determinate sentence for his co-defendant, who had exceptionally low intellectual capacity and whose role was descibed as that of a "foot soldier", was one of 10 years' imprisonment.

[2014] EWHC 1985 (Fam)
[2014] EWHC 1985 (Fam)
Fam Div (Keehan J)
9 May 2014

The Family Division refused to make a reporting restriction order preventing the naming of a three-year-old girl in connection with her father's trial for the murder of her mother. There was insufficient evidence of harm to the child if she was named to make it an absolute necessity to make an order when balanced against the media's rights to freedom of expression.

[2014] EWCA Crim 804
[2014] EWCA Crim 804
CA (Crim Div) (Beatson LJ, Holroyde J, Carr J)
1 May 2014

A conviction for murder was safe where a judge had properly admitted evidence of bad character in the form of three previous convictions and their circumstances. The three incidents were admissible under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(g) in view of the appellant's attack on the character of the victim, and established a relevant propensity within s.101(1)(d).

[2014] EWCA Crim 843
[2014] EWCA Crim 843
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Spencer J, Simler J)
15 April 2014

The appropriate minimum term for a mother imprisoned for life for murdering her 11-month-old son was 17 years. The breach of trust, the child's vulnerability, and the fact that he had been subjected to a number of serious assaults before his death took the case beyond the 15-year starting point indicated by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21.

[2014] EWCA Crim 690
[2014] EWCA Crim 690
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Cranston J, Stewart J)
9 April 2014

A conviction for murder which had been secured at a second retrial was safe. Although the key prosecution witness gave a different post-trial account of the incident to the media, the jury at the second retrial had been aware of her inconsistencies and had been best placed to assess her reliability and truthfulness. The murder had similarities to those committed by another convicted murderer, but the differences did not suggest that the latter, rather than the appellant, had committed it.

[2014] EWCA Crim 782
[2014] EWCA Crim 782
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson (President QBD), Wilkie J, Lang J)
1 April 2014

Where an offender had violently stabbed his two next-door neighbours and caused life-threatening injuries, a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 15 years imposed for two counts of attempted murder was appropriate. A starting point of 30 years' imprisonment for calculating the minimum term was appropriate, given that there had been an attack on two people, and whilst the judge was not entirely correct only to award a 10 per cent discount in respect of a guilty plea that had been entered on the first day of trial, the overall sentence was neither manifestly excessive nor wrong in principle.

[2014] EWCA Crim 575
[2014] EWCA Crim 575
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Jeremy Baker J, Judge Tonking (Recorder of Stafford))
28 March 2014

In an appeal against conviction for murder, the court refused to admit fresh evidence on biomechanics where the defence team had taken a tactical decision not to pursue the possibility of calling such evidence at trial.

[2014] UKPC 7
[2014] UKPC 7
PC (Trin) (Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Toulson)
27 March 2014

A judge had not misdirected a murder trial jury in relation to issues of witness evidence, provocation and character and the conviction was safe. However, the Privy Council exercised its jurisdiction to commute the death penalty sentence to one of life imprisonment.

[2014] EWCA Crim 386
[2014] EWCA Crim 386
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Mitting J, Simon J)
11 March 2014

A conviction for murder based entirely on circumstantial evidence was safe as the whole of the evidence, the Crown's case and the defendant's, had been fairly put before the jury.

[2014] EWCA Crim 521
[2014] EWCA Crim 521
CA (Crim Div) (Elias LJ, Sweeney J, Green J)
6 March 2014

Where a defendant jointly charged with murder denied being the killer, but refused at trial to either eliminate or identify his co-defendant as the killer despite answering questions from prosecuting counsel in a manner which suggested that he was, it had not been unfair for the co-defendant's counsel in his closing submissions to attack the defendant's credibility, or for the judge to give an accomplice warning to the jury.

[2014] EWCA Crim 414
[2014] EWCA Crim 414
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Sweeney J, Judge Hilliard QC (Common Serjeant))
19 February 2014

A judge had been entitled to find that a defendant accused of murder had failed to adduce sufficient evidence to raise the partial defence of loss of control.

[2014] EWCA Crim 188
[2014] EWCA Crim 188
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomson LJC, Sir Brian Leveson (President QBD), Dame Heather Hallett, Treacy LJ, Burnett J)
18 February 2014

Whole-life sentences imposed pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.269 were not incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.3. The review regime provided for by the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 s.30 provided offenders serving such sentences with the possibility of release in exceptional circumstances.

QBD (Collins J)
18 February 2014

The court set a minimum term of 17 years and 285 days' imprisonment in respect of a repatriated offender who had been convicted of murder by a Californian court in 1990. The offender, who was 18 at the time of the offence, had been a party to a gang-related drive-by shooting.

[2014] EWCA Crim 143
[2014] EWCA Crim 143
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Thirlwall J, Judge Carey QC)
13 February 2014

Convictions for attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent in respect of three offenders who had pursued a member of a rival gang and shot at him intending to kill him after he had sought shelter in shop premises, missing him but hitting a young child and a customer, were safe.

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[2014] UKPC 3
[2014] UKPC 3
PC (Trin) (Lord Kerr, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson, Lord Hodge)
13 February 2014

It was very important that judges should respect the clear principle that the question whether the objective part of the test for provocation had been met, namely whether the provocation was such as might cause a reasonable man to act as the accused had, was a matter for the jury. Provocation had to be left to the jury if, taking the evidence at its most favourable to the defendant and remembering that the onus was on the state to rebut it, manslaughter by reason of provocation was a conclusion to which the jury might reasonably come.

[2014] UKPC 2
[2014] UKPC 2
PC (Jam) (Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Lord Hughes JSC, Lord Toulson JSC , Lord Hodge JSC)
11 February 2014

Judges had a discretion to give a warning that a witness's evidence might be tainted by an improper motive, even if the witness was not of bad character. Accordingly, a judge had erred in failing to warn a jury that evidence given by a co-accused's brother might have been tainted by his wish to protect his sibling.

[2014] EWCA Crim 297
[2014] EWCA Crim 297
CA (Crim Div) (Macur LJ, Thirlwall J, Judge Batty QC (Recorder of Carlisle))
7 February 2014

When determining the minimum term in relation to a mandatory life sentence for murder, the aggravating feature identified in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.10(a), namely a significant degree of planning or premeditation, was not necessarily confined to the offence of murder.

[2014] NICA 21
[2014] NICA 21
CA (NI) (Girvan LJ, Coghlin LJ, Weatherup J)
4 February 2014

The court upheld an offender's murder conviction for shooting a policeman dead in a car park 30 years earlier. The judge had been entitled to find it relevant that the offender's DNA had been found on a cigarette butt in the car park and had been entitled to admit evidence of previous convictions as bad character evidence. It had also been reasonable to draw an adverse inference from his failure to explain his presence in the car park.

[2014] EWCA Crim 642
[2014] EWCA Crim 642
CA (Crim Div) (Jackson LJ, Griffith Williams J, Judge Barker)
29 January 2014

A judge had not erred in refusing to sever an indictment containing counts relating to separate incidents of murder and sexual assault. The incidents were broadly similar and close in time and there were a number of very significant similarities. The issue as to whether they were wholly disconnected was a matter for the jury.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2587
[2013] EWCA Crim 2587
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Irwin J, Jeremy Baker J)
23 January 2014

A confession which had been relied upon to secure a murder conviction 37 years earlier had been reliably obtained in accordance with police investigation procedures in force at the time. The fact that the police officers involved in the investigation had since acquired bad character did not affect the safety of the conviction either; it was not an invariable rule that evidence of misconduct post-trial in which the integrity of the officer was impugned inevitably led to a successful appeal.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2398
[2013] EWCA Crim 2398
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Mitting J, Judge Collier QC)
20 December 2013

An offender's convictions for historic offences of rape, buggery, attempted rape, indecent assault and murder were deemed safe, as the judge had given the jury adequate directions as to the dangers of delay and its effect on the evidence.

[2013] EWHC 4025 (QB)
[2013] EWHC 4025 (QB)
QBD (Silber J)
20 December 2013

In fixing the minimum term of imprisonment for a life prisoner that had been transferred to England from Ireland, a court restated the approach to be taken where the offence had been committed before the provisions for transferred prisoners under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 had come into force. The court had to establish the appropriate minimum terms under the Act and the sentencing regime existing at the time of the offence, before taking the lower of the two.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2388
[2013] EWCA Crim 2388
CA (Crim Div) (Jackson LJ, Holroyde J, Judge Milford QC)
18 December 2013

The court refused an application to treat an abandonment of an appeal against a conviction for murder as a nullity, as the young offender had not been relying upon incorrect legal advice when he abandoned his appeal.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2367
[2013] EWCA Crim 2367
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Tugendhat J, Holroyde J)
17 December 2013

Where British troops had been involved in the murder of a wounded Afghan insurgent, a video and stills recording the murder were not to be made available to the media. However, there was great public interest in the proceedings being publicly reported, and in the interests of open justice the names of three of them were made public.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2521
[2013] EWCA Crim 2521
CA (Crim Div) (Jackson LJ, Holroyde J, Judge Milford QC)
13 December 2013

Where an appellant had not given evidence at her trial, there was no evidence on which a reasonable jury could have concluded that there might have been provocation by the victim or consequential loss of control by the appellant before a fatal stabbing. A suggested defence of provocation was therefore mere speculation.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2749
[2013] EWCA Crim 2749
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Thirlwall J, Andrews J)
13 December 2013

Fresh evidence that a man convicted of murder had been suffering from alcohol dependency syndrome supported a defence of diminished responsibility and cast doubt on the safety of his conviction. There would need to be a retrial.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2498
[2013] EWCA Crim 2498
CA (Crim Div) (Jackson LJ, Holroyde J, Judge Milford QC)
6 December 2013

Following the amendment of the Homicide Act 1957 s.2 by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, it remained the case that medical evidence was a practical necessity if a defence of diminished responsibility was to succeed.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2230
[2013] EWCA Crim 2230
CA (Crim Div) (McCombe LJ, Wyn Williams J, Patterson J)
4 December 2013

A judge presiding over the trial of an offence of attempted murder had been right not to exclude a covertly-obtained recording of an incriminating conversation between two of the defendants. Although the circumstances in which the recording had been obtained exceeded the authority granted under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, its admission did not adversely affect the fairness of the trial.

[2013] NICA 71
[2013] NICA 71
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Higgins LJ, Girvan LJ)
2 December 2013

The appeal of a murder conviction in respect of the shooting of a Catholic woman in Belfast in 1973 was dismissed where the court was satisfied that the delay in prosecution had not been an abuse of process and where hearsay fingerprint evidence and evidence of the appellant's conviction for the murder of another Catholic in 1974 had been properly admitted at trial.

QBD (Admin) (Lord Thomas LCJ, Irwin J)
28 November 2013

A prosecutor had properly assessed the expert and non-expert evidence when making a decision not to prosecute a police officer, on the basis that there was no realistic prospect of a conviction for perverting the course of justice, perjury and misconduct in public office, in relation to the alleged fabrication of evidence during a murder investigation.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2185
[2013] EWCA Crim 2185
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Green J, Sir David Maddison)
8 November 2013

Evidence as to the sentencing options available to the judge following conviction, and as to whether the defendant would ever be released from hospital if sentenced under the mental health legislation, were not proper matters for the jury. To permit a defendant to adduce such evidence encouraged a jury to speculate about irrelevant considerations and decide the case other than on its merits.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2182
[2013] EWCA Crim 2182
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Green J, Sir David Maddison)
8 November 2013

The Suppression of Terrorism Act 1978 s.4 did not create a separate statutory jurisdiction in relation to murder committed outside the United Kingdom, but simply expanded the territorial reach of common law murder to other "convention countries" under s.4, in a way which enabled a prosecution to proceed for an offence of murder committed in any convention country, including England and Wales. Accordingly, in s.4 proceedings where it could not be proved whether the murder had been committed in England or in another convention country, a direction that it was immaterial whether the murder had been committed in England or in another convention country was correct.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2644
[2013] EWCA Crim 2644
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Popplewell J, Judge Gilbert QC)
5 November 2013

A conviction for murder had not been unsafe where a judge had ruled that there was sufficient evidence to convict on the basis that an appellant was the principal in a joint enterprise but had then proceeded to sentence her as the secondary party. It was the judge's responsibility to determine the proper basis on which sentence was to be passed and his decision that there was sufficient evidence for her to be convicted as a principal was no more than a finding that there was a case to answer on that basis.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2485
[2013] EWCA Crim 2485
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Cox J, Judge Wait)
30 October 2013

A minimum term of 18 years was appropriate in the case of the appellant, who had fatally stabbed her uncle during a brutal attack motivated by the victim's sexual abuse of the appellant's late sister.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2027
[2013] EWCA Crim 2027
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson (President QBD), Royce J, Popplewell J)
29 October 2013

The judge in a murder trial had not erred in his directions to the jury when dealing with an allegation that the prosecution witnesses had given inconsistent statements.

[2013] UKPC 29
[2013] UKPC 29
PC (Ber) (Lord Mance, Dame Sian Elias, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Hughes)
8 October 2013

The Criminal Code Act 1907 (Bermuda) s.286A(2) and the proviso in s.288(1) were neither unconstitutional nor void insofar as they set a maximum period that a prisoner, sentenced to life imprisonment for murder or premeditated murder, could be directed to serve before being released on licence.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1746
[2013] EWCA Crim 1746
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Burnett J, Hickinbottom J)
24 September 2013

The judge in a murder trial had been correct not to leave the partial defence of provocation to the jury. Counsel had agreed that self-defence was the only issue in the case and, in any event, there was no more than a speculative possibility that the defendant might have lost his self-control having been provoked.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1512
[2013] EWCA Crim 1512
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Keith J, Lewis J)
23 August 2013

A judge had been wrong to withdraw joint enterprise accessory liability for murder from a jury as what might suffice for withdrawal in spontaneous and unplanned group violence did not necessarily suffice in planned group violence.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1394
[2013] EWCA Crim 1394
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ DBE, Simon J, Carr J)
31 July 2013

A judge had erred in refusing a submission of no case to answer to a charge of murder on the basis of joint enterprise where no body had been recovered, as there was insufficient evidence to infer a prima facie case that a mother and daughter had acted together to kill their husband/father.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1421
[2013] EWCA Crim 1421
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Openshaw J, Jay J)
16 July 2013

The court refused to apply the principle of "lurking doubt" to overturn convictions for manslaughter and murder and reiterated that the application of the principle was limited to the most exceptional circumstances.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1433
[2013] EWCA Crim 1433
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Irwin J, Griffith Williams J)
11 July 2013

A judge had not erred in directing a jury that it could convict a secondary party of murder on the basis that he had participated by encouragement if he knew that the primary offender had a weapon and shared his intention to kill or do really serious bodily harm or realised that the primary offender might use the weapon with the intention to kill or cause serious bodily harm and nevertheless took part by encouraging him.

[2013] EWHC 1899 (QB)
[2013] EWHC 1899 (QB)
QBD (Silber J)
10 July 2013

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had committed murder and robbery. There were a number of mitigating factors, including a finding of the absence of an intention to kill, a confession, a plea of guilty to manslaughter, and a decision to give evidence against a co-defendant. However, they were outweighed by the aggravating features, namely that it was a premeditated killing for gain, committed during the course of a robbery and that the offender had a bad record, including for offences of serious violence.

[2013] UKPC 21
[2013] UKPC 21
PC (Ant) (Lord Hope JSC, Lady Hale JSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Lord Hughes JSC)
9 July 2013

A young offender who had been detained for 19 years under a sentence for murder which breached the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda 1981 was entitled to at least nominal damages. If it could be shown that he was detained for longer than he would have been if a lawful and appropriate sentence had been passed, he would also be entitled to compensatory damages.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1149
[2013] EWCA Crim 1149
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Mackay J, Griffith Williams J)
5 July 2013

Although a failure to disclose the first description of a suspect given by an eye-witness prior to an identification parade had been a clear breach of PACE Codes of Practice Code D, it did not render the subsequent conviction for murder and wounding with intent unsafe, given the powerful support provided to the identification evidence by the other circumstantial evidence.

CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Irwin J, Cranston J)
3 July 2013

The minimum term imposed of 23 years' imprisonment following an offender's conviction for murder was too high. Although the offender had been carrying a knife which he had used to stab the victim, thereby satisfying the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5A(2), there were strong statutory mitigating factors including the offender's lack of intention to kill, his youth and his previous good character: the appropriate minimum term was 20 years' detention.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1202
[2013] EWCA Crim 1202
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, MacDuff J, Dingemans J)
28 June 2013

A minimum term of 15 years for murder, causing grievous bodily harm with intent and perverting the course of justice had been unduly lenient and would be increased to 17 years, but the sentences of the other offenders would not be altered.

[2013] NICA 35
[2013] NICA 35
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Higgins LJ, Girvan LJ)
27 June 2013

There was no support for the proposition that the Criminal Justice (Evidence) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 had changed the law by prohibiting bad character evidence on its own from constituting, in appropriate circumstances, evidence of identity.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1345
[2013] EWCA Crim 1345
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Ouseley J, Foskett J)
26 June 2013

Although a victim had only been shot in the leg despite the gunman's proximity to him, evidence of prior death threats and extensive planning meant that there had been a case to answer on a count of conspiracy to murder rather than merely conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1136
[2013] EWCA Crim 1136
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Kenneth Parker J, Stewart J)
14 June 2013

A minimum term of 25 years was appropriate in the case of the appellant, who had pleaded guilty to murder after arming himself with a knife and stabbing a man who was involved in an altercation with his brother.

[2013] UKSC 36
[2013] UKSC 36
SC (Lord Hope JSC (Deputy President) , Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Lord Hughes JSC, Lord Toulson JSC )
13 June 2013

The Supreme Court determined the date two appellants had been charged with murder, for the purpose of their right to a trial within a reasonable time under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6(1). The court also determined the compatibility with their art.6(1) right to a trial before an independent and impartial tribunal of a decision to proceed with the trial following adverse comments made by the trial judge regarding their character.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1050
[2013] EWCA Crim 1050
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Wilkie J, King J)
22 May 2013

A sentence of indeterminate detention for public protection with a minimum term of 10 years imposed for attempted murder was upheld where the judge had been entitled to adduce evidence of previous bad character to demonstrate a tendency of the offender to be involved in incidents of a similar nature to the index offence, and where the judge had fully rehearsed and summed-up inconsistencies in the evidence of a key witness.

[2013] EWCA Crim 711
[2013] EWCA Crim 711
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Foskett J, Hickinbottom J)
15 May 2013

Sentences imposed on three young offenders involved in the murder of a youth during the rush hour at a busy central London station were reduced. The minimum term in the case of one offender convicted of murder was reduced from 18 years to 16 years as although he was one of the ringleaders in planning the attack he did not have the intention to kill. Sentences of 7 years' detention in a young offender institution for the other two offenders for conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and violent disorder respectively were substituted with sentences of five-and-a-half years due to their more limited involvement and bearing in mind their youth, good character and positive reports.

[2013] EWCA Crim 673
[2013] EWCA Crim 673
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Globe J, Judge Peter Collier QC (Recorder of Leeds))
9 May 2013

The jury's verdicts giving rise to three offenders' respective convictions for causing grievous bodily harm with intent, murder and manslaughter, arising out of an assault on a victim who was placed in a car which was set on fire, were not inconsistent so as to render the convictions unsafe. The different verdicts represented an assessment of the evidence by the jury in the different cases.

CA (Crim Div) (McCombe LJ, King J, Recorder of Liverpool)
2 May 2013

A minimum term of 20 years set as part of a life sentence imposed on a man who murdered his wife by stabbing her was reduced to 18 years.

[2013] EWCA Crim 591
[2013] EWCA Crim 591
CA (Crim Div) (McCombe LJ, Saunders J, Judge Collier QC, Judge Peter Collier QC (Recorder of Leeds))
1 May 2013

A five-year restraining order imposed under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s.5A to prevent an offender, who had had mental health issues, from contacting his daughter, who he had stabbed, and other family members was quashed where the offender had not engaged in a relevant course of conduct as defined in s.7 of the Act which justified imposing the order.

[2013] EWCA Crim 801
[2013] EWCA Crim 801
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Burnett J, Judge Collier QC)
26 April 2013

Although R. v Riat (Jaspal) [2012] EWCA Crim 1509, [2013] 1 All E.R. 349 encouraged the court to take all possible steps to enable a fearful witness to give evidence, it had to be recognised that factual situations varied from case to case, as would the steps taken by judges to deal with them. When considering whether to admit a witness statement as hearsay, a judge only had to ensure that the evidence could safely be regarded as reliable by a jury; she did not have to look for complete and independent verification of it.

CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Andrew Smith J, Jeremy Baker J)
25 April 2013

In setting a minimum term on a mandatory life sentence for murder, a judge had erred in leaving the offender's anti-social personality disorder entirely out of account. The personality disorder was capable of being and was a relevant mitigating factor within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21.

[2013] EWCA Crim 475
[2013] EWCA Crim 475
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Hughes of Ombersley, Gloster J, Hickinbottom J)
24 April 2013

There was no justification for departing from the decision in R. v Lambert (Steven) [2002] Q.B. 1112 that the reverse burden of proof applicable to the partial defence of diminished responsibility was not incompatible with the presumption of innocence in the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6(2).

[2013] EWCA Crim 465
[2013] EWCA Crim 465
CA (Crim Div) (Treacy LJ, Saunders J, Judge Milford QC)
17 April 2013

Where a defendant with a low IQ and language level failed to give evidence at his trial for murder, the judge was entitled to conclude that an adverse inference direction was appropriate and that the circumstances did not come within the exception provided by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s.35(1)(b). He had been entitled to look beyond the expert material, and to consider the defendant's behaviour after the event, the assistance provided by a registered intermediary to the defendant during the trial and the approach of a fair-minded jury to his difficulties.

[2013] EWCA Crim 727
[2013] EWCA Crim 727
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Fulford J, Turner J)
16 April 2013

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment was not manifestly excessive for an offence of murder. The offender had not had a legitimate expectation that his tariff would be set at the level recommended by the trial judge, since the High Court had set the minimum term in accordance with the requirements of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22.

[2013] EWCA Crim 356
[2013] EWCA Crim 356
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Foskett J, Judge Radford)
26 March 2013

A judge had been right to conclude that a young offender could not be fairly re-tried for murder and to stay further proceedings on that issue as an abuse of process where the young offender had been convicted of the alternative charge of manslaughter and the jury had been unable to reach a verdict on murder.

[2013] EWCA Crim 322
[2013] EWCA Crim 322
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Rafferty LJ, Simon J)
26 March 2013

In upholding three convictions for murder, the court considered the application of the loss of control defence in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54 and s.55 in the context of violence offered to or feared by a defendant. The qualifying trigger necessary for that defence under s.54(1)(b), elaborated by s.55(6)(a) and s.55(6)(b), was not available to a defendant who had deliberately sought to provide himself with an excuse to use violence by inciting, or encouraging or manufacturing a situation for that purpose.

[2013] UKPC 8
[2013] UKPC 8
PC (Jam) (Lord Hope, Lord Kerr, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Sir John Chadwick)
14 March 2013

The appellant's conviction for murder was not rendered unsafe by fresh evidence in the form of a statement by a witness which cast doubt on the assertion of the one eyewitness relied on by the prosecution that he had been present at the scene of the murder.

[2013] EWCA Crim 223
[2013] EWCA Crim 223
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Hickinbottom J, Holroyd J)
12 March 2013

The court considered the issues of insanity, automatism and voluntary intoxication in a case of attempted murder, one of wounding with intent and one of aggravated arson.

[2013] EWCA Crim 319
[2013] EWCA Crim 319
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Sharp J, Sir Geoffrey Grigson)
7 March 2013

A judge had been entitled to have regard to the factors set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.4 and para.5, regarding determination of the minimum term in relation to a mandatory life sentence for murder, when imposing sentences of 19 years' imprisonment for attempted murder on the basis that the offenders had intended to kill the victim.

[2013] EWCA Crim 396
[2013] EWCA Crim 396
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Underhill J, Sir Robert Nelson)
1 March 2013

An appeal against conviction for murder was dismissed where the trial judge had appropriately directed the jury in response to requests for guidance on the meaning of reasonable doubt. The 26-year minimum term imposed had reflected slightly too much importance placed on the offender's previous conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm committed while on remand and a minimum term of 25 years was substituted.

[2013] EWCA Crim 163
[2013] EWCA Crim 163
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Gloster J, Hickinbottom J)
28 February 2013

A conviction for murder was not unsafe despite the production of fresh evidence indicating that at the time of the killing the defendant had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of previous sexual and physical abuse. The evidence provided no reason to doubt the jury's rejection of his defence of diminished responsibility.

[2013] EWCA Crim 161
[2013] EWCA Crim 161
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Nicol J, Judge Stokes QC Recorder of Nottingham )
28 February 2013

A conviction for murder was quashed as a judge had erred in admitting the defendant's previous convictions on an application by one of his co-defendants under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(e). Although there was other powerful material supporting the Crown's case, the disclosure of the convictions might have played a part in the conviction.

[2013] EWCA Crim 162
[2013] EWCA Crim 162
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Globe J, Judge Kramer QC)
26 February 2013

Causation of death was an issue in a murder trial that had to be left to the jury, and the judge had been wrong to rule otherwise. However, that did not render the conviction unsafe because the judge had made a clear oral direction on the issue of causation which posed the correct causation question for the jury.

[2013] EWCA Crim 157
[2013] EWCA Crim 157
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Rafferty LJ, Simon J)
22 February 2013

The voluntary consumption of alcohol did not form part of the circumstances for consideration under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54(1)(c), as amplified by s.54(3), in the context of the partial defence of loss of control.

[2013] EWCA Crim 86
[2013] EWCA Crim 86
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Cranston J, Haddon-Cave J)
12 February 2013

Although a judge had directed the jury upon the tendency of bad character evidence to establish a motive for one of two co-defendants to commit an arson attack, without giving an explicit direction as to propensity, the effect of the direction was to warn the jury against jumping to the conclusion that the defendant was guilty of arson.

[2013] EWCA Crim 41
[2013] EWCA Crim 41
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Cranston J, Haddon-Cave J)
6 February 2013

Witness evidence given at a police interview was admitted at trial where the witness refused to testify through a genuine fear for the safety of his family, notwithstanding the inability of the defence to cross-examine the witness, where there were safeguards and counterbalancing measures present by which the jury could safely conclude that the evidence was reliable.

[2013] EWCA Crim 9
[2013] EWCA Crim 9
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ DBE, Keith J, King J)
17 January 2013

A judge had not erred in failing to given an offender credit for an offer to plead guilty to manslaughter on the ground of loss of control when charged with murder, where no plea had been entered following the prosecution's rejection of the offer and the offender had maintained his defence of self-defence. However, the eight-year sentence should have been discounted by 12 months for the eventual accepted guilty plea to manslaughter after an aborted first trial, as it meant that a second trial was not required.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2822
[2012] EWCA Crim 2822
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Ramsey J, Irwin J)
21 December 2012

In imposing minimum terms for murder on four offenders a sentencing judge had erred to the extent that he had undervalued an absence of any intent to kill, and had thus not entirely eliminated an element of double counting for the aggravating features of a victim's vulnerability and the sustained torture he had suffered.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2751
[2012] EWCA Crim 2751
CA (Crim Div) (McCombe LJ, Cranston J, Sir David Calvert Smith)
21 December 2012

A young offender's conviction for murder was unsafe where a judge had admitted evidence at trial of a knife found on the youth when arrested four months after the incident. The finding was too remote from the incident and bore no legitimate purpose in the case against him.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2750
[2012] EWCA Crim 2750
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Fulford J, Bean J)
18 December 2012

An earlier conviction for an offence of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm contrary to the Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.18 was admissible to prove, following the death of the victim, that the defendant was guilty not merely of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but of murder.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2924
[2012] EWCA Crim 2924
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Kenneth Parker J, Judge Gilbert QC)
14 December 2012

Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5 it was the sentencing judge's responsibility to make an assessment of whether the seriousness of the offence was particularly high, and if so what minimum term should reflect that seriousness. Schedule 21 was not a sentencing grid, and para.5 did not set a non-reducible starting point.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2762
[2012] EWCA Crim 2762
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, MacDuff J, Judge Elgan Edwards QC (Recorder of Chester))
11 December 2012

In discharging a single juror who knew a potential witness, the judge had not erred in his decision not to question the remaining jurors to ensure there was no risk of contamination. He was in the best position to understand the background to the way matters had developed and there might have been a risk in telling the jury why a member had been discharged and raising in their minds possibilities of impropriety which did not exist.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2843
[2012] EWCA Crim 2843
CA (Crim Div) (McCombe LJ, Cranston J, Calvert-Smith J)
6 December 2012

A conviction for murder was safe where the judge had properly directed the jury how to approach an assessment of whether the accused suffered from an abnormality that "substantially" impaired his mental ability for the purpose of a defence of diminished responsibility under the Homicide Act 1957 s.2(1).

[2012] EWCA Crim 2911
[2012] EWCA Crim 2911
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Globe J, Leggatt J)
6 December 2012

A sentence of custody for life with a minimum term of 10 years was unduly lenient for a young offender who had murdered his girlfriend by stabbing her 60 times. A particular aggravating feature was the fact that the offender had left the scene and returned to continue his attack with a second knife. The appropriate minimum term was 15 years.

[2012] EWHC 3768 (Admin)
[2012] EWHC 3768 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Sir John Thomas (President QBD) , Globe J)
29 November 2012

There were no grounds to challenge a decision of the Criminal Cases Review Commission that fresh expert evidence adduced by the applicant was an insufficient basis on which to refer his case to the Court of Appeal.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2564
[2012] EWCA Crim 2564
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Andrew Smith J, Judge Rook QC)
29 November 2012

A judge had erred in admitting hearsay evidence on the basis of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.116(2)(e) where his decision that the witness would not give evidence "through fear" was itself based largely on hearsay evidence of transcripts of an earlier trial and accounts by others of the witness's state of mind. The judge had also erred in his consideration of whether the hearsay evidence should be admitted in the interests of justice under s.116(4).

[2012] NIQB 93
[2012] NIQB 93
QBD (NI) (Treacy J)
23 November 2012

There had been a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.8 where the Public Prosecution Service had breached its Victims and Witnesses Policy by failing to explain to the applicant, whose husband had been killed, why it had decided to accept guilty pleas to lesser offences than murder from those responsible.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2435
[2012] EWCA Crim 2435
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Hallett LJ, Hughes LJ, Leveson LJ, Rafferty LJ)
21 November 2012

The imposition of whole life orders under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.4 did not contravene the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.3.

[2012] UKPC 38
[2012] UKPC 38
PC (Trin) (Lord Hope, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath)
8 November 2012

It would only be in an exceptional case that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council would entertain an argument, not put forward at trial or on appeal against conviction, that an appellant had not been fit to stand trial because he was of low intelligence. It would only entertain such an argument if the evidence pointed very clearly to there having been a miscarriage of justice.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2241
[2012] EWCA Crim 2241
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Wilkie J, Singh J)
1 November 2012

The court refused to apply the "lurking doubt" principle first identified in R. v Cooper (Sean) [1969] 1 Q.B. 267 to overturn a conviction of murder. It explained why the application of that principle was limited to the most exceptional circumstances.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2611
[2012] EWCA Crim 2611
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Mitting J, Sir Geoffrey Grigson)
30 October 2012

A judge had been entitled to make a terminating ruling that excluded a video identification procedure from a murder trial where the images used of suspects who were identical twins had differed significantly and had rendered the procedure fatally flawed. He had properly taken account of the PACE codes of practice Code D3 and exercised his discretion on the particular facts of the case.

[2012] NICA 46
[2012] NICA 46
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Girvan LJ, Coghlin LJ)
26 October 2012

The safety of a conviction for murder was not affected by the judge's refusal to admit evidence that the defendant had previously pleaded guilty to assault in a related attack. The fact of that conviction would have been to the defendant's discredit, and any benefit from introducing the evidence was at best marginal.

[2012] UKPC 37
[2012] UKPC 37
PC (Jam) (Lord Hope, Lord Kerr, Lord Dyson, Lord Reed, Sir Anthony Hooper)
25 October 2012

A court in Jamaica had erred in ruling that a statement given by a suspect to police upon his arrest was inadmissible as self-serving evidence. Entitling defendants to put into evidence what they said at the time of arrest, if the prosecution chose not to do so, would encourage them to give their account of events at the earliest opportunity. That was particularly important where there was a substantial delay between arrest and trial.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2474
[2012] EWCA Crim 2474
CA (Crim Div) (Richards LJ, McCombe J, Stuart-Smith J)
25 October 2012

A judge in a murder trial had been right to admit evidence relating to the effect on the defendant's personality of alcohol and cannabis, as such evidence was relevant to the issue of whether, when under the influence of alcohol and cannabis, the defendant was one of the persons who had killed the victim. The evidence was also admissible under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(d), as relevant to an important matter in issue.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2239
[2012] EWCA Crim 2239
CA (Crim Div) (Sir John Thomas (President), Foskett J, Sir Geoffrey Grigson)
24 October 2012

An appeal against conviction on the basis of fresh evidence failed. The evidence, adduced by a close friend of the appellant, was incapable of belief and was the result of collusion between the appellant and his friend.

[2012] UKPC 36
[2012] UKPC 36
PC (Jam) (Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath)
22 October 2012

The appellant's conviction for the murder of her employer was rendered unsafe by the judge's deficient directions to the jury and by a summing-up which was unfairly prejudicial to the appellant.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2035
[2012] EWCA Crim 2035
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Mackay J, Dobbs J)
9 October 2012

A trial judge was entitled to conclude that the murder committed by the offender was an offence of particularly high seriousness and that a 30-year starting point should apply, given the aggravating features, including the offender's previous conviction for manslaughter.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2352
[2012] EWCA Crim 2352
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Burnett J, Judge Ford QC (Recorder of Bristol))
9 October 2012

A minimum term of 10-and-a-half years' imprisonment imposed on a 15-year-old for an offence of murder was unduly lenient and replaced with one of 12 years. The offender bore more responsibility for his actions than might ordinarily be expected of a 15-year-old as a result of his history of violent offending and other aggravating features.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2410
[2012] EWCA Crim 2410
CA (Crim Div)
3 October 2012

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment for murder was reduced by one year where the offender was in the final two years of that term and his progress in prison had been exceptional.

[2012] UKPC 28
[2012] UKPC 28
PC (Jam) (Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath)
16 August 2012

A judge's directions to a jury in respect of the correct approach to be taken in a case where a man had purportedly recognised the two men responsible for murdering his brother were correct and in accordance with the Turnbull guidelines: he had drawn the jury's attention to the inherent dangers involved in purported recognition cases, had instructed the jury to have regard to relevant factors, and had adverted them to possible inconsistencies in the identification evidence.

[2012] EWHC 2354 (QB)
[2012] EWHC 2354 (QB)
QBD (Hickinbottom J)
15 August 2012

A review of a mandatory life sentence for murder conducted under the transitional provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 determined that an offender's existing minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment for murder should stand.

[2012] EWHC 2581 (Admin)
[2012] EWHC 2581 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Singh J)
31 July 2012

A decision refusing to grant bail to a defendant who had been charged with murder was quashed where a judge had failed to give adequate reasons for his decision and refer to the correct legal test.

[2012] NIQB 60
[2012] NIQB 60
QBD (NI) (Treacy J)
9 July 2012

The Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland had failed to follow its own policy when, on the first day of a murder trial, it accepted pleas of guilty to a range of lesser offences and discontinued the trial without first explaining its decision to the victim's family.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1475
[2012] EWCA Crim 1475
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Simon J, Stadlen J)
4 July 2012

Convictions for murder were quashed in circumstances where there had been serious non-disclosure concerning the dishonesty of the prosecution's key witness and where the honesty and integrity of police officers had been brought into question with respect to their general conduct and handling of the key witness.

[2012] NICA 26
[2012] NICA 26
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Girvan LJ, Coghlin LJ)
29 June 2012

The appellant's conviction for the capital murder of a soldier in 1972, which depended on admissions, was rendered unsafe by documents which revealed that his questioning by army personnel, as opposed to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, had been unlawful.

[2012] NICA 27
[2012] NICA 27
CA (Crim Div) (NI) (Higgins LJ, Girvan LJ, Coghlin LJ)
29 June 2012

A conviction for murder following a trial 15 years after the victim's death was not unsafe where the outcome of the case depended on a careful assessment of the reliability and credibility of three main witnesses' evidence which was a task for the jury who had received the appropriate directions from the judge.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2055
[2012] EWCA Crim 2055
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Globe J, Judge Davis QC)
14 June 2012

A conviction for murder was quashed where fresh evidence showed that the offender had been suffering from the early stages of schizophrenia at the time of the killing, such that his responsibility was diminished.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1185
[2012] EWCA Crim 1185
CA (Crim Div) (Stanley Burnton LJ, Thirlwall J, Judge Anthony Russell QC Recorder of Preston)
1 June 2012

When trying an offender for murder, a recorder had been right to admit hearsay evidence of the victim's dying statement made to his wife shortly after he was stabbed and to admit hearsay evidence under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.114(2)(d) from a woman who claimed to others to have seen the offence but was too scared to go to the police.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1327
[2012] EWCA Crim 1327
CA (Crim Div) (Elias LJ, Globe J, Judge Goldstone QC (Recorder of Liverpool) )
1 June 2012

Imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of 11 years was appropriate for an offence of attempted murder where the appellant had stabbed his victim several times, resulting in life-threatening injuries, persistently denied the attack and had pursued the victim in a car and on foot in order to attack him.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1275
[2012] EWCA Crim 1275
CA (Crim Div) (Elias LJ, Globe J, Judge Goldstone QC (Recorder of Liverpool) )
31 May 2012

Minimum terms of 21 years following a trial and 17-and-a-half years following a guilty plea, imposed on two offenders for the murder of a disabled man which involved punching, kicking, stamping and stripping the victim and removal of his prosthetic leg but did not amount to sadistic behaviour under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5(2)(e), were not manifestly excessive.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1411
[2012] EWCA Crim 1411
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Underhill J, Judge Melbourne Inman QC)
31 May 2012

A judge had not erred in imposing an extended sentence for attempted murder comprising a custodial term of 18 years and an extended licence period of five years, and there was nothing wrong in principle in the extension period taking the total term of the extended sentence outside the sentencing guidelines for the offence.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1167
[2012] EWCA Crim 1167
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Hedley J, Maddison J)
24 May 2012

Irregularities in an offender's post office accounting records could not prove theft and did not provide the motive for his wife's murder. Therefore, the admission of fresh evidence seeking to explain those irregularities did not affect the safety of his conviction for murder, as it was clear that the jury had rejected his explanation that his wife had been killed by robbers independently of the accounting records or any other financial evidence.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1260
[2012] EWCA Crim 1260
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Burnett J, Nicol J)
24 May 2012

A minimum term of 30 years was appropriate for an offence of murder where there had been an intent to kill and a significant degree of planning and premeditation over a substantial period. The offender was entitled to a reduction in his sentence of one year for a late guilty plea and seven years for the assistance given to the Crown, and accordingly the correct minimum term was 22 years.

[2012] UKPC 15
[2012] UKPC 15
PC (Trin) (Lord Phillips, Lord Clarke, Lord Dyson, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed)
23 May 2012

Fresh evidence presented by a man of previous good character, who for no apparent reason killed his cousin with whom he had a close platonic relationship, raised a credible defence of diminished responsibility based on borderline personality disorder and alcohol- and drug-induced psychosis that should have been raised at trial. The case was remitted to the Court of Appeal.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1428
[2012] EWCA Crim 1428
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Spencer J, Judge Melbourne Inman QC)
21 May 2012

In setting a minimum sentence, a judge had failed to fully take into account statutory mitigation available under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.11(b) and para.11(d).

[2012] EWCA Crim 1158
[2012] EWCA Crim 1158
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ DBE, Openshaw J, Spencer J)
17 May 2012

The court quashed as unsafe convictions for murder, violent disorder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. The convictions had been based on flawed identification evidence and, as a result of fresh evidence, the basis of the Crown's case had fallen away.

[2012] EWCA Crim 994
[2012] EWCA Crim 994
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Wyn Williams J, Supperstone J)
15 May 2012

Fresh evidence purporting to exonerate the appellant from participation in a murder was not capable of belief and would not be admitted.

[2012] EWHC 1186 (Admin)
[2012] EWHC 1186 (Admin)
DC (Sir John Thomas (President), Haddon-Cave J)
4 May 2012

The State's duty to safeguard against miscarriages of justices did not extend to a further and general duty of disclosure post-conviction.

[2012] EWHC 1462 (Admin)
[2012] EWHC 1462 (Admin)
DC (Gross LJ, Cooke J, Burnett J)
2 May 2012

The Criminal Cases Review Commission had not erred in refusing to refer a murder case to the Court of Appeal where there was no possibility of any appeal being allowed on the basis of the advice of trial counsel. No conflict of interest had arisen from the fact that the co-defendants had been represented by the same firm of solicitors.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1389
[2012] EWCA Crim 1389
CA (Crim Div) (Sir John Thomas (President), Walker J, Openshaw J)
2 May 2012

A sentence of five years' imprisonment imposed on an offender who assisted another offender by disposing of the weapon used in a murder was manifestly excessive, as substantial pressure had been exerted even though it fell short of duress. The appropriate sentence was two years' imprisonment.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1362
[2012] EWCA Crim 1362
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Beatson J, Walker J)
27 April 2012

A minimum term of 15 years was appropriate in the case of a man who had pleaded guilty to murder after killing his friend in a brutal attack and leaving him to die alone.

[2012] EWCA Crim 702
[2012] EWCA Crim 702
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Blake J, Judge Rook QC)
16 March 2012

A conviction on a count of attempted murder was safe as the wording of the judge's answer to the jury's request for further guidance on the standard of proof did not amount to a misdirection, and throughout the summing up as whole the jury was repeatedly told it must be sure of the appellant's guilt before it could convict.

[2012] UKPC 8
[2012] UKPC 8
PC (Trin) (Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Dame Heather Hallett, Dame Janet Smith)
13 March 2012

Although it was not to be assumed that even highly persuasive evidence produced for the first time at the final appeal stage would be admitted, evidence from distinguished psychiatrists indicated that the low intelligence of two men convicted of murder might have affected their fitness to plead. That raised a substantial issue about the fairness of their trial and the safety of their convictions; the psychiatrists' further opinions that the reliability of the men's confessions could have been affected by their intellectual impairment, and that a defence of diminished responsibility could have been raised, required that the appeals be remitted to the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago.

[2012] EWHC 304 (QB)
[2012] EWHC 304 (QB)
QBD (Charles J)
12 March 2012

The claimant had an arguable case for declarations that it would not be unlawful, on the grounds of necessity, for a doctor to terminate or assist in the termination of his life, alternatively that the law of murder and/or of assisted suicide was incompatible with his right to respect for private life under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.8.

[2012] NIQB 13
[2012] NIQB 13
QBD (NI) (McCloskey J)
7 March 2012

Applicants already in custody but applying for bail in relation to separate charges risked misusing the court's process because such applications were far removed from the nature and purpose of the jurisdiction of the High Court in such matters. Applicants should be encouraged to submit bail applications encompassing all charges to address the fundamental objection that the discretionary power of the court to grant bail should not be exercised where it would not result in the applicant's liberty, either immediately or in the short term.

[2012] NIQB 11
[2012] NIQB 11
QBD (NI) (Treacy J)
2 March 2012

While the secretary of state's failure to exercise the prerogative of mercy was, in principle, reviewable on the ground of unequal treatment, there had been no unequal treatment in the instant case.

[2012] EWCA Crim 281
[2012] EWCA Crim 281
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Simon J, Lang J)
22 February 2012

The re-formulation of the statutory conditions for diminished responsibility within the Homicide Act 1957 s.2 had not been intended to reverse the well-established rule that voluntary acute intoxication, whether from alcohol or any other substance, was not capable of founding the partial defence of diminished responsibility.

[2012] EWCA Crim 459
[2012] EWCA Crim 459
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, McCombe J, Singh J)
22 February 2012

A sentence of imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of 14 years was appropriate in the case of the offender following his conviction for the attempted murder of his former girlfriend, whom he had repeatedly stabbed with a kitchen knife; the offender had an appalling criminal record and was clearly dangerous.

[2012] EWCA Crim 3229
[2012] EWCA Crim 3229
CA (Crim Div) (Rafferty LJ, Openshaw J, Lindblom J)
17 February 2012

A judge had not erred in adopting a 30-year starting point for the minimum term when sentencing a young offender to detention for life following his conviction for the murder of a 16-year-old girl, on the basis that the murder involved sexual or sadistic conduct and fell within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5(2)(e), notwithstanding the offender's limited intellectual ability and profound psychological and emotional difficulties.

[2012] UKPC 4
[2012] UKPC 4
PC (Trin) (Lord Hope, Lord Walker, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Lord Wilson)
15 February 2012

The Court of Appeal (Trinidad and Tobago) had erred in finding that the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago s.6(1)(a) precluded detainees from challenging the manner of the execution of their detention on the ground that the failure to review the sentence and detention resulted in a breach of their rights under s.4 and s.5 of the Constitution. They were entitled to a declaration that their constitutional rights had been breached by the failure to conduct such reviews.

[2012] EWCA Crim 190
[2012] EWCA Crim 190
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, King J, Judge Stephens QC)
15 February 2012

It was not expedient or in the interests of justice to allow defendants, who had been convicted of murder, to adduce fresh expert evidence on a firearm that was used for the murder. To adduce the fresh evidence would be to subvert the trial process as it would allow the defendants to run a case on expert evidence that they had chosen not to pursue at trial.

[2012] EWCA Crim 135
[2012] EWCA Crim 135
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Hickinbottom J, Judge Warwick McKinnon (Recorder of Croydon))
10 February 2012

A minimum term of 18 years' imprisonment imposed on an offender following his plea of guilty to murder and the imposition of a life sentence was not unduly lenient. Whilst, to reflect the significant premeditation, the starting point should have been higher, the failure to adopt a higher starting point did not render the sentence unduly lenient.

[2012] UKPC 2
[2012] UKPC 2
PC (Trin) (Lord Brown, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Dyson, Sir Declan Morgan)
7 February 2012

Fresh evidence as to a defendant's fitness to plead which raised a substantial issue as to the safety of his conviction was admitted in circumstances where the ultimate penalty was a sentence of death. The case was remitted to the Court of Appeal (Trinidad and Tobago) to determine the safety of the conviction.

[2012] EWHC 349 (QB)
[2012] EWHC 349 (QB)
QBD (Tugendhat J)
6 February 2012

The court struck out parts of a defamation claim against a chief constable concerning the thoroughness of a police investigation, since that matter was already being investigated by the IPCC and was not the main issue about which the claimant was complaining.

[2012] EWCA Crim 210
[2012] EWCA Crim 210
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Holman J, Openshaw J)
25 January 2012

A minimum term of 20 years was justified where the offender had already been convicted and imprisoned for murder, and was then convicted of attempted murder in circumstances where his attack on a fellow prisoner was clearly intentional and premeditated.

[2012] EWCA Crim 16
[2012] EWCA Crim 16
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Maddison J, Judge Stephens QC)
24 January 2012

The convictions of two offenders for the offence of murder were safe as the judge had correctly admitted defence statements and was not wrong to refuse to sever the trial. A minimum term of 29 years in respect of one of the offenders was not manifestly excessive.

[2012] EWCA Crim 5
[2012] EWCA Crim 5
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Andrew Smith J, Popplewell J)
18 January 2012

The failure to disclose that a witness who gave evidence at a murder trial was seeking registration as a police informant did not affect the fairness of the trial so as to render the subsequent conviction unsafe. The circumstantial case was compelling, and even with full and proper disclosure the task of assessing the reliability of the witness would have changed neither the landscape of the trial nor the jury's deliberations upon the evidence.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2
[2012] EWCA Crim 2
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Henriques J, Gloster J)
17 January 2012

In murder cases, for the purposes of the partial defence of loss of control, sexual infidelity might properly be taken into consideration by virtue of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54 where it was integral to the facts as a whole, being one of a number of factors which caused the defendant to lose control. In such circumstances, the prohibition in s.55(6)(c) would not operate to exclude it.

Central Crim Ct (Treacy J)
4 January 2012

The court determined the appropriate sentence for the two defendants convicted of the racially-motivated murder of the black teenager, Stephen Lawrence.

[2011] UKPC 43
[2011] UKPC 43
PC (Jam) (Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Clarke JSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Dame Janet Smith, Dame Heather Hallett)
20 December 2011

A conviction for murder was safe where, although a good character direction should have been given, the jury would inevitably have convicted the appellant.

[2011] EWCA Crim 2933
[2011] EWCA Crim 2933
CA (Crim Div) (Stanley Burnton LJ, Stadlen J, Judge Morris QC)
16 December 2011

Bad character evidence consisting of a defendant's previous convictions for firearms offences was relevant and had been properly admitted in relation to an allegation of attempted murder by shooting. Even though the evidence powerfully supported the prosecution case, it had not been used simply to bolster a weak case.

[2011] UKSC 59
[2011] UKSC 59
SC (Lord Phillips (President), Lord Brown JSC, Lord Judge JSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Clarke JSC, Lord Dyson JSC, Lord Wilson JSC)
14 December 2011

Two men engaged in a gunfight against each other had a common intention to shoot and be shot at. Where one of the gunmen accidentally shot and killed a passer-by, the intended target was guilty of the passer-by's murder, either by virtue of transferred malice, the target having aided and abetted his own attempted murder, or as a principal, having been a direct participant engaged by agreement in unlawful violence.

[2011] EWCA Crim 2796
[2011] EWCA Crim 2796
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Royce J, Globe J)
1 December 2011

It was not necessary for judges passing sentence for diminished responsibility manslaughter to set out an exact arithmetical computation of the sentence which would have been passed for a murder conviction. Whether or not the computation was set out, it provided a helpful method of approach, identifying the aggravating and mitigating features, and then applying an appropriate discount for the defendant's reduced level of culpability. That was a fact-specific decision, to be made by the judge, consistently with the medical evidence and the jury verdict, and then publicly explained.

[2011] EWCA Crim 2975
[2011] EWCA Crim 2975
CA (Crim Div) (Goldring LJ, Walker J, Judge Elgan Edwards)
24 November 2011

A defendant who argued that full transcripts of police interviews with a co-defendant should have been put before the jury failed to have his conviction for murder overturned. The summary of the interviews put before the jury had been adequate.

[2011] UKPC 41
[2011] UKPC 41
PC (Jam) (Lord Phillips JSC, Lord Brown JSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Sir Malachy Higgins)
16 November 2011

The Privy Council dismissed an appeal from the Court of Appeal (Jamaica) against a conviction for murder where there was no evidence that the appellant's counsel had acted negligently and where the appellant's assertion of innocence was unconvincing in the face of the evidence.

[2011] EWCA Crim 2944
[2011] EWCA Crim 2944
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Andrew Smith J, Popplewell J)
11 November 2011

In a murder trial, evidence of a lie told by the appellant's co-accused as to the appellant's whereabouts at the time of the murder had been properly admitted.

[2011] NICA 56
[2011] NICA 56
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Higgins LJ, Girvan LJ)
23 September 2011

A conviction for attempted murder was unsafe because, where evidence of the defendant's previous convictions had been admitted under the Criminal Justice (Evidence) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 art.6(1)(f) so as to correct a false impression purportedly given by the defendant, the judge did not carry out a balancing exercise to weigh the prejudicial effect of the bad character evidence against its relevance and importance, and failed to give the jury an adequate direction that it related only to the issue of false impression and could not be evidence of propensity to carry out an assault with murderous intent.

[2011] EWCA Crim 3292
[2011] EWCA Crim 3292
CA (Crim Div) (Toulson LJ, Davis J, Judge Bevan QC)
29 July 2011

The Law Commission had been right to observe that the readiness of the courts to accept the possibility of a "slow burn" reaction to provocation gave rise to a difficult question in that it left no clear way of differentiating between a provoked killing and a revenge killing. The judge in the instant case had been right not to leave the defence of provocation to the jury, as the evidence indicated that the defendant had been in full self-control after the provoking conduct relied on.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1870
[2011] EWCA Crim 1870
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Davis J, Ryder J)
22 July 2011

The judge in a murder trial had been entitled to allow the prosecution to adduce evidence of the defendant's previous conviction for murder, notwithstanding that some 20 years had elapsed between the two offences.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1703
[2011] EWCA Crim 1703
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Royce J, Swift J)
14 July 2011

In a case where a large group of defendants had been split for practical reasons into more than one trial, the judge had been wrong to rule that there was no case to answer on a charge of murder against a defendant in the second trial on the basis that a guilty verdict on that count would be inconsistent with the verdicts reached during the first trial.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1606
[2011] EWCA Crim 1606
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Keith J, Judge Pert QC)
29 June 2011

Fresh expert evidence which had been obtained after a conviction for murder could not be admitted on appeal as it did not afford any ground for allowing the appellant's appeal against conviction.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1462
[2011] EWCA Crim 1462
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Leveson LJ, Bean J)
16 June 2011

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5A did not provide an entirely comprehensible framework for every murder involving the use of a knife or other weapon and was to be flexibly construed. The court examined the difficulties arising from the phrase in para.5A(2) "if the offender took a knife or other weapon to the scene".

[2011] UKPC 16
[2011] UKPC 16
PC (Bah) (Lord Rodger JSC, Lord Brown JSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Clarke JSC, Lord Dyson JSC)
15 June 2011

Under the law of the Bahamas the death penalty should be imposed only in the most extreme and exceptional cases. The murder of a 16-year-old girl did not come within that exceptional category where it was unplanned and was not accompanied by unusual violence.

[2011] UKPC 14
[2011] UKPC 14
PC (Trin) (Lord Rodger JSC, Lord Brown JSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Clarke JSC, Lord Dyson JSC)
15 June 2011

The imposition of the mandatory sentence of death pursuant to the Criminal Law Act 1979 s.2A as inserted by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1997 s.2 was unconstitutional, since the felony murder rule had ceased to apply in 1979 and the 1997 Act was not an enactment within s.6 of the Constitution. The death penalty was quashed and the matter remitted for sentencing.

[2011] UKPC 15
[2011] UKPC 15
PC (Trin) (Lord Rodger JSC, Lord Brown JSC, Lord Clarke JSC, Lord Dyson JSC, Lord Kerr JSC)
15 June 2011

It was possible for a defendant facing murder charges to establish that he had been provoked into losing his self-control even though some of the hallmarks of a frenzied attack were missing and he had not expressly described himself as losing his self-control. It was often unhelpful to try to separate out the evidence of provocation from that of loss of self-control, because, realistically, they were two closely connected aspects of the same first limb of the provocation defence.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1458
[2011] EWCA Crim 1458
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Keith J, Judge Peter Collier QC (Recorder of Leeds))
15 June 2011

It had been appropriate for a trial judge to indicate to defence counsel that they were under a duty to put their case to a witness who had made statements in a police interview implicating their clients where those statements were admissible under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.119.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1396
[2011] EWCA Crim 1396
CA (Crim Div) (Toulson LJ, Dobbs J, Judge Bevan QC)
9 June 2011

Convictions for murder as secondary participants were upheld in relation to two defendants who, together with the principal offender, had chased a man before he was fatally stabbed by the principal offender. Their conduct in chasing the victim amounted to conduct assisting and encouraging the principal offender.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1391
[2011] EWCA Crim 1391
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Maddison J, Judge Peter Collier QC)
9 June 2011

It had not been unfair or unjust for the Crown to rely on a witness's evidence in an attempt to prove a defendant's involvement in a conspiracy to murder and to also allege, only in the alternative and dependent on the jury rejecting that evidence, that the defendant had murdered a different victim.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1496
[2011] EWCA Crim 1496
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Ouseley J, Holroyde J)
8 June 2011

The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.55(6)(c) did not close the circumstances in which provocation could provide mitigation for an offence of murder. It was, however, concerned with the substantive criminal offence of murder, not with the determination of the minimum term where murder had been admitted or proved.

[2011] UKSC 24
[2011] UKSC 24
SC (Lord Hope (Deputy President), Lord Rodger JSC, Lord Brown JSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Dyson JSC)
25 May 2011

It was not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6 for an appeal against a criminal conviction on the ground of non-disclosure of evidence to be determined by the test laid down by the High Court of Justiciary in Cameron (Andrew William) v HM Advocate 1991 J.C. 251 in relation to "fresh evidence" appeals.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1261
[2011] EWCA Crim 1261
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Wilkie J, Judge Nicholas Cooke QC)
19 May 2011

The Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984 s.3(4) gave the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) jurisdiction to quash and substitute a minimum term of imprisonment imposed after a decision on the referral of a prisoner from another jurisdiction under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.273.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1260
[2011] EWCA Crim 1260
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, MacDuff J, Sweeney J)
19 May 2011

Convictions of numerous defendants for conspiracy to murder persons unknown and conspiracy to murder persons unknown by the detonation of improvised explosive devices on board transatlantic passenger aircraft following three trials were safe. Those counts concerned different conspiracies so the principle of autrefois convict did not arise, and despite worldwide publicity following the verdicts in the first trial, the jurors in subsequent trials were, properly directed, capable of considering the evidence fairly and impartially without regard to earlier publicity.

[2011] UKPC 12
[2011] UKPC 12
PC (Jam) (Lord Hope, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Lord Kerr, Lord Dyson)
18 May 2011

Although the judge had erred by failing to give the propensity limb of a good character direction in a murder case, the appellant's conviction was not unsafe.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1255
[2011] EWCA Crim 1255
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Rafferty J, Holroyde J)
18 May 2011

The acquittal of a man who had faced a private prosecution for his involvement in the racist killing of a teenage boy in 1993 was quashed and a new trial ordered. Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.78 there was "new and compelling evidence" and it was in the interests of justice under s.79 to make the order.

[2011] EWHC 1193 (Admin)
[2011] EWHC 1193 (Admin)
DC (Toulson LJ, Lloyd Jones J)
12 May 2011

The power of the Youth Court to determine the appropriate form of custody to which a young person might be remanded, under the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 s.23, was not displaced by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.115. Even where a young person was charged with murder, so that bail could only be granted in a Crown Court pursuant to s.115, the s.23 power applied as it would in any other case and did not require mandatory remand in prison rather than other secure accommodation.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1175
[2011] EWCA Crim 1175
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Tugendhat J, Eder J)
11 May 2011

The convictions of two offenders for murder were safe as the judge had correctly admitted the evidence of one offender's previous conviction for a firearm offence under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(d) and had adequately directed the jury as to the value of that evidence. In respect of the other offender, the judge's summing up could not be faulted.

[2011] EWCA Crim 945
[2011] EWCA Crim 945
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Rafferty J, Thirlwall J)
15 April 2011

Two co-defendants' convictions for murder and attempted murder, following an arson attack on a family home, were not rendered unsafe because the trial judge had refused their application to sever the trial, nor were the specified minimum terms of the custodial sentences imposed manifestly excessive.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1212
[2011] EWCA Crim 1212
CA (Crim Div) (Toulson LJ, Davis J, Judge Anthony Russell QC Recorder of Preston)
12 April 2011

Although a judge had erred, when giving a direction under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s.34, by failing to identify matters relied on in evidence which the defendant might reasonably have been expected to mention in certain interviews, that did not make his conviction unsafe in circumstances where the direction had been appropriate in relation to other interviews.

[2011] EWCA Crim 872
[2011] EWCA Crim 872
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Keith J, Thirlwall J)
7 April 2011

A minimum term of 35 years' imprisonment was not inappropriate for an alleged gang leader who had used his authority and power to order the murder of a 17-year-old fellow gang member.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1011
[2011] EWCA Crim 1011
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ (V-P) , Roderick Evans J, Judge Gordon)
31 March 2011

The decision in Taxquet v Belgium (926/05) (2012) 54 E.H.R.R. 26 made it clear that the United Kingdom system of criminal jury trials, including the form of directions customarily given to juries, was compliant with human rights legislation. Taxquet did not require further assistance to be given to juries and did not create an obligation to ask for a special verdict.

[2011] EWCA Crim 650
[2011] EWCA Crim 650
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Henriques J, Davis J)
22 March 2011

The post-trial diminution in the credibility of a Home Office pathologist did not affect the safety of a conviction for murder as the pathologist's evidence did not impinge on the essential issues in the trial.

[2011] EWCA Crim 556
[2011] EWCA Crim 556
CA (Crim Div) (Moore-Bick LJ, Nicol J, Sir David Clarke)
9 March 2011

A sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 24 years, imposed for a brutal murder involving sadistic conduct by a defendant with a clean record who had not entered a guilty plea until the first day of trial was not excessive. The court discussed the duty of counsel to assist the judge in determining the factual basis for sentence where a defendant's basis of plea contradicted that of the joint venture co-defendant.

[2011] EWCA Crim 631
[2011] EWCA Crim 631
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Henriques J, Davis J)
2 March 2011

Although a 30-year starting point for murder embraced many aggravating factors, it did not mean that a judge had to disregard all aggravating factors when determining a minimum sentence, so long as double-counting was avoided.

[2011] EWCA Crim 725
[2011] EWCA Crim 725
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Cox J DBE, Supperstone J)
2 March 2011

When fixing the minimum term of a mandatory life sentence for murder, the court had to take account of the seriousness of the combination of the offence and any other offences for which the offender was being sentenced at the same time.

[2011] UKPC 5
[2011] UKPC 5
PC (Gren) (Lord Phillips, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Lord Kerr, Lord Dyson)
23 February 2011

A fair trial did not demand a fresh jury in a murder trial following one defendant's mid-trial plea of guilty to manslaughter. In the circumstances, there had been no unfairness which could be seen to result from the remaining defendant being tried by the original jury.

[2011] UKPC 3
[2011] UKPC 3
PC (Ber) (Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Dyson, Sir Anthony Hughes)
9 February 2011

The judge had given clear and proper directions on the actions that were required to constitute "aiding" in respect of an offence of murder.

[2011] EWCA Crim 100
[2011] EWCA Crim 100
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Eady J, Simon J)
25 January 2011

The Court of Appeal quashed an order imposing a blanket prohibition on the fair and accurate reporting of a series of high profile murder trials where it could not be said that such reporting would create a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice.

[2011] EWCA Crim 33
[2011] EWCA Crim 33
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Pitchford LJ, Judge Warwick McKinnon)
18 January 2011

Although multiple explanations of the same concept in a jury direction were discouraged, a judge had not misdirected the jury in a murder case by giving several explanations of provocation and loss of temper.

[2011] EWCA Crim 3
[2011] EWCA Crim 3
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Cranston J, Judge Wide QC)
14 January 2011

A conviction for a joint enterprise murder was upheld where the trial judge had given appropriate directions to the jury about joint enterprise, withdrawal from joint enterprise and the weight to be attached to witness statements in that context.

[2011] EWCA Crim 4
[2011] EWCA Crim 4
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Dobbs J DBE, Kenneth Parker J)
14 January 2011

A conviction for murder was not unsafe despite the incomplete analysis of expert forensic scientific evidence adduced at trial.

[2011] EWCA Crim 5
[2011] EWCA Crim 5
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Calvert-Smith J, Griffith Williams J)
14 January 2011

In determining the minimum term under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 for an offender who had committed a series of murders and attempted murders, a judge had been right not to take into account medical evidence of mental disorder as mitigation where the jury had rejected evidence of such disorder.

[2011] EWCA Crim 2
[2011] EWCA Crim 2
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Davis J, Lloyd Jones J)
13 January 2011

In a trial for murder and possession of an offensive weapon, the prosecution had put forward sufficient evidence for the case to be left to the jury, and so it could not be said that there was no case to answer.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2950
[2010] EWCA Crim 2950
CA (Crim Div) (Moore-Bick LJ, Jack J, Judge Stephens QC)
21 December 2010

An offender's conviction for murder was safe where his argument on appeal was essentially that the trial process was rendered unfair by a series of decisions, each of which was beyond criticism, to allow the prosecution to adduce evidence that was properly admissible and probative of his guilt.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2972
[2010] EWCA Crim 2972
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Openshaw J, Spencer J)
21 December 2010

The criticisms of the summing up in a murder case were unfounded and overall the summing up was a clear and careful analysis of the evidence. The conviction was safe and soundly based on the evidence before the court.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2899
[2010] EWCA Crim 2899
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ (V-P), Mackay J, Sir Geoffrey Grigson)
14 December 2010

Although a pathologist in a murder case had subsequently been discredited, his evidence did not affect the safety of the verdict. The fact that there might be fresh evidence which was not available to a jury and might have affected its decision was not sufficient to render a conviction unsafe; the responsibility for deciding whether fresh evidence rendered a conviction unsafe lay on the court.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2934
[2010] EWCA Crim 2934
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Calvert-Smith J, Griffith Williams J)
25 November 2010

Where a defendant had been tried and acquitted of murder, his subsequent confession made while he was intoxicated and in an agitated state required hesitant circumspection and was not sufficient to constitute new and compelling evidence to justify a retrial.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2740
[2010] EWCA Crim 2740
CA (Crim Div) (Richards LJ, Griffith Williams J, Judge Rook QC)
24 November 2010

The fact that a co-defendant to a charge of murder had entered into an agreement to assist the authorities which provided that he would plead guilty to manslaughter in circumstances where there was no legal basis for that offence did not made the admission of his evidence at the trial of the other defendants an abuse or unfair.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2637
[2010] EWCA Crim 2637
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Irwin J, Holroyde J)
12 November 2010

In the first case of murder involving a mercy killing to reach the Court of Appeal, it was decided that the factors specified in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.10(a), (b) and (d), which would normally aggravate the offence of murder, should not be taken to aggravate a murder committed by an individual who genuinely believed that her actions in bringing about the death constituted an act of mercy.

[2010] EWCA Crim 3339
[2010] EWCA Crim 3339
CA (Crim Div) (Elias LJ, Dobbs J, Judge Morris QC)
9 November 2010

A judge was right not to leave the defence of provocation to the jury in a murder trial, concerning a stabbing during an ongoing group altercation, where there was insufficient evidence of provocative conduct that might have caused a loss of self-control, there was no evidence of actual loss of self-control, and the nature and quality of the accused's attack on the victim was incapable of justifying an inference of loss of self-control.

[2010] UKPC 26
[2010] UKPC 26
PC (Jam) (Lord Rodger, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr)
3 November 2010

By virtue of the Judicial Committee Act 1833 s.3 and the Judicial Committee Act 1844 s.1, the Privy Council had jurisdiction to grant special leave to appeal against a conviction for murder despite the Court of Appeal of Jamaica's earlier refusal of leave to appeal.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2647
[2010] EWCA Crim 2647
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Jacobs Recorder of Norwich)
13 October 2010

The appellant's conviction for the murder of her husband was safe, and the judge had been correct to refuse a submission of no case to answer.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2072
[2010] EWCA Crim 2072
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ (V-P) , Saunders J, Thirlwall J)
5 October 2010

Where a jury had reached a verdict which was inconsistent with its failure to reach a verdict on two other related counts, and there was a clear case against the alleged offender, it had been appropriate to order a retrial in respect of those outstanding charges.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2335
[2010] EWCA Crim 2335
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Davis J, Lloyd Jones J)
20 September 2010

A sentencing judge had not been wrong in principle in concluding that an offender convicted of attempted murder and manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility still bore a significant responsibility for the offences. Public safety justified imposing a hybrid order under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.45A comprising imprisonment and a hospital restriction order.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2159
[2010] EWCA Crim 2159
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Kenneth Parker J, Judge Bevan QC)
30 July 2010

At a murder trial of a defendant who suffered from alcohol dependency syndrome, the judge had not erred in allowing in evidence a psychiatrist's opinion that the syndrome could never constitute an abnormality of mind for the purposes of the Homicide Act 1957 s.2. The psychiatrist had done no more than express a medical opinion which he was perfectly entitled to express, and his evidence had not infringed any rule of law and was not tainted by any bias.

[2010] UKPC 22
[2010] UKPC 22
PC (Bze) (Lord Rodger, Lady Hale, Sir John Dyson)
29 July 2010

A judge had failed to adopt the correct approach when imposing a discretionary death sentence for murder in Belize and had also failed to properly consider the relevant sentencing guidelines.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1691
[2010] EWCA Crim 1691
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Hooper LJ, Hughes LJ (V-P), Gross LJ, Hedley J)
26 July 2010

Absent a shared purpose to shoot and to be shot at it could not be said that two opponents in a public gunfight shared a common purpose to commit affray. Although it was foreseeable that someone other than the gunmen might be killed, one was not guilty by way of joint enterprise of the murder of a bystander committed by the other during the gunfight.

[2010] UKPC 18
[2010] UKPC 18
PC (Bze) (Lord Saville, Lord Rodger, Lord Collins, Lord Clarke, Sir Christopher Rose)
21 July 2010

The test of loss of self-control as a partial defence to murder under the Criminal Code 2000 (Belize) s.119(b) was entirely subjective. An instruction to a jury to consider whether a reasonable person would have lost self-control was therefore a misdirection.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2259
[2010] EWCA Crim 2259
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Christopher Clarke J, Judge Andrew Gilbart QC (Recorder of Manchester))
21 July 2010

A conviction for murder was unsafe where in summing up the trial judge had not adequately directed the jury as to the issue of provocation so that it was possible that the jury might have considered the issue of provocation too narrowly.

[2010] EWHC 1741 (QB)
[2010] EWHC 1741 (QB)
QBD (Mitting J)
16 July 2010

Medical evidence that an offender's culpability was lowered by mental abnormality could not be taken into account when determining the minimum term to be served under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 para.6 where the jury had rejected such evidence in convicting the offender of 13 offences of murder. Taking into consideration the murders and admissions of eight offences of attempted murder, it was appropriate to set a whole life term.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1622
[2010] EWCA Crim 1622
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ (V-P), Wyn Williams J, King J)
15 July 2010

The House of Lords in R. v Rahman (Islamur) [2008] UKHL 45, [2009] 1 A.C. 129 had not altered the rule that, in cases of murder by joint enterprise, for an accessory to be guilty it had to be shown that he foresaw that the principal would act with the intent either to kill or to do grievous bodily harm.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1620
[2010] EWCA Crim 1620
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Henriques J, Tugendhat J)
13 July 2010

A verdict of murder for an accomplice was unsafe where he had remained in a vehicle driven by his brother while the latter ran over a man trying to stop them from escaping after their attempt to steal from his van. The judge failed to emphasise to the jury that it had to be sure that he had joined in the threat to the victim and in doing so had encouraged the driver to run over him.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1576
[2010] EWCA Crim 1576
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Dobbs J, Sharp J)
8 July 2010

For the purposes of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 10, there was new and compelling evidence against an offender who had been acquitted of murder and, in all the circumstances, it was in the interests of justice to quash the acquittal and order a retrial.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1326
[2010] EWCA Crim 1326
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Ouseley J, Openshaw J)
18 June 2010

A conviction for murder, which was almost entirely based on the evidence of an informant, was safe as no criticism could be made of the judge's summing up. The judge had balanced his summing up by mentioning matters in favour of the informant's evidence whilst reminding the jury of their need to evaluate his credibility.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1269
[2010] EWCA Crim 1269
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Rafferty J, Hedley J, Sharp J)
17 June 2010

In a hearing of three joined appeals involving shaken baby syndrome, the Court of Appeal gave detailed guidance on case management, particularly the management of expert evidence and on the content of the summing up.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1325
[2010] EWCA Crim 1325
CA (Crim Div) (Pitchford LJ, Rafferty J, Judge Goldstone QC)
16 June 2010

An offender's conviction for murder was safe as the judge had correctly admitted identification evidence from three witnesses and directed the jury as to the caution that was required when assessing that evidence.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1149
[2010] EWCA Crim 1149
CA (Crim Div) (Maurice Kay LJ, Royce J, Nicol J)
28 May 2010

The convictions of two offenders for murder and manslaughter were safe as the judge had correctly allowed evidence of bad character to be adduced and had correctly directed the jury in relation to that evidence.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1082
[2010] EWCA Crim 1082
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ (V-P), Maddison J, Thirlwall J)
25 May 2010

A judge had been correct to rule that police crime reports relating to unsubstantiated allegations made against prosecution witnesses were of insufficient probative value such as to be admissible as evidence of the witnesses' bad character under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.100.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1150
[2010] EWCA Crim 1150
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, David Clarke J, Openshaw J)
25 May 2010

The decision of the judge, during the course of a murder trial, to permit admission of closed-circuit television footage from a bar and the consequent development of the prosecution case that that evidence was consistent with the defendant having been involved an attack on a victim had not rendered the defendant's convictions for murder and wounding with intent unsafe.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1076
[2010] EWCA Crim 1076
CA (Crim Div) (Stanley Burnton LJ, Maddison J, Sir Christopher Holland)
18 May 2010

A minimum term of six years' imprisonment, following a sentence of imprisonment for public protection, imposed on an offender convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of provocation, was excessive. The provocation had been substantial and the appropriate minimum term was one of four years six months.

[2010] EWCA Crim 926
[2010] EWCA Crim 926
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Treacy J, Edwards-Stuart J)
29 April 2010

A conviction for murder based on joint enterprise was upheld notwithstanding the Crown's acceptance at a retrial of a guilty plea to manslaughter from the appellant's co-defendant.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1108
[2010] EWCA Crim 1108
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Davis J, Foskett J)
28 April 2010

A sentence of 18 years' imprisonment for the attempted murder of a spouse was appropriate where the victim had been shot twice in the head with an air rifle and had been subjected to an assault before being shot.

[2010] EWCA Crim 830
[2010] EWCA Crim 830
CA (Crim Div) (Stanley Burnton LJ, Davis J, Hickinbottom J)
22 April 2010

A judge had not erred in making an anonymity order in respect of several young witnesses to a murder and had correctly concluded that the granting of anonymity did not prevent the accused from having a fair trial.

[2010] EWCA Crim 954
[2010] EWCA Crim 954
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Henriques J, Judge Roberts QC)
20 April 2010

A judge had not erred in the exercise of his discretion in refusing to allow a defendant to withdraw his plea of guilty to murder.

[2010] EWCA Crim 923
[2010] EWCA Crim 923
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Anthony May (President QB), Treacy J, Edwards-Stuart J)
14 April 2010

There was no lurking doubt as to the safety of a conviction for attempted murder in a case in which there had been a stark disagreement between evidence of the Crown on the one hand and the defence on the other. The jury had been properly directed and had preferred the Crown's evidence to that of the defendant.

[2010] EWCA Crim 865
[2010] EWCA Crim 865
CA (Crim Div) (Jackson LJ, Gross J, Judge Michael Baker QC)
25 March 2010

Whether to discharge the jury was a matter for evaluation by the trial judge on the particular facts of the case. There was no proper basis for interfering with the exercise of that discretion where evidence in interview implicating one co-defendant had been put before the jury by another co-defendant when he, although later acquitted, was still a defendant in the case, as the trial judge had correctly noted that the evidence at issue had been properly admitted at the time, had directed that it should immediately be removed from the jury bundle after the acquittal and had given a direction to the jury to ignore that evidence.

[2010] EWCA Crim 547
[2010] EWCA Crim 547
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Chief Justice, Griffith Williams J, Foskett J)
24 March 2010

Fresh evidence showing that an offender was suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder when he committed murder was not admitted, as it would not afford any ground for allowing his appeal against conviction on the basis of diminished responsibility.

[2010] EWCA Crim 516
[2010] EWCA Crim 516
CA (Crim Div) (Toulson LJ, Mrs Justice Cox DBE, Judge Barker QC (Common Serjeant of London))
22 March 2010

A trial judge should be able to give a short and simple jury direction about joint enterprise liability. In most cases in a trial for a spontaneous group attack a jury could only be expected to form a broad brush judgment about the level of violence and associated risk of injury that a defendant must have intended or foreseen. They then had to consider as a matter of common sense whether the principal actor's unforseen act was of a nature likely to be altogether more life-threatening.

[2010] EWCA Crim 624
[2010] EWCA Crim 624
CA (Crim Div) (Elias LJ, Jack J, Judge Radford)
19 March 2010

A sentence of 18 years' detention in a young offender institution following a conviction for attempted murder was not manifestly excessive where the offender had stabbed the victim three times with a knife and left him in a grievous condition.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2446
[2010] EWCA Crim 2446
CA (Crim Div) (Elias LJ, Jack J, Judge Radford (Recorder of Redbridge))
18 March 2010

Judges were not to use their discretion under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.240(4) to give reduced credit for time spent in custody on remand so as to penalise a defendant for choosing to plead not guilty.

[2010] EWCA Crim 496
[2010] EWCA Crim 496
CA (Crim Div) (Moore-Bick LJ, Silber J, Kenneth Parker J)
17 March 2010

Three men had been part of a joint enterprise to cause really serious harm to another group of men; their various convictions for murder, manslaughter and grievous bodily harm with intent were safe as the judge had been right not to risk confusing the jury with directions per R. v English (Philip) [1999] 1 A.C. 1 or R. v Brown (Kevin) (1984) 1 B.C.C. 98970. An apparent inconsistency in the verdicts had a rational explanation.

[2010] EWCA Crim 783
[2010] EWCA Crim 783
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Rafferty J, Maddison J)
15 March 2010

It was not part of a judge's function to cross-examine a defendant after the conclusion of the cross-examination led by counsel, lest he give the impression to the jury that he was not accepting the evidence given by the defendant and run the risk of demonstrating his own approach to that evidence.

[2010] EWCA Crim 450
[2010] EWCA Crim 450
CA (Crim Div) (Stanley Burnton LJ, Collins J, Davis J)
12 March 2010

During a murder trial a judge had taken all relevant matters into account under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.114(2) when allowing taped telephone calls made by a different suspect from prison to be adduced as evidence.

[2010] EWCA Crim 909
[2010] EWCA Crim 909
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Ouseley J, Hickinbottom J)
12 March 2010

A judge was right not to leave the defence of provocation to the jury in a murder case where the evidence for that defence was speculative.

[2010] EWCA Crim 577
[2010] EWCA Crim 577
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Collins J, Griffith Williams J)
11 March 2010

A minimum term of 20 years' imprisonment for an offence of murder, to which the offender pleaded guilty, was unduly lenient taking proper account of all of the aggravating features associated with the offence. The appropriate minimum term was one of 30 years' imprisonment.

[2010] EWCA Crim 525
[2010] EWCA Crim 525
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Ouseley J, Hickinbottom J)
9 March 2010

There had been no breach of the right of the accused to a fair trial where a judge had refused to discharge a jury in a murder case after leading counsel had fallen ill towards the end of the prosecution case and was unable to continue with the trial and junior counsel had proceeded with the case. The correct test for the judge to apply in determining whether to discharge the jury was whether or not the accused could have a fair trial and not the perception of unfairness in the mind of a fair-minded observer.

[2010] EWCA Crim 226
[2010] EWCA Crim 226
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Wyn Williams J, Judge Warwick McKinnon (Recorder of Croydon))
19 February 2010

In the absence of any evidence, direct or circumstantial, to help a jury determine when a gunman was given the gun, it would not be right to draw an inference that he was given it in circumstances where the appellants, who were in a group with him, must have known that he had a gun before arriving at the scene of the crime.

[2010] EWCA Crim 195
[2010] EWCA Crim 195
CA (Crim Div) (Maurice Kay LJ, Sharp J, Sir Christopher Holland)
17 February 2010

A judge had been entitled to direct a jury pursuant to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s.35 where a defendant, who was suffering from Alcohol Dependency Syndrome when he killed his partner, had not given evidence at trial, as there were matters on which he could have given evidence which were relevant to the jury's consideration of the degree of impairment of his mental responsibility.

[2010] EWCA Crim 148
[2010] EWCA Crim 148
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Swift J, Sweeney J)
11 February 2010

Various convictions of murder, manslaughter and violent disorder and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent that arose out of a group attack that resulted in a fatal stabbing were upheld. The sentences for murder and violent disorder and conspiracy were quashed.

[2010] EWCA Crim 138
[2010] EWCA Crim 138
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Cooke QC (Recorder of Cardiff))
11 February 2010

Where the offender's defence to a charge of murder was one of accident and the jury had been directed that they could only convict if they were sure that she had acted deliberately and in a pre-planned way, there was no room for a verdict of manslaughter or any consideration of provocation. It was either murder or nothing.

[2010] EWCA Crim 316
[2010] EWCA Crim 316
CA (Crim Div) (Moore-Bick LJ, Silber J, Kenneth Parker J)
11 February 2010

A sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of nine years was not manifestly excessive where an offender had been convicted of murder after kicking his victim in the head as hard as he could. Although a co-defendant who had struck the victim during the same attack, without intending to cause really serious harm, had received a much shorter sentence of three-and-a-half years' detention for an offence of manslaughter, that reflected the difference in culpability between them.

[2010] EWCA Crim 149
[2010] EWCA Crim 149
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Penry-Davey J, Irwin J)
3 February 2010

A minimum term of 28 years' imprisonment imposed on an offender following a guilty plea to murder was manifestly excessive where, despite the extreme level of violence used and the deliberate destruction of evidence, the judge had applied too high a starting point.

[2010] EWCA Crim 194
[2010] EWCA Crim 194
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Penry-Davey J, Irwin J)
2 February 2010

When directing a jury in relation to whether a defendant's mental responsibility for his actions was substantially impaired for the purposes of the defence of diminished responsibility, it was necessary for the judge to convey the plain meaning of the Homicide Act 1957 s.2(1). There was no uncertainty or ambiguity in the language of the statute.

[2010] EWCA Crim 90
[2010] EWCA Crim 90
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Swift J, Sweeney J)
2 February 2010

A mother's conviction for the murder of her three-year-old son was quashed and replaced with a verdict of manslaughter where there was no evidence on the basis of which the jury could reasonably decide whether she had the intent to kill or to cause really serious harm on the one hand, or the lesser mental intent which was sufficient for manslaughter on the other hand.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2698
[2009] EWCA Crim 2698
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Kitchin J, Holroyde J)
21 December 2009

The court expressed its opinion as to the reliability, admissibility and evidential value of low template DNA, primarily that obtained using the low copy number (LCN) process. It concluded that such DNA could be used to obtain profiles capable of reliable interpretation if the quantity of DNA that could be analysed was above the stochastic threshold.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2696
[2009] EWCA Crim 2696
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Field J, Judge Stephens QC)
21 December 2009

Evidence of a defendant's previous behaviour and character that was admitted without demur at trial, where there was a tacit agreement between the parties that the evidence was relevant, admissible and should be admitted, had been correctly admitted regardless of whether or not the evidence amounted to bad character evidence under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and the conviction for murder was safe.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2697
[2009] EWCA Crim 2697
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Field J, Judge Stephens QC)
21 December 2009

Convictions on four counts of murder and a count of attempted murder were safe as the judge's direction on the cause of hypoglycaemic suffered by each of the victims could not be validly criticised and there was no misdirection to the jury on the issue of identity of the perpetrator.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2693
[2009] EWCA Crim 2693
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Thomas LJ, Hughes LJ (V-P), Simon J, Royce J)
18 December 2009

When sentencing for manslaughter following a violent attack on a defenceless victim in the street, specific attention should be paid to the consequences of the crime. Crimes which resulted in death should be treated more seriously.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2695
[2009] EWCA Crim 2695
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Anthony May (President QB), Langstaff J, Wyn Williams J)
15 December 2009

Where the principal committed an unlawful killing with the requisite intent for murder, a secondary party would be liable for murder on the basis of his foresight of what the principal might do, rather than his foresight of the intention with which the principal's act might be performed. Where a judge's directions to the jury had correctly encapsulated that critical element of foresight, the appellant's conviction for murder on the basis of his participation in a joint enterprise was not unsafe.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2701
[2009] EWCA Crim 2701
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Simon J, Royce J)
10 December 2009

A life sentence with a minimum term of 16 years' imprisonment imposed on an offender for murder, wounding with intent and attempted murder was unduly lenient and the minimum term was increased to 25 years' imprisonment in circumstances where the offender had repeatedly stabbed his step-son to death whilst he was asleep.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2553
[2009] EWCA Crim 2553
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Keith J, Foskett J)
3 December 2009

Juries were required to consider expert evidence in the context of all other relevant evidence and make judgments based upon realistic possibilities, and the mere fact that as a matter of scientific certainty it was not possible to rule out a proposition consistent with innocence did not justify withdrawing the case from a jury. Where a judge had, rightly, left the stark choice between the prosecution and defence cases, as to whether a victim had died from injuries inflicted by the defendants or from a cocaine overdose, to the jury, the defendants' subsequent convictions for murder were not unsafe.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2554
[2009] EWCA Crim 2554
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Rafferty J, Henriques J)
3 December 2009

Although an offender, who received a sentence of imprisonment for life with a minimum term of 26 years for murder, had complied with his agreement under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 s.74 and as a result had contributed to the successful prosecution of a corrupt police officer, he deliberately elected not to enter into a statutory agreement in relation to the possible prosecution of the man who shot the victim and his level of co-operation was completely calculated. A discount of five years from the minimum term following a review of the sentence was sufficient in the circumstances.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2848
[2009] EWCA Crim 2848
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Irwin J, Edward-Stuart J)
1 December 2009

The Court of Appeal would not interfere with a terminating ruling unless the judge's refusal to let the case go before the jury was outwith the range of reasonable conclusions.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2458
[2009] EWCA Crim 2458
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Penry-Davey J, Judge Jacobs Recorder of Norwich)
26 November 2009

The fact that a newspaper columnist held strong and well-publicised views on issues such as law and order, knife crime and drugs did not mean that his service as foreman on a jury that convicted a drug dealer of a knife murder ruled the conviction unsafe.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2544
[2009] EWCA Crim 2544
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Penry-Davey J, Henriques J)
13 November 2009

Although the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.10 was silent or unspecific in relation to cases of murder resulting from the misuse of knives, the purpose of the schedule was illustrative and not exhaustive. Accepting that the starting point would not normally be the same as that involving a firearm or explosive, nevertheless it would always be an aggravating feature in any case involving death or injury, that the death or injury had been inflicted with a knife.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2484
[2009] EWCA Crim 2484
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Rafferty J DBE, Henriques J)
5 November 2009

A disparity in the minimum specified term imposed upon co-defendants convicted of murder was justified where one defendant was guilty of sadistic conduct but the other was not.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2988
[2009] EWCA Crim 2988
CA (Crim Div) (Stanley Burnton LJ, Penry-Davey J, Sharp J)
5 November 2009

Fresh evidence indicating that the appellant had been suffering from schizophrenia at the time of his attempt to murder the lady with whom he had been in a relationship did not undermine the safety of his conviction: things said by him during the incident and immediately after it showed that he possessed the specific intent required for the offence.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2243
[2009] EWCA Crim 2243
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Flaux J, Maddison J)
4 November 2009

The appellant's conviction for murder after a guilty plea was not a nullity and was safe, as the partial defences of provocation and diminished responsibility were not available to him at trial and he plainly killed his wife in a violent and frenzied attack. Fresh evidence consisting of his alleged recovered memories could not be relied upon; psychiatrists' conclusions differed, and it was not permissible many years later to allow new psychiatric evidence to re-open an issue that was thoroughly investigated at trial.

[2009] UKPC 40
[2009] UKPC 40
PC (Bze) (Lord Phillips, Lord Rodger, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Sir Jonathan Parker)
4 November 2009

Convictions for murder were found to be unsafe and were quashed where the original account of the main prosecution witness was not credible and differed from his later accounts, where his evidence was given following an agreement that he would be immune from prosecution and where the judge had not given appropriate directions to the jury on those issues.

[2009] UKPC 42
[2009] UKPC 42
PC (Trin) (Lord Phillips, Lord Saville, Lord Rodger, Lord Walker, Lord Mance)
4 November 2009

In wrongly deciding not to leave the question of provocation to the jury to determine, a judge had accepted part of the offender's evidence concerning self control, which had usurped the jury's task of determining the credibility and reliability of the offender's evidence and of drawing the appropriate inferences from all the evidence.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2440
[2009] EWCA Crim 2440
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Rafferty J, Henriques J)
29 October 2009

When conducting a sentence review under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.276 and Sch.22 para.3, a reviewing judge was required to consider the recommendations of the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice but was not bound by them. Accordingly, the judge in the instant case was entitled to uphold the minimum term set by the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2530
[2009] EWCA Crim 2530
CA (Crim Div) (Goldring LJ, Keith J, Foskett J)
28 October 2009

The circumstances in which a jury direction on intention such as that given in R. v Nedrick (Ransford Delroy) [1986] 1 W.L.R. 1025 was appropriate were very few. It was found inappropriate in a case involving a group attack on a lone victim.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2344
[2009] EWCA Crim 2344
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Rafferty J, Henriques J)
27 October 2009

A minimum term of 20 years' imprisonment imposed on a young offender convicted of murder, following an unrelenting and savage attack on an elderly, frail and vulnerable victim, was unduly lenient and was increased to 25 years. The offender had a history of targeting the elderly and there was no evidence that his judgment was substantially impaired by any mental disorder.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2368
[2009] EWCA Crim 2368
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ (V-P) , Mackay J, Davis J)
21 October 2009

Where the precise concatenation of events leading up to offences of murder, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm was not specifically foreseen by the group who committed the offences but what had occurred was within their contemplation, common enterprise was made out.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2876
[2009] EWCA Crim 2876
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Penry-Davey J, Sir Geoffrey Grigson)
9 October 2009

A jury had been entitled to decide that it was sure of the involvement in a stabbing of one defendant but not of another and it had not been logically inconsistent to convict one defendant of attempted murder and acquit the other.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2100
[2009] EWCA Crim 2100
CA (Crim Div) (Keene LJ, Blair J, Judge Rogers QC)
9 October 2009

A sentence of three years' imprisonment imposed on the mother of a murder suspect for perverting the course of justice by providing a deliberately misleading and false statement in support of her son's false account was not manifestly excessive.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1876
[2009] EWCA Crim 1876
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Rafferty J, Slade J)
2 October 2009

Where photographic comparison experts gave evidence of similarities or dissimilarities between a questioned photograph and a known person, the experts were not disabled from expressing their conclusion as to the significance of their findings by the use of conventional expressions arranged in a hierarchical scale.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1775
[2009] EWCA Crim 1775
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Etherton LJ, Cranston J)
20 August 2009

The sentences of five young offenders convicted of the murder or manslaughter of a single victim in a group attack were reduced where the sentencing judge had incorrectly identified premeditation as an aggravating feature, although there was no evidence to suggest that the attack had been pre-planned.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1739
[2009] EWCA Crim 1739
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Treacy J, Stewart QC)
31 July 2009

Fresh evidence as to the timing of a severe head injury to a child would not have led a jury, who found that an offender was guilty of murder, to reach a different conclusion given the offender's confessions to the offence.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1829
[2009] EWCA Crim 1829
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Foskett J, Judge Beaumont Recorder of London)
29 July 2009

A jury was not obliged to accept expert medical evidence of abnormality of mind put forward in a defence of diminished responsibility in relation to a murder charge merely because no contradictory medical evidence had been called by the prosecution. The jury was entitled to consider all the evidential material and circumstances of the killing.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1569
[2009] EWCA Crim 1569
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Holman J, Judge Bevan QC)
27 July 2009

The issue whether an abnormality of mind was such as substantially impaired the mental responsibility of the accused for his acts in doing or being party to a killing was a question of degree and essentially one for the jury. Where there was ample evidence upon which a jury had concluded that a defendant's schizophrenia had not substantially impaired his mental responsibility for carrying out a fatal attack, its verdict that he was guilty of murder was safe.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1718
[2009] EWCA Crim 1718
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Anthony May (President QB), Foskett J, Hickinbottom J)
24 July 2009

The conviction of two men for the murder of a woman could not be impugned on appeal on the basis of the admission of bad character evidence or impeachable jury directions. The judge had been entitled to leave to the jury the question of whether one of the offenders had been more than a mere bystander but had encouraged the other to strangle the woman.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1600
[2009] EWCA Crim 1600
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ (V-P) , Rafferty J, Slade J)
16 July 2009

Where a judge had not been fully informed regarding a witness's circumstances before concluding that her reluctance to give evidence in a murder trial was predominantly caused by fear of the defendant and that it was in the interests of justice that her statement be read, the overall circumstances of the case were such that that irregularity in the proceedings did not affect the safety of the conviction.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1425
[2009] EWCA Crim 1425
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Thomas LJ, Treacy J)
14 July 2009

The court set out the factors to be considered in determining whether to admit fresh evidence, under the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.23, concerning an appellant's mental condition at the time of killings and whether that evidence demonstrated that he had suffered from an abnormality of mind within the meaning of the Homicide Act 1957 s.2, thus rendering a conviction for murder unsafe and requiring its substitution by a conviction for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1362
[2009] EWCA Crim 1362
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Jack J, Sharp J)
9 July 2009

Where a defendant and co-defendant had been convicted of murder on the basis of a joint enterprise, fresh evidence from the co-defendant as to his role in the crime was not credible and inconsistent with there not being a joint enterprise between them, and the defendant's conviction was, accordingly, safe.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1489
[2009] EWCA Crim 1489
CA (Crim Div) (Keene LJ, Holman J, Recorder of Nottingham)
9 July 2009

A minimum term of 22 years' imprisonment for an offence of murder was manifestly excessive where a judge had added seven years to the statutory starting point of 15 years to reflect the fact that the offender had concealed his victim's body for five days following an unpremeditated attack. A specified minimum term of 17 years was substituted for the original term.

[2009] UKPC 30
[2009] UKPC 30
PC (NZ) (Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Sir Christopher Rose)
8 July 2009

Although fresh evidence showed that a miscarriage of justice had occurred at the appellant's trial for murder, it would not be appropriate to allow his appeal against conviction, since the case against him had been overwhelming.

[2009] UKPC 28
[2009] UKPC 28
PC (Jam) (Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Collins of Mapesbury, Sir Christopher Rose, Sir Henry Brooke)
7 July 2009

A failure by a trial judge to give appropriate directions to the jury concerning a joint enterprise meant that murder convictions of three appellants were unsafe. The trial judge ought to have clearly differentiated the position of the appellant who had inflicted the fatal stabbing from the position of the other participants in the attack. The convictions of two appellants were quashed and the case was remitted for a decision as to whether the appellant who had allegedly inflicted the fatal wound should be retried.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1617
[2009] EWCA Crim 1617
CA (Crim Div) (Keene LJ, Holman J, Judge Stokes QC Recorder of Nottingham )
7 July 2009

A trial judge's remarks made when sentencing, at an earlier date, a prosecution witness and then repeated without advance warning during the cross-examination of that witness during the trial at issue had not prejudiced the fairness of the trial as the remarks could not have been seen as endorsing or commenting upon every detailed part of the evidence which the prosecution witness gave at trial.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1304
[2009] EWCA Crim 1304
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Penry-Davey J, Gloster J)
3 July 2009

An offender's age was one factor to be borne in mind as part of the sentencing process but it could not be determinative of the finishing point. The inevitable consequence of a 62-year-old man committing a murder was that he was going to grow old if not die in prison.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1371
[2009] EWCA Crim 1371
CA (Crim Div) (Goldring LJ, Burton J, Recorder of Kingston-Upon-Hull)
23 June 2009

Where a witness had given evidence at a murder trial and at related trials which had taken place a number of years after the murder, the fact that the evidence at the later trials was at times contradictory and conflicting was unsurprising given the passing of time and the circumstances of the trials and did not render the murder conviction unsafe.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1207
[2009] EWCA Crim 1207
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Penry-Davey J, Stadlen J)
12 June 2009

The evidence of a co-accused, who following his conviction made a statement for the police against his acquitted co-defendants for the purposes of reducing his sentence, was in no sense the kind of compelling new material that could justify the reversal of an acquittal.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1076
[2009] EWCA Crim 1076
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Hedley J, Hickinbottom J)
12 June 2009

A trial judge had acted within his discretion when referring in his summing up to a defendant's failure to call his witnesses of fact and his expert to give evidence at trial. The judge had made measured comments, cautioned the jury to be careful and reminded it of the appropriate approach to adopt and had not suggested that there was a burden on the defendant to explain why he had not called the witnesses.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1302
[2009] EWCA Crim 1302
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Collins J, Owen J)
10 June 2009

A judge had been right to impose a minimum term of 30 years for an offence of murder with a sexual orientation element, where the offender had cut his victim's throat whilst he was asleep, ferociously stabbed him, cooked parts of his flesh and chewed a piece.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1372
[2009] EWCA Crim 1372
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Maddison J, Hickinbottom J)
3 June 2009

A conviction for murder was not unsafe where a judge had admitted evidence of violent and aggressive behaviour by the offender towards members of the public in the hours immediately before and after the offence. Since the offender sought to rely upon self-defence, evidence of his pattern of behaviour on the very morning of the offence was plainly admissible.

[2009] EWCA Crim 930
[2009] EWCA Crim 930
CA (Civ Div) (Hooper LJ, Etherton LJ, Cranston J)
22 May 2009

Where a group of youths had been involved in a fatal stabbing and there was an issue about who had dealt the fatal blow, the judge had correctly left the offence of manslaughter for the jury to consider because the youths knew that one of them had a Stanley knife and intended to cause death or serious injury. The fact that the fatal blow had been struck with a different type of knife was not of a fundamentally different character to a blow with a Stanley knife so as to take the events out of the joint enterprise.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1208
[2009] EWCA Crim 1208
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Andrew Smith J, Slade J)
20 May 2009

It was doubtful whether there was a general rule that where there was a causal link between an offender's mental illness and his offence, and the nature of the illness made it appropriate for him to be detained in hospital, a hospital order should be made under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 . Even if there was such a rule, a prison sentence was still an alternative.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1239
[2009] EWCA Crim 1239
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ (V-P) , Holroyde J, Sir Christopher Holland)
20 May 2009

An appellant who had been convicted of murder in circumstances where he had pleaded guilty to manslaughter failed in his appeal against conviction where he alleged that his legal advisers had been wrong to advise him not to give evidence at trial and where he criticised the judge's summing up. The advice he had been given was faultless and the judge's summing up perfectly adequate. Summing up was not written for people who come to the case at a later stage; what mattered in a summing up was whether the issues for the jury were sufficiently identified at the time.

[2009] EWCA Crim 962
[2009] EWCA Crim 962
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, David Clarke J, Wyn Williams J)
14 May 2009

A whole life order imposed and maintained upon review for a conviction concerning the murder of five members of the offender's family was justified and breached neither the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.3, as it represented appropriate punishment for the extreme criminality, nor art.7 as the law against retrospectivity ensured that the sentence could not be increased or extended following review.

[2009] EWCA Crim 963
[2009] EWCA Crim 963
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Lloyd Jones J, Wyn Williams J)
14 May 2009

The minimum term for an offender serving life imprisonment for the murder of two teenage girls was set on review at 28 years, which included a discount of two years for his exceptional progress in custody.

[2009] EWCA Crim 904
[2009] EWCA Crim 904
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Gilbert QC)
1 May 2009

When setting the minimum term for murder, the court was entitled to have regard to the defendant's antecedent behaviour, not all of which would necessarily be evidenced by previous convictions. In the instant case, the judge had been entitled to regard as an aggravating feature the defendant's history of domestic violence towards his deceased partner.

[2009] EWCA Crim 814
[2009] EWCA Crim 814
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ DBE, Simon J, Blake J)
22 April 2009

A sentence of imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of 14 years imposed for attempted murder was manifestly excessive and was reduced to 10 years, as although the relationship with the full offence needed to be borne in mind, it could not be expressed in a mathematical formula in sentencing and the judge should have taken a lower starting point than for the whole offence.

[2009] EWCA Crim 734
[2009] EWCA Crim 734
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Irwin J, Sweeney J)
7 April 2009

There was no basis for a finding that an offender facing trial for the murder of his wife had been unfit to give evidence. Further, the trial judge had correctly directed the jury in relation to the defence of provocation.

[2009] EWCA Crim 651
[2009] EWCA Crim 651
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Aikens LJ, Mackay J, Christopher Clarke J, Holroyde J)
2 April 2009

Although there was no express statutory link between the guidance concerning minimum term in relation to mandatory life sentence in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 and the principles to be applied to sentencing decisions in diminished responsibility manslaughter, there was no logical reason why, subject to the specific element of reduced culpability inherent in the defence of diminished responsibility, the assessment of the seriousness of the offence should ignore the guidance.

[2009] EWCA Crim 593
[2009] EWCA Crim 593
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Wyn Williams J, Holroyde J)
26 March 2009

The court gave guidance for judges structuring a summing up in murder trials where the defendant raised a defence of diminished responsibility based solely on alcohol dependency syndrome without any observable brain damage.

[2009] EWCA Crim 594
[2009] EWCA Crim 594
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Gilbert QC)
25 March 2009

A trial judge had been entitled to make witness anonymity orders in respect of witnesses who had viewed a violent murder in the street outside their homes. Applying the statutory test under the Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008 s.11 it was plain that an anonymity order would have been made had the Act been in force at the time.

[2009] EWHC 564 (Admin)
[2009] EWHC 564 (Admin)
DC (Scott Baker LJ, Silber J)
20 March 2009

The extradition to Australia of an alleged offender, who had a long history of mental illness, to face a murder charge 23 years after the offence was committed was not unjust and oppressive either due to the passage of time under the Extradition Act 2003 s.82 or because of his mental condition under s.91 of the 2003 Act. The critical factors in the case were: the gravity of the alleged offence; he had confessed 20 years later; he would receive a fair trial in Australia; and his mental condition would be treated appropriately in Australia.

[2009] EWCA Crim 490
[2009] EWCA Crim 490
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Irwin J, Wyn Williams J)
18 March 2009

A conviction for murder was unsafe and was quashed after 27 years. The prosecution case had proceeded on the basis that whoever had raped the victim had also murdered her and advances in science proved through DNA evidence that the accused had not raped the deceased.

[2009] EWCA Crim 633
[2009] EWCA Crim 633
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Irwin J, Wyn Williams J)
17 March 2009

Where a man had been acquitted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, new and compelling evidence provided by the victim of a similar attack allegedly committed by the same assailant constituted evidence of sufficient compulsion to justify quashing his acquittal and ordering a retrial. A retrial would not be rendered unfair by her giving evidence although she had suffered brain damage and speech impairment as a result of the attack.

[2009] UKPC 12
[2009] UKPC 12
PC (Trin) (Lord Hoffmann, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Sir Jonathan Parker)
16 March 2009

While it would have been desirable for an identification parade to have been held in a case that depended on the recognition evidence of an accomplice and in which the offence carried the death penalty, the failure to hold such a parade did not, in the circumstances, amount to a miscarriage of justice.

[2009] EWCA Crim 390
[2009] EWCA Crim 390
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Justice Dobbs DBE, Griffith Williams J)
27 February 2009

A sentence of detention for public protection with a minimum term of six years following the conviction of a young offender for attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life was not appropriate. Pre-sentence reports had found that the offender was not dangerous, and there had been insufficient material before the court to justify the rejection of the reports' findings. However, 12 years, which was what the determinate sentence amounted to without the indeterminate sentence coming into play, was not manifestly excessive, taking into account the mitigation and the seriously aggravating feature of the use of a firearm.

[2009] EWCA Crim 213
[2009] EWCA Crim 213
CA (Crim Div) (Stanley Burnton LJ, Treacy J, Slade J)
20 February 2009

A defendant's confession could be given in evidence for a co-accused.

[2009] EWCA Crim 439
[2009] EWCA Crim 439
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Wyn Williams J, Holroyde J)
19 February 2009

The minimum term of a sentence of detention for public protection imposed for attempted murder and robbery was reduced from 13 years to eleven-and-a-half years as the original sentence equated to a determinate term of 26 years' detention, which, even though the offences had been appalling, was too long for a man who was only just 17 when he committed the offences.

[2009] EWCA Crim 542
[2009] EWCA Crim 542
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Blake J, Burnett J)
18 February 2009

A life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years' imprisonment imposed following a conviction for murder was reduced to 25 years' imprisonment as the original sentence had not sufficiently reflected the lack of intention to kill, the fact that the offence had stemmed from a robbery that had gone wrong and the fact that a significant degree of violence had occurred when the victim was unconscious.

[2009] EWCA Crim 806
[2009] EWCA Crim 806
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Hedley J, Recorder of Preston)
16 February 2009

A minimum term of a life sentence imposed for murder was reduced from 18 years' to 16 years' imprisonment, as the judge had erred by increasing the starting point from 15 years to 18 years on the basis that the offender's leaving of a turbulent scene to collect knives was a powerful aggravating feature; the judge had identified two mitigating features, which he should have allowed for as lessening the serious aggravating feature.

[2009] EWCA Crim 50
[2009] EWCA Crim 50
CA (Crim Div) (Scott Baker LJ, Bennett J, Andrew Smith J)
2 February 2009

Convictions for murder and manslaughter based on a continuing joint enterprise were, in the circumstances, safe.

[2009] EWCA Crim 64
[2009] EWCA Crim 64
CA (Crim Div) (Keene LJ, Bean J, Justice Plender)
22 January 2009

Where there was no evidence of the secondary party to a murder having envisaged the shooting which resulted in the death of the victim causing only minor harm, there was no basis for a manslaughter verdict and the possibility of such a verdict did not have to be left to the jury.

[2008] EWCA Crim 3059
[2008] EWCA Crim 3059
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Sweeney J, Sir Christopher Holland)
18 December 2008

A person suffering from paranoid schizophrenia had been fit to plead, but new evidence on appeal demonstrated that he had been suffering from such abnormality of mind as substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his acts in killing the deceased.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2936
[2008] EWCA Crim 2936
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Sweeney J, Judge Elgan Edwards QC (Recorder of Chester))
5 December 2008

A minimum term of three years' imprisonment following the imposition of a life sentence for an offence of murder was unduly lenient and was increased to 10 years. Whilst that was a relatively low term it had to be fixed by reference to the minimum term imposed on a co-defendant of 14 years.

[2008] UKPC 56
[2008] UKPC 56
PC (BVI) (Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury)
1 December 2008

When ruling on a submission of no case to answer to a charge of murder, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal had erred by failing to apply the test of determining what inferences a reasonable jury properly directed might draw, as distinct from those which the court itself thought could or could not be drawn.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2990
[2008] EWCA Crim 2990
CA (Crim Div) (Stanley Burnton LJ, Bennett J, Judge Stephens QC)
1 December 2008

A life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years imposed following a conviction for a murder committed in the course of a plan to rob the victim was reduced to 24 years where the offender was 25 years old and of previous good character, where any premeditation had been as to robbery and not to murder, and where the robbery itself was at the lower end of the scale.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2563
[2008] EWCA Crim 2563
CA (Crim Div) (Maurice Kay LJ, King J, Sweeney J)
19 November 2008

Where an individual was young at the time of a previous incident, the incident had occurred many years previously, there had been no conviction and it was uncertain that it would be triable only on indictment, evidence of the incident did not have sufficient probative value to be adduced as evidence of bad character.

[2009] EWCA Crim 3249
[2009] EWCA Crim 3249
CA (Crim Div) (Moore-Bick LJ, Beatson J, Judge Jacobs)
13 November 2008

Evidence of previous incidents of violence by a gang of youths on the same evening that the gang fatally assaulted a man was relevant to the state of mind of the defendant, who had thrown the first punch but denied any further involvement in the assault.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2826
[2008] EWCA Crim 2826
CA (Crim Div) (Keene LJ, Aikens J, Judge Patience QC)
10 November 2008

Minimum terms of 25 years were appropriate for offenders sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder that had taken place in the course of a robbery which had followed a consensual sexual encounter between the victim and one of the offenders.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2552
[2008] EWCA Crim 2552
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Field J, Dobbs J)
4 November 2008

It was open to a jury to convict an offender of murder and violent disorder on the basis of her participation in a joint enterprise where it was accepted that the offender had originally become party to the joint enterprise and the recorder had given the jury appropriate directions as to whether she had ceased to be part of the joint enterprise at the relevant time.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2818
[2008] EWCA Crim 2818
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Cranston J, Burnett J)
31 October 2008

A life sentence with a specified minimum term of 13 years was appropriate in the case of a father who had murdered his six-month-old child during a violent incident when he had lost his temper in the heat of the moment.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2867
[2008] EWCA Crim 2867
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Cranston J, Sir Christopher Holland)
30 October 2008

The principle of proportionality between the time served for attempted murder and the minimum term which would have been served had the attempt been successful could be maintained by reducing a sentence of 18 years' imprisonment to 15 years where the attack resulted in serious damage but there were mitigating factors.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2500
[2008] EWCA Crim 2500
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Thomas LJ, Leveson LJ, Owen J, Christopher Clarke J)
29 October 2008

The sentencing provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.269 and Sch.21 were not intended to be applied inflexibly. It could not be right that a man who wished to have his wife murdered, and arranged and agreed to pay for it, should have a lower minimum term starting point than the man he employed to carry out the killing, merely because the facts did not fit the specific 2003 Act high seriousness criteria, especially in circumstances where it was the husband who in fact carried out the murder.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2501
[2008] EWCA Crim 2501
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Chief Justice, Owen J, Christopher Clarke J)
29 October 2008

The assessment of the seriousness of an offence involved a broad judgment of overall criminality and even a definitive sentencing guideline was not to be approached as if each offence could be put into a fixed and inflexible compartment. The recommended starting point for setting the notional determinate sentence for the gravest cases where a defendant was under 18 was 13 years, with a sentencing range of 10 to 16 years. In the instant case, a minimum term of 16 years and three months was reduced by nine months to reflect an element of remorse.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2897
[2008] EWCA Crim 2897
CA (Crim Div) (Maurice Kay LJ, McCombe J, Sweeney J)
24 October 2008

A sentence of 12 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offence of attempted murder where a man had stabbed his former wife in the presence of their 11-year-old daughter.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2583
[2008] EWCA Crim 2583
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, David Clarke J, Judge Morris QC)
20 October 2008

It was open to a sentencing judge to apply the Criminal Justice Act 2003 sch.21 para 5(2)(c) and conclude that a murder had been committed for gain in the course of a robbery even where there was no second count on the indictment for robbery before the jury.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2665
[2008] EWCA Crim 2665
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ DBE, Henriques J, Judge Rook QC)
15 October 2008

Sentences of life imprisonment with minimum terms of 19 years and 13 years imposed on two offenders for murder were unduly lenient as the murder was intrinsically linked with sexual activity and therefore the judge should have followed the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5(2)(e) and taken a starting point of 30 years' imprisonment. The minimum terms were replaced with terms of 24 years and 18 years.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2437
[2008] EWCA Crim 2437
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Henriques J, David Clarke J)
8 October 2008

A minimum term of 15 years set in relation to a sentence of detention at Her Majesty's pleasure imposed on a 15-year-old following her conviction for murder, she having stabbed the victim whilst under the influence of drink and drugs, was reduced to 12 years in light of the defendant's youth and the influence of her older boyfriend.

[2008] EWCA Crim 3099
[2008] EWCA Crim 3099
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Silber J, Cox J)
9 September 2008

A sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years was appropriate in the case of a husband who had murdered his wife, where the attack was unpremeditated but ferocious, and where he had hidden the body and had lied to his young daughter about her mother's whereabouts.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2122
[2008] EWCA Crim 2122
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President QB), Penry-Davey J, Simon J)
30 July 2008

The court gave guidance about the procedural changes made with immediate effect concerning the treatment of applications made pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 para.3 for a review of a life sentence. The changes would ensure that a reviewing judge be equipped with relevant information and evidence. The court also examined the provisions of Sch.21 para.4 concerning sentences for murders involving sadistic conduct.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1739
[2008] EWCA Crim 1739
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Silber J, Judge Radford)
30 July 2008

On the evidence a jury was entitled to conclude that there had been a causal link or connection between the actions of the appellants in counselling, aiding and abetting the commission of the offence of murder and the commission of the offence by another and the trial judge was right to reject the submission of no case to answer.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1601
[2008] EWCA Crim 1601
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers LCJ, Pitchford J, Dobbs J)
23 July 2008

A whole life term should not be considered as a sentence that was irreducible. Any European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.3 challenge where a whole life term had been imposed should therefore be made, not at the time of the imposition of the sentence, but at the stage when the prisoner contended that, having regard to all the material circumstances, any further detention would constitute degrading or inhuman treatment.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1717
[2008] EWCA Crim 1717
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Simon J, Irwin J)
15 July 2008

A sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years imposed for murder was not manifestly excessive where a knife had been used in an altercation between members of two gangs.

[2008] UKPC 37
[2008] UKPC 37
PC (Mau) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Mance)
9 July 2008

A mandatory sentence of penal servitude for life was akin to a mandatory death sentence and breached the Constitution of Mauritius. There was no opportunity for offenders to avail themselves of further possibilities of release, and therefore the sentence was disproportionate, arbitrary and contrary to the Constitution.

[2008] UKHL 45
[2008] UKHL 45
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury)
2 July 2008

A defendant involved in a joint enterprise which resulted in murder only had to foresee what his associate might do, not what he specifically intended to do, to be guilty of murder as an accessory.

[2008] UKPC 36
[2008] UKPC 36
PC (Jam) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Mance)
1 July 2008

The failure of defence counsel to call a crucial witness and to raise the issue of the defendant's good character rendered the defendant's conviction for murder unsafe.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1342
[2008] EWCA Crim 1342
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Roberts QC)
25 June 2008

Convictions for murder and attempted murder were safe as there had been sufficient evidence for a jury to find that the appellants were members of an armed gang ready and willing to shoot to kill during any confrontation that might have arisen.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1305
[2008] EWCA Crim 1305
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President QB), Aikens J, Swift J)
20 June 2008

At the murder trial of a defendant who suffered from alcohol dependency syndrome the judge had misdirected the jury when addressing a verdict of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility as he had implied that unless the jury were of the opinion that every drink consumed by the defendant was involuntary his alcohol dependency syndrome had to be disregarded.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1444
[2008] EWCA Crim 1444
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Philips LCJ, Goldring J, Plender J)
17 June 2008

A judge had been correct to follow the guidance in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5 in sentencing an offender to 30 years' imprisonment for the attempted murder of her husband by the administration of antifreeze.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1417
[2008] EWCA Crim 1417
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, Goldring J, Plender J)
17 June 2008

Conduct during a murder would only amount to sadistic conduct within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5(2)(e) if the offender had a significant degree of awareness of pleasure in the infliction of pain, suffering or humiliation.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1436
[2008] EWCA Crim 1436
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Andrew Smith J, Judge Loraine-Smith)
13 June 2008

A judge had been correct to sentence a group of young offenders to lengthy minimum terms following their convictions for the murder of a rival gang member. Such long sentences had to act as a deterrent to gangland warfare and make it clear that long sentences would always follow such blatant and chilling offences.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2505
[2008] EWCA Crim 2505
CA (Crim Div) (Forbes J, Roderick Evans J, Thomas LJ)
11 June 2008

The proper course of action, before pursuing an appeal against a criminal conviction based on an allegation against a defendant's counsel, was to take steps to ascertain counsel's position in relation to the allegation.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1222
[2008] EWCA Crim 1222
CA (Crim Div) (Toulson LJ, Jack J, Simon J)
10 June 2008

Once the jury had found that a teenage defendant had deliberately started a fire in his house where the rest of his family were asleep in bed, and that he had walked away from the house once the fire had taken hold, the inference was overwhelming that he must have appreciated that death or serious injury was a virtual certainty. He therefore had the necessary intent for murder.

[2008] UKPC 32
[2008] UKPC 32
PC (Trin) (Lord Hoffmann, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Carswell, Lord Mance)
9 June 2008

The function of prosecuting counsel was to act as a minister of justice, concerned with the fairness of the trial and the presentation of the case. Proper standards of decorum and courtesy should be observed by prosecuting counsel in the conduct of their case, their treatment of witnesses, and the presentation of their addresses to the jury.

[2008] EWHC 1370 (Admin)
[2008] EWHC 1370 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Mitting J)
3 June 2008

The secretary of state had been entitled to order that a life prisoner should remain in closed conditions whilst awaiting a rehabilitation course despite a recommendation of the Parole Board that he be transferred to open conditions.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1111
[2008] EWCA Crim 1111
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ, David Clarke J, MacDuff J)
21 May 2008

A conviction for murder was safe as the judge had correctly directed the jury on joint enterprise and was not, in the circumstances, required to leave to the jury the possibility of an alternative verdict of guilty of manslaughter.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1226
[2008] EWCA Crim 1226
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Openshaw J, Sir Richard Curtis)
20 May 2008

Sentences of 18 years' imprisonment imposed on three defendants for attempted murder were manifestly excessive, as the judge should not have followed the sentencing route in R. v Ford (Kevin) [2005] EWCA Crim 1358, [2006] 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 36.

[2008] EWCA Civ 539
[2008] EWCA Civ 539
CA (Civ Div) (Thorpe LJ, Wall LJ, Stanley Burnton LJ)
20 May 2008

Where an appellant had previously been acquitted of attempting to kill his wife, but in subsequent family proceedings to determine contact with their child a recorder had made a finding that the appellant had attempted to kill her, the recorder's handling of the evidence was such that his finding was unsafe and would be set aside. Further, the matter was of such importance that it would be retried.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1162
[2008] EWCA Crim 1162
CA (Crim Div) (Keene LJ, Saunders J, Recorder of Swansea)
14 May 2008

Where a defendant had been charged with alternative counts, the trial judge should not have taken a verdict from a jury on the less serious count before giving them more time to consider their verdict on the more serious count, but that had not rendered unlawful their subsequent verdict of guilty on the more serious count.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1014
[2008] EWCA Crim 1014
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President QB), Butterfield J, Swift J)
13 May 2008

Convictions for conspiracy to rob and for murder were safe as there was ample evidence for the jury to reach a decision that the appellants had intended to permanently deprive the victim of his car and the judge had correctly ruled there was a case to answer and that evidence of each robbery was mutually supportive.

[2008] EWCA Crim 969
[2008] EWCA Crim 969
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Blake J, Sir Christopher Holland)
2 May 2008

A judge had erred in imposing a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 30 years for murder where he had failed to make a discount in the sentence to reflect that the murder was not premeditated. The only enterprise premeditated by the offender had been robbery and he might have shared an intention to facilitate escape by inflicting grievous bodily harm as was necessary for that purpose.

[2008] EWCA Crim 971
[2008] EWCA Crim 971
CA (Crim Div) (Toulson LJ, Aikens J, Judge Michael Baker QC)
1 May 2008

Particular caution was required where scientific knowledge on a matter might be incomplete. Special caution was also needed where expert opinion evidence was not just relied upon as additional material to support a prosecution but was fundamental to it. Where the medical scenario advanced by an appellant could not safely be dismissed as definitely incredible, her conviction for murder was unsafe.

[2008] EWCA Crim 923
[2008] EWCA Crim 923
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Irwin J, Coulson J)
29 April 2008

Where a defendant who was charged with murder had refused to be assessed for mental illness and refused legal advice to plead guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, it was not in the interests of justice to admit fresh evidence 10 years after the offence in relation to the defendant's mental state at the time of the killing as it was clear from the evidence that the defendant's decision to plead not guilty was tactical.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1018
[2008] EWCA Crim 1018
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Blake J, Sir Christopher Holland)
24 April 2008

A minimum term of 14 years imposed on a 16-year-old in relation to a sentence of detention at Her Majesty's pleasure, following his conviction for murder, was reduced to 12 years as insufficient weight had been given to significant mitigating factors.

[2008] EWCA Crim 879
[2008] EWCA Crim 879
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ, Tugendhat J, Blair J)
23 April 2008

Convictions for murder were not unsafe where the prosecution's case was one which depended on the evidence of two witnesses and where no evidence or other material had been put before the court which could undermine the evidence given by those witnesses

[2008] EWCA Crim 1060
[2008] EWCA Crim 1060
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers LCJ, Pitchford J, Dobbs J)
22 April 2008

A minimum term of 18 years imposed in relation to a life sentence for murder was unduly lenient as the aggravating features of the offence made it one of high seriousness and a minimum term of 22 years was substituted. The sentencing exercise required an assessment of the seriousness of an offence regardless of whether the appropriate starting point was 15 or 30 years.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1055
[2008] EWCA Crim 1055
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers LCJ, Pitchford J, Dobbs J)
21 April 2008

The sentencing judge should have adopted a starting point of 15 years instead of 30 years when setting the minimum term for an offender convicted of murder because the evidence raised the possibility that the crime had involved sexual conduct but could not safely lead to that conclusion for the purpose of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5.

[2008] EWCA Crim 769
[2008] EWCA Crim 769
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, David Clarke J, Maddison J)
3 April 2008

A minimum term of 17 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had fatally stabbed his victim after making abusive remarks about his country of origin.

[2008] EWCA Crim 586
[2008] EWCA Crim 586
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President QB), Gross J, Blair J)
19 March 2008

Where two defendants had been charged with counts of murder and causing or allowing the death of a 16-month-old child contrary to the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 s.5, it was not unfair or an abuse of process for the Crown, in anticipation of a submission of no case to answer, to withdraw the allegation of murder against one of the defendants, but not the other, after the conclusion of the evidence. It was highly unlikely that in a case to which s.6(4) of the Act applied that a defendant would be recalled in order to give evidence of a contradictory defence.

[2008] EWCA Crim 585
[2008] EWCA Crim 585
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Maddison J, Sir Richard Curtis)
18 March 2008

In a trial for murder, there had been no unfairness to a defendant where a judge ruled as admissible, under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(d), evidence of assaults the Crown had chosen not to prosecute but had chosen to rely on as evidence that the defendant had a propensity to commit offences of the kind with which he was charged.

[2008] EWCA Crim 592
[2008] EWCA Crim 592
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President QB), Forbes J, Mackay J)
27 February 2008

A sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 35 years where a 21-year-old uncle had raped and strangled his two-year-old niece was not excessive. The sentencing judge had taken account of the defendant's age and guilty plea in deciding not to impose a whole life order, and so those features could not be factored into calculation of the minimum term because it would have provided the defendant with a second discount.

[2008] UKPC 11
[2008] UKPC 11
PC (Bze) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury)
21 February 2008

A judge did not discharge his duty to give proper directions on the special dangers of dock identification without an identification parade by giving appropriate directions on the approach to be adopted to eyewitness identification evidence in general. Though related, the issues were different and where they both arose, the judge had to address both of them.

[2008] EWCA Crim 76
[2008] EWCA Crim 76
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Saunders J, Sir Christopher Holland)
8 February 2008

A conviction was safe where it was impossible to conclude that a person who had been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, when facing a charge of murder arising out of conduct triggered by a flashback to that abuse, would not have realised its central importance to his case. It was of central importance to the law that a person charged should advance whatever material was available to him at trial.

[2008] EWCA Crim 269
[2008] EWCA Crim 269
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Philips LCJ, Silber J, Underhill J)
28 January 2008

A judge had correctly applied the relevant law to the facts before him when considering whether or not it was in the interests of justice for certain parts of the evidence in the defendant's trial to be heard in private and he had been fully justified in concluding that they should.

[2008] EWCA Crim 59
[2008] EWCA Crim 59
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Underhill J, Sir Christopher Holland)
18 January 2008

A minimum term of 11 years' imprisonment for an offence of murder was, in the circumstances, manifestly excessive having regard to the relevant mitigation and the young offender's plea of guilty alone was sufficient to reduce that sentence to a lesser period. A minimum term of nine years' imprisonment was substituted.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3132
[2007] EWCA Crim 3132
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Mackay J, Cox J)
21 December 2007

Fresh evidence that sought to cast doubt on the timing of the death of a murder victim and fresh DNA evidence would not reasonably have affected a jury's decision to convict the appellant of murder.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3130
[2007] EWCA Crim 3130
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Philips LCJ, Ouseley J, Blake J)
21 December 2007

In the circumstances a confession, parts of which were manifestly untrue, did not constitute new and compelling evidence under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.78 that the respondent was guilty of murder so as to justify the quashing of his acquittal and an order for a new trial.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3300
[2007] EWCA Crim 3300
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Gage LJ, Tugendhat J)
18 December 2007

Sentences imposed on three offenders for offences of conspiring to incite murder through the creation of websites and internet chat forums which had been funded by credit card fraud were unduly lenient and failed to reflect the gravity of offending.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3269
[2007] EWCA Crim 3269
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Cooke J, Cranston J)
17 December 2007

The purpose of a Brown direction was to avoid the mischief where the jury could reach a verdict of guilty by alternative routes but one of the routes might lead some members of the jury to conclude that it should reach a verdict of not guilty. A Brown direction was not required where all routes to a verdict inevitably led to a verdict of guilty.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3166
[2007] EWCA Crim 3166
CA (Crim Div) (Richards LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Stephens QC)
12 December 2007

A failure by a judge to give reasons for the minimum term imposed did not invalidate the minimum terms of 18 years' imprisonment imposed following the appellants' convictions for murder.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3217
[2007] EWCA Crim 3217
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Mackay J, Cox J)
11 December 2007

A judge had wrongly decided that time spent in custody on remand was not to count towards a minimum term to be served by an offender.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3140
[2007] EWCA Crim 3140
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Mackay J, Judge Scott Gall)
7 December 2007

It was appropriate to quash a conviction under the Firearms Act 1968 s.17(2) for possessing a firearm at the time of committing an offence listed in Sch.1 to the 1968 Act, because the related offence was attempted murder, which was not an offence listed in Sch.1.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3437
[2007] EWCA Crim 3437
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Mackay J, Judge Scott Gall)
4 December 2007

A judge's warning as to the necessity of taking care in the drawing of an inference from a defendant's failure to call available witnesses had been clear and had not deflected the jury from its appreciation that the defendant was not under an obligation to prove anything.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3148
[2007] EWCA Crim 3148
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Jack J, Cranston J)
3 December 2007

A sentence of imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of 11 years and eight months was not manifestly excessive where the defendant had stabbed with a knife the social worker appointed to assist with the arrangements for his family.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2947
[2007] EWCA Crim 2947
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President QB), Mackay J, David Clarke J)
29 November 2007

A judge had been correct to admit evidence of a defendant's involvement in a previous violent incident with a co-defendant, as it went towards an important matter in issue between the Crown and the defendant. In addition, letters from two jurors expressing concern that an incorrect verdict had been reached, essentially amounted to a change of heart and formed no basis to interfere with the conviction.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3370
[2007] EWCA Crim 3370
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Underhill J, Sir Richard Curtis)
23 November 2007

Custody for life with a minimum term of 25 years for a murder involving the use of a firearm was not manifestly excessive in the case of an offender aged 18 at the time, since although age was generally a powerful mitigating feature, it had been outweighed by the aggravating factors of the case.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2722
[2007] EWCA Crim 2722
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, Leveson LJ, Simon J)
15 November 2007

Where expert forensic evidence gave the impression that it was unlikely that the presence of a single particle of firearms discharge residue in the pocket of the accused resulted from innocent contamination, and where the judge summed up accordingly, the jury had been misled on the issue and, as fresh evidence indicated that the probative value of the evidence was neutral, the conviction was unsafe.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3083
[2007] EWCA Crim 3083
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Cox J, Swift J)
9 November 2007

A judge had not erred in finding that evidence of a co-defendant's bad character had no substantial probative value under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(e), even where another judge may have come to a different conclusion.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2635
[2007] EWCA Crim 2635
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, Davis J, Simon J)
24 October 2007

In setting a minimum term for murder under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.276 a judge was wrong to have concluded that the Home Secretary would have imposed a higher term than that recommended by the trial judge. The minimum term of 17 years was quashed and replaced with a minimum term of 15 years as recommended by the trial judge.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2755
[2007] EWCA Crim 2755
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Davis J, Simon J)
24 October 2007

The court quashed a sentence of 24 years' imprisonment imposed on an appellant who was convicted by a jury of attempted murder and replaced it with one of 20 years' imprisonment as it exceeded the appropriate range.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2631
[2007] EWCA Crim 2631
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Philips LCJ, Davis J, Simon J)
23 October 2007

Although a judge's directions to a jury in relation to bad character evidence admitted during a murder trial had been unhelpful in some respects, because they had not led the jury into error and the case against the defendant was overwhelming, the conviction was safe.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2739
[2007] EWCA Crim 2739
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Hedley J, Calvert-Smith J)
16 October 2007

Where a victim had fallen, sustaining a fatal head injury, a very short time after receiving a blow from the defendant, it was unnecessary in the defendant's trial for murder to give the jury a direction on intervening events.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2666
[2007] EWCA Crim 2666
CA (Crim Div) (Toulson LJ, Gibbs J, Judge Wide QC)
15 October 2007

A sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of six years was quashed and replaced with a hospital order as the mental disorder the appellant was suffering from was of a nature or degree which made it appropriate for him to be detained in hospital for medical treatment.

[2007] EWHC 2605 (Admin)
[2007] EWHC 2605 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Jackson J)
10 October 2007

On the basis of the material before him, the Secretary of State for Justice had been entitled to order that a life prisoner should remain in closed conditions despite the recommendation of the parole board that he be transferred to open conditions.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2318
[2007] EWCA Crim 2318
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Pitchers J, Treacy J)
10 October 2007

Minimum terms for life imprisonment were reduced where greater weight should have been placed on the absence of intention to kill on the part of both defendants.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2559
[2007] EWCA Crim 2559
CA (Crim Div) (Thomas LJ, Openshaw J, Underhill J)
8 October 2007

The circumstances of a case of indecent assault, attempted rape and attempted murder justified two concurrent sentences of life imprisonment but a minimum period should have been specified under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.82A as the punitive and retributive element of the sentence did not require detention for life. A minimum period of nine years was specified.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2630
[2007] EWCA Crim 2630
CA (Crim Div) (Toulson LJ, Gibbs J, Judge Wide QC)
3 October 2007

Offenders who attempted to murder a victim who subsequently made a good recovery should ordinarily be sentenced to a minimum term that reflected half the term that would have been imposed had the attempt been successful, but where a victim survived having suffered devastating injury, the minimum period should reflect two-thirds of the minimum term that the offender would have served had the victim died outright.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2195
[2007] EWCA Crim 2195
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Pitchford J, Sir Richard Curtis)
18 September 2007

The appropriate starting point for an attempted murder, in the circumstances, particularly where the severely injured victim made a full recovery, was 12 years, which was subject to the conventional one-third discount for an early guilty plea.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2823
[2007] EWCA Crim 2823
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Mitting J, Cox J)
6 September 2007

A minimum term of imprisonment of 18 years for murder was appropriate for a prolonged, vicious and premeditated attack by the defendant on his friend.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2257
[2007] EWCA Crim 2257
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Treacy J, Ramsey J)
24 August 2007

An offence of murder could not be characterised as exceptionally serious, and therefore a whole-life order was inappropriate, where there was ambiguity about what had led the defendant to kill the victim and there was no evidence of sexual activity or motivation.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2591
[2007] EWCA Crim 2591
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Mackay J, Davis J)
1 August 2007

A sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 32 years was appropriate in the case of the appellant, who had set fire to a home, killing the couple that occupied it and causing serious burns to their 17-year-old daughter.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2083
[2007] EWCA Crim 2083
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President QB), Pitchers J, Openshaw J)
25 July 2007

A judge had been correct in concluding that there was a case to answer where a confession made by a defendant was false, since it was done as part of a joint enterprise to which the defendant was party, in an attempt to bear the blame himself on grounds of diminished responsibility and to exculpate other members of his family of murder.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2687
[2007] EWCA Crim 2687
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Griffith Williams J, King J)
24 July 2007

Six defendants' convictions were not safe where there was the possibility that a former co-defendant and witness for the prosecution could have been manipulated by his solicitor in order not to provide oral evidence at trial.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1715
[2007] EWCA Crim 1715
CA (Crim Div) (Leveson LJ, Treacy J, Flaux J)
19 July 2007

At the defendants' murder trial the judge had correctly allowed a witness' statements to be read to the court on the basis that she would not give oral evidence because she was in fear of reprisals from the defendants and their associates, and had correctly ruled that covert surveillance of one of the defendants whilst in prison on remand was lawful and evidence of it admissible.

[2007] UKPC 47
[2007] UKPC 47
PC (StV) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Mance)
16 July 2007

Where a jury had not been given appropriate directions and had been wrongly permitted to consider the statements of each defendant in considering the case against the other, and there was no reason to distinguish between the two defendants, both would be retried.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1954
[2007] EWCA Crim 1954
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Griffith Williams J, King J)
16 July 2007

A minimum term of 35 years' imprisonment imposed in conjunction with a mandatory life sentence for the murder of the offender's two children was reduced to 30 years where insufficient account had been taken by the sentencing judge of the offender's history of mental illness and the lack of premeditation.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2789
[2007] EWCA Crim 2789
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Silber J, Wilkie J)
4 July 2007

There was no requirement that all the ingredients of murder, including that of mens rea, had to be proved before a defendant could be convicted of infanticide under the Infanticide Act 1938 s.1(1) .

[2007] EWHC 1448 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1448 (QB)
QBD (Davis J)
22 June 2007

A minimum term of 18 years for murder was appropriate where the offender and a co-defendant had sought out their victim to rob him or disrupt his drug-dealing activities and had then used a firearm to kill him.

[2007] EWHC 1444 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1444 (QB)
QBD (Davis J)
22 June 2007

A minimum term of 10 years' imprisonment was appropriate in circumstances where an offender had pleaded guilty to murdering a drinking companion who sometimes provoked the offender when they had both been drinking.

[2007] EWHC 1225 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1225 (QB)
QBD (Wilkie J)
21 June 2007

A minimum term of 25 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender, who had been convicted of two counts of conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and murder, where there had been political motivation and the attacks had been highly organised.

[2007] EWHC 1223 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1223 (QB)
QBD (Wilkie J)
21 June 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had driven to his wife's lover's home armed with a knife, stabbed and killed his wife and attempted to murder her lover.

[2007] EWHC 1220 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1220 (QB)
QBD (Wilkie J)
21 June 2007

A notified minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment for a crack addicted offender, who had stabbed and killed a visitor to a crack house in the mistaken belief that the visitor was a police informer, was reduced to 13 years to reflect the offender's exceptional progress in prison.

[2007] EWHC 1221 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1221 (QB)
QBD (Wilkie J)
21 June 2007

A minimum term of 16 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had targeted, sexually assaulted and murdered and 80 year old woman in her own home.

[2007] EWHC 1224 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1224 (QB)
QBD (Wilkie J)
21 June 2007

A minimum term of 17 years was appropriate in circumstances where the offender had killed his victim in the course of furtherance of a burglary.

[2007] EWHC 1437 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1437 (QB)
QBD (Tomlinson J)
20 June 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had killed a man with a single stab wound.

[2007] EWHC 1440 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1440 (QB)
QBD (Tomlinson J)
20 June 2007

A minimum term of 13 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who carried a small knife as a precaution and had a record including violence involving a knife, but had stabbed and killed the victim without planning or pre-meditation.

[2007] EWHC 1436 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1436 (QB)
QBD (Tomlinson J)
20 June 2007

A minimum term of 15 years was appropriate in the case of an offender who had beaten and strangled his mistress.

[2007] EWHC 1435 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1435 (QB)
QBD (Tomlinson J)
20 June 2007

A minimum term of 14 years was appropriate for an offender who had stabbed a victim who had intervened to stop the offender causing a fracas in a public house.

[2007] EWHC 1438 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1438 (QB)
QBD (Tomlinson J)
20 June 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate in the case of an offender who had stabbed her victim 28 times.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1743
[2007] EWCA Crim 1743
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Dobbs J, Lloyd Jones J)
20 June 2007

The fresh evidence of a psychiatrist that an appellant, who had pleaded guilty to murder several years earlier, had suffered from a personality disorder which amounted to an abnormality of mind did not cast doubt on the safety of the conviction and should not be admitted.

[2007] EWHC 1321 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1321 (QB)
QBD (Langstaff J)
15 June 2007

A minimum term of 17 years was appropriate for an offender who had been 20 years old at the time he took part in a planned revenge attack on the occupants of a car, in which he and three or four others used axes and swords, killing one person and seriously wounding four others.

[2007] EWHC 1322 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1322 (QB)
QBD (Langstaff J)
15 June 2007

A minimum term of 17 years, as recommended by the trial judge, was appropriate in the case of an offender who as part of a gang had taken a vulnerable youth hostage to extract money and information from him, then beaten him to death before stripping him and setting his body alight.

[2007] EWHC 1323 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1323 (QB)
QBD (Langstaff J)
15 June 2007

The appropriate minimum term was 27 years for an offender who, at the age of 19, had taken part in an armed revenge attack on the occupants of a car, killing one and seriously wounding the other four, and then a few months later as part of a gang had taken hostage a vulnerable youth, beaten him to death and burnt his body.

[2007] EWHC 747 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 747 (QB)
QBD (Langstaff J)
15 June 2007

A minimum term of 23 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate where numerous injuries were inflicted on a child victim and, overall, the aggravating features substantially outweighed anything that was said in mitigation.

[2007] EWHC 1385 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1385 (QB)
QBD (Holland J)
14 June 2007

A minimum term of 14 years was appropriate where the victim was stabbed by the offender after intervening to stop him from assaulting another person.

[2007] EWHC 1386 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1386 (QB)
QBD (Holland J)
14 June 2007

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had planned a murder with his girlfriend out of revenge and had inflicted suffering before killing the victim but had pleaded guilty on the first day of trial.

[2007] EWHC 1387 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1387 (QB)
QBD (Holland J)
14 June 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had battered to death the occupant of a house during the course of a burglary.

[2007] EWHC 1388 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1388 (QB)
QBD (Holland J)
14 June 2007

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had attacked and killed his partner and her mother with a chisel.

[2007] EWHC 1384 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1384 (QB)
QBD (Holland J)
14 June 2007

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had murdered a man by beating him about the head with a sporting trophy and had then set fire to the body.

[2007] EWHC 1389 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1389 (QB)
QBD (Holland J)
14 June 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had stabbed and killed his drug dealer and then stolen his stock of cannabis.

PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood)
13 June 2007

Although a judge's directions to the jury had been imperfect in a murder trial in Trinidad and Tobago involving four defendants, two of whom were alleged to have acted as a joint enterprise and two of whom were alleged to have aided and abetted, the summing up, taken as a whole, had been adequate and the jury had had the issues sufficiently placed before them.

[2007] EWHC 1923 (Admin)
[2007] EWHC 1923 (Admin)
DC (Laws LJ, Mitting J)
8 June 2007

Despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that a defendant's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6 had been breached, the Criminal Cases Review Commission had not erred in its refusal to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal on the basis that the issue ruled on would have had a limited impact on the safety of a conviction.

[2007] EWHC 1200 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1200 (QB)
QBD (Ouseley J)
6 June 2007

A minimum term of 20 years' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender had violently and sadistically assaulted the victim over a number of hours, instigated his murder the following day and disposed of his body parts.

[2007] EWHC 1199 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1199 (QB)
QBD (Ouseley J)
6 June 2007

A minimum term of 12 years five months' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender had stabbed and killed the victim.

[2007] EWHC 1265 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1265 (QB)
QBD (Ouseley J)
6 June 2007

It was appropriate to uphold a recommendation of the trial judge to impose a minimum term of 20 years for murder where the aggravating factors of the use of firearms and dismemberment and disposal of the body required a higher term but it was necessary to limit it to that which would have been imposed under the previous practice of the Home Secretary.

[2007] EWHC 1198 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1198 (QB)
QBD (Ouseley J)
6 June 2007

Although in the light of the aggravating features of an offence the court was minded to impose a minimum term of 18 years, a minimum term of 16 years was appropriate where the court was required to limit the term to that which was likely to have been previously notified by the Home Secretary under his practice prior to the commencement of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

[2007] EWHC 1313 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1313 (QB)
QBD (Ouseley J)
6 June 2007

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender had been part of a joint enterprise in a murder and in the dismemberment and disposal of the body.

[2007] EWHC 1197 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1197 (QB)
QBD (Ouseley J)
6 June 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had played a leading role in a gratuitously violent group attack that led to the victim's death but who may not have had an intent to kill.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1907
[2007] EWCA Crim 1907
CA (Crim Div) (Longmore LJ, Holland J, Nelson J)
6 June 2007

A minimum term of 13 years was appropriate for an offender who had pleaded guilty to murdering his ex-partner, where provocation and his mental state, whilst not amounting to defences, were nevertheless mitigating factors.

[2007] EWHC 1123 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1123 (QB)
QBD (Bean J)
24 May 2007

There was no reason to reduce a minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment imposed on an offender following his conviction for murder.

[2007] EWHC 1126 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1126 (QB)
QBD (Bean J)
24 May 2007

Where an offender had made exceptional progress in prison following his conviction for murder, a modest reduction in the minimum term to be served was justified.

[2007] EWHC 1124 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1124 (QB)
QBD (Bean J)
24 May 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate where a defendant had committed a brutal murder over a period of six hours using an axe and a hammer.

[2007] EWHC 1122 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1122 (QB)
QBD (Bean J)
24 May 2007

A minimum term of 13 years' imprisonment was appropriate notwithstanding that, before pleading guilty to the offence of murder, the defendant had shown a willingness to plead guilty, since it was for the trail judge to assess what, if any, credit should be given for that intention.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1564
[2007] EWCA Crim 1564
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Mitting J, Recorder of Swansea)
24 May 2007

The 30-year starting point under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5(1) for the minimum term of a life sentence for a murder done for gain should be discounted where gain was only one of a number of mixed motives and was not the predominant motive.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1237
[2007] EWCA Crim 1237
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Underhill J, Judge Stewart QC)
23 May 2007

Where a defendant sought to rely on evidence of a co-defendant's bad character, and it was ruled that the evidence was of substantial probative value and deemed admissible under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(e), a judge had no express power to exclude that evidence on the grounds of unfairness or by placing reliance on the co-defendant's right to a fair trial under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.6. However, where there had been a failure to comply with the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2005 Part 35, the court could, in limited circumstances, exclude the evidence.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1837
[2007] EWCA Crim 1837
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Irwin J, Wyn Williams J)
21 May 2007

A judge had been correct to admit bad character evidence in the form of a previous conviction and evidence from a previous girlfriend as to the offender's violent nature, as it was relevant evidence that went towards both credibility and propensity.

[2007] EWHC 1109 (Admin)
[2007] EWHC 1109 (Admin)
DC (Laws LJ, Davis J)
18 May 2007

A life sentence without the possibility of parole or remission was not by its very nature necessarily and always a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.3. Therefore, the secretary of state had not erred in ordering the extradition of the claimant to the United States to face charges of murder and a life sentence without remission if convicted.

[2007] EWHC 996 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 996 (QB)
QBD (Rafferty J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate for murder where aggravating features included the offender's intention to kill and the victim's vulnerability, while in mitigation were the offender's youth, depraved background and his guilty plea at the first opportunity.

[2007] EWHC 994 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 994 (QB)
QBD (Rafferty J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 16 years' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender and others had murdered a man as part of a revenge attack.

[2007] EWHC 995 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 995 (QB)
QBD (Rafferty J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate in circumstances where the trial judge had recommended a term of 12 years and it was likely that the secretary of state would have adopted that recommendation in the practice adopted before December 2002.

[2007] EWHC 989 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 989 (QB)
QBD (Rafferty J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 11 years' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender had murdered a man he lived with following a drunken altercation. Mitigating factors included the absence of an intention to kill, the spontaneity of the attack and the fact that it involved an overreaction in self-defence.

[2007] EWHC 990 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 990 (QB)
QBD (Rafferty J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 10 years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had killed his father following an evening of heavy drinking and drug use, where the offender had suffered from a psychotic illness and where his use of alcohol and drugs had been encouraged, from a young age, by his father.

[2007] EWHC 991 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 991 (QB)
QBD (Rafferty J)
17 May 2007

A trial judge had correctly identified the aggravating and mitigating features for a murder in which an offender had attacked his victim to rob him and accordingly the trial judge's recommendation that the minimum term should be 12 years was adopted.

[2007] EWHC 1161 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1161 (QB)
QBD (Irwin J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 14 years for murder was appropriate where the young offender had used the elderly victim's revolver against her after she had attempted to use the weapon to stop him from burgling her premises.

[2007] EWHC 1162 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1162 (QB)
QBD (Irwin J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 11 years' imprisonment was appropriate where, in response to a slight shove on his shoulder by the victim, the offender had fetched the murder weapon from his van and waited for the victim to appear in order to attack him, but where he had not intended to kill the victim.

[2007] EWHC 1159 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1159 (QB)
QBD (Irwin J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had murdered his estranged wife, but who had been significantly emotionally weak and psychologically affected at the time of the offence.

[2007] EWHC 1160 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1160 (QB)
QBD (Irwin J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 18 years was appropriate where the offender had shot the victim three times in a premeditated revenge attack.

[2007] EWHC 993 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 993 (QB)
QBD (Rafferty J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate in circumstances where an offender had shot and killed a man and had stolen his gold chain.

[2007] EWHC 1158 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1158 (QB)
QBD (Irwin J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate for a chronic alcoholic homeless offender, with a significant criminal record for violent offences, who had murdered another homeless man after spending the evening drinking with him.

[2007] EWHC 1163 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1163 (QB)
QBD (Irwin J)
17 May 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate where it was highly unlikely that the Home Secretary would have differed from the recommendation of the trial judge in sentencing the offender for a premeditated killing of a vulnerable old man, and where the offender had chosen to drink knowing that alcohol made him aggressive and liable to offend.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1119
[2007] EWCA Crim 1119
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, Latham LJ, Treacy J)
16 May 2007

It was appropriate to impose a minimum term of 30 years' imprisonment on a terrorist who had plotted over a long period to commit mass murder even though his plan was defective, as it was possible that it might have been put into practice and might have resulted in serious loss of life and damage to property. The court gave guidance on appropriate terms of imprisonment in cases of inchoate terrorist offences.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1251
[2007] EWCA Crim 1251
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Philips LCJ, Henriques J, Teare J)
15 May 2007

Although there might be grounds for criticising a principle of law that did not afford a 13-year-old boy any defence to a charge of murder on the ground that he was complying with his father's instruction, which he was too frightened to refuse to obey, the law held that a 13-year-old boy was responsible for his actions. The rule that duress provided no defence to a charge of murder applied however susceptible a defendant might be to duress.

[2007] EWHC 1145 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1145 (QB)
QBD (Henriques J)
15 May 2007

A minimum term of 13 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate where the offender had known 17 minutes before the murder had occurred that his co-accused, who had administered the fatal blow, was in possession of a knife and that he might use it to kill or cause serious bodily harm.

[2007] EWHC 1146 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1146 (QB)
QBD (Henriques J)
15 May 2007

A minimum term of 16 years' imprisonment for murder with a knife was appropriate where the offender with a mental condition of paranoid sensitivity had a history of serious violence involving the use of a knife and had expressed no contrition for the offence.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1245
[2007] EWCA Crim 1245
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Philips LCJ, Henriques J, Teare J)
14 May 2007

Where two equally culpable offenders were subject to significantly different starting points under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21, the courts should not approach the sentencing exercise mechanistically, but should reflect the appropriate distinction in their ages against the background to the offence.

[2007] UKPC 34
[2007] UKPC 34
PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Carswell, Sir Christopher Rose)
10 May 2007

A conviction would not automatically be set aside where there had been some errors in the conduct of the trial. In determining whether a conviction was unsafe where there had been unfairness, the appropriate approach was to be found in Randall (Barry Victor) v The Queen (2002) UKPC 19, (2002) 1 WLR 2237.

[2007] EWHC 859 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 859 (QB)
QBD (Field J)
10 May 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender had murdered the two month old child of his former partner.

[2007] EWHC 861 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 861 (QB)
QBD (Field J)
10 May 2007

A minimum term of 13 years' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender had murdered a man who had loaned him a large amount of money and had extorted large repayments from the offender.

[2007] EWHC 862 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 862 (QB)
QBD (Field J)
10 May 2007

A minimum term of 25 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate where the aggravating features of the use of a firearm, a murder done for gain, the murder of two persons, and the destruction or concealment of the bodies rendered the seriousness of the case particularly high.

[2007] EWHC 860 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 860 (QB)
QBD (Field J)
10 May 2007

Although a sentencing judge had concluded that a term of 13 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate in the light of the offender's mitigating factors, a minimum term of 12 years was set pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.276 and sch.22 para 3(1) of the Act, as the court could not fix a term longer than that notified by the Home Secretary.

[2007] EWHC 864 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 864 (QB)
QBD (Field J)
10 May 2007

A trial judge had given insufficient weight to the mitigating factors when recommending the minimum term to be served by an offender who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his baby son and it was therefore appropriate to reduce that minimum term by 2 years to 13 years' imprisonment.

[2007] EWHC 1022 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1022 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
10 May 2007

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had induced her brother to murder her husband and the offence had been premeditated.

[2007] EWHC 1020 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1020 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
10 May 2007

The application of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 to the case of an offender who had, while intoxicated and apparently without motive, murdered a man, did not result in a minimum term lower than the 14 years notified by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. That term would be reduced by one year to reflect the offender's exceptional conduct in prison.

[2007] EWHC 1018 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1018 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
10 May 2007

A minimum term of nine years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate in the light of the offender's old age, the fact that he was acting under stress and his lack of intention to kill.

[2007] EWHC 1023 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1023 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
10 May 2007

Considering the aggravating and mitigating features in relation to an offender who had murdered his mistress's husband, a minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment was appropriate, but was reduced to reflect the significant progress made by the offender whilst in prison.

[2007] EWHC 1021 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1021 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
10 May 2007

A minimum term of 12 years two months' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had murdered a woman he had taken to his hotel room but where the offence was not premeditated and the offender had pleaded guilty.

[2007] EWHC 1019 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 1019 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
10 May 2007

A minimum term of 25 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had sexually abused and murdered a 13-and-a-half-month old child.

[2007] EWHC 863 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 863 (QB)
QBD (Field J)
10 May 2007

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate in light of the aggravating and mitigating factors and where the court could not specify a minimum term greater than that which the Secretary of State for the Home Department would have been likely to notify before December 2002.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1308
[2007] EWCA Crim 1308
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Ramsey J, Judge Stewart QC)
30 April 2007

The court was required to determine the minimum terms for two life sentences in accordance with the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 for murders that had taken place before the commencement date of s.229.

[2007] EWHC 787 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 787 (QB)
QBD (Griffith Williams J)
17 April 2007

A minimum term of 18 years' imprisonment for murder by use of a firearm was appropriate in circumstances where the offender's relative youth was a mitigating feature.

[2007] EWHC 784 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 784 (QB)
QBD (Griffith Williams J)
17 April 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender had murdered his 15-year-old step-daughter following a row and had concealed her body.

[2007] EWHC 782 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 782 (QB)
QBD (Griffith Williams J)
17 April 2007

A minimum term of 13 years was set where the offender had murdered his partner's 15-month-old child.

[2007] EWHC 786 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 786 (QB)
QBD (Griffith Williams J)
17 April 2007

A minimum term of 16 years' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender had murdered a man for gain and the offence had been committed with a significant degree of premeditation or planning.

[2007] EWHC 783 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 783 (QB)
QBD (Griffith Williams J)
17 April 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment each was appropriate for two offenders who had murdered a man by punching, kicking and stamping on him.

[2007] EWHC 785 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 785 (QB)
QBD (Griffith Williams J)
17 April 2007

A minimum term of 11 years' imprisonment and 10 years' imprisonment were appropriate for defendants who had murdered a victim without either premeditation or an intention to kill.

[2007] EWCA Crim 803
[2007] EWCA Crim 803
CA (Crim Div) (Maurice Kay LJ, Penry-Davey J, McCombe J)
4 April 2007

Minimum terms of 22 and 18 years' imprisonment imposed on two young offenders were not manifestly excessive or wrong in principle where those offenders had been equally culpable in an appalling murder, and the disparity between the terms sufficiently recognised the immaturity and other mitigation of the younger of those two offenders.

[2007] EWHC 698 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 698 (QB)
QBD (Davis J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 16 years' imprisonment was an appropriate sentence for a murder committed for gain.

[2007] EWHC 765 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 765 (QB)
QBD (Dobbs J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 16 years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender's post-offence activities following a murder outweighed the mitigation available to him.

[2007] EWHC 795 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 795 (QB)
QBD (Silber J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 14 years for murder was appropriate as the 15-year term that would otherwise have been imposed needed to be reduced to reflect the practice followed by the secretary of state when the offence was carried out.

[2007] EWHC 796 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 796 (QB)
QBD (Silber J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 15 years was set following a conviction for murder, which had been committed before the Criminal Justice Act 2003 came into force, where there were serious aggravating factors.

[2007] EWHC 794 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 794 (QB)
QBD (Silber J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was appropriate where, although there was relevant mitigation in the offender's case, the aggravating features of hiding a body in a shallow grave with the result that it was not discovered for some months, together with the fact that the murder was committed whilst the offender was a serving prisoner, balanced out the mitigation.

[2007] EWHC 792 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 792 (QB)
QBD (Silber J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 17 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate in circumstances where the offender had aggravated the offence by destroying and concealing the victim's body.

[2007] EWHC 793 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 793 (QB)
QBD (Silber J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment imposed for an offence of murder committed before the enactment of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 had been correct where, in the light of the aggravating features, that tariff reflected the term that would have been imposed by the secretary of state under the old regime.

[2007] EWHC 791 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 791 (QB)
QBD (Silber J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 11 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate where, although the offender had been a secondary party to a fatal stabbing, he had started the violence that had led to the racially motivated murder.

[2007] EWHC 699 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 699 (QB)
QBD (Davis J)
4 April 2007

The defendant was sentenced to a minimum term of 15' years imprisonment for murder where he had shot his victim twice at point blank range with a sawn-off shotgun and there were no mitigating factors.

[2007] EWHC 766 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 766 (QB)
QBD (Dobbs J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment for murder was imposed on the offender under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 where there was no evidence of intention to kill as opposed to cause grievous bodily harm, and mitigating factors included a guilty plea.

[2007] EWHC 764 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 764 (QB)
QBD (Dobbs J)
4 April 2007

A minimum term of 15 years was set following a guilty plea to murder, which had been pre-meditated and executed with "cold blooded ruthlessness" in front of the offender's children.

[2007] UKPC 20
[2007] UKPC 20
PC (Bar) (Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Carswell, Sir Paul Kennedy, Lord Hoffmann)
29 March 2007

The approach in R. v Mitchell (David) [1998] A.C. 695 remained good law where the admissibility of a defendants's statement in a felony murder case was to be challenged. In the instant case however, there had been no risk of unfair prejudice to the appellant because there had been no factual issue which involved either accepting or rejecting his version of events or deciding upon his credibility and the circumstances to which Mitchell was directed did not therefore arise.

[2007] UKPC 21
[2007] UKPC 21
PC (Jam) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Hoffmann)
29 March 2007

The case of R v Mushtaq (Ashfaq Ahmed) (2005) UKHL 25, (2005) 1 WLR 1513 was applicable in Jamaica, so that a jury should be directed to disregard a confession if they concluded that it was, or might have been, obtained by oppression. In the instant case there was no basis upon which the jury could have reached those conclusions.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1081
[2007] EWCA Crim 1081
CA (Crim Div) (Scott Baker LJ, Walker J, Sir Richard Curtis)
22 March 2007

A judge had been wrong to consider an intention to kill and intoxication through drugs as aggravating features when considering the minimum term for murder to be imposed on a defendant.

[2007] EWCA Crim 966
[2007] EWCA Crim 966
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Treacy J, Royce J)
22 March 2007

A slip by a judge during his summing up in a murder trial had not been sufficient to affect the safety of the guilty verdict. The judge had also provided clear directions to the jury regarding inconsistent statements by a prosecution witness, had provided an appropriate Turnbull direction and had been correct to conclude that there was sufficient evidence to go before a properly directed jury.

[2007] EWCA Crim 965
[2007] EWCA Crim 965
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Aikens J, Treacy J)
19 March 2007

A minimum term of 16-and-a-half years for a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment had been unduly lenient since the judge had erred in adopting a starting point of 15 years for a murder involving sexual activity that fell within the terms of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5(2)(e).

[2007] EWCA Crim 481
[2007] EWCA Crim 481
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Henriques J, Sir Richard Curtis)
13 March 2007

Evidence that the defendant, on trial for the murder of a friend, had been aggressive towards and shouted at his partner over the care of their infant was inadmissible, as that behaviour did not amount to "reprehensible behaviour" within the meaning in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.112.

[2007] UKPC 15
[2007] UKPC 15
PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood)
7 March 2007

In circumstances in which it was impossible to affirm that a reasonable jury would inevitably have convicted the defendant, the Court of Appeal had erred in applying the proviso that, despite errors having occurred at trial, there had been no miscarriage of justice.

[2007] EWHC 369 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 369 (QB)
QBD (Burton J)
2 March 2007

A minimum term of 12 years and 6 months was appropriate in the case of the offender, who had attacked and strangled a young mother after the two had spent an evening drinking together.

[2007] EWHC 368 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 368 (QB)
QBD (Burton J)
2 March 2007

Where a sentence had been imposed before the Criminal Justice Act 2003 it was appropriate, when applying Sch.22 para 10 of that Act, to increase the minimum term to be served from the one in the recommendations to reflect the practice adopted by the secretary of state before the Act had come into force in December 2000.

[2007] EWCA Crim 569
[2007] EWCA Crim 569
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, David Clarke J, Irwin J)
14 February 2007

Where a mother suffering from a depressive disorder jumped from a bridge with her daughter but then held on to her in the river until they were rescued, so saving their lives, mercy was to be applied and a sentence of imprisonment was substituted by a community sentence with a three year supervision order.

[2007] EWCA Crim 536
[2007] EWCA Crim 536
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), Forbes J, Burton J)
14 February 2007

A minimum term of 30 years was reduced to 25 years in relation to a sentence of life imprisonment imposed on a 55-year-old offender following his conviction for murder on the basis that there was a risk of his dying in prison before he became eligible for parole and his age should have been treated as a mitigating factor.

[2007] EWHC 175 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 175 (QB)
QBD (Dobbs J)
9 February 2007

A minimum term of 16 years was appropriate in the case of the offender who had raped and fatally stabbed his former girlfriend after their relationship had broken down.

[2007] EWHC 174 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 174 (QB)
QBD (Dobbs J)
9 February 2007

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate where, whilst there was substantial mitigation in the offender's case, the aggravating features of dumping the deceased's body and evading capture were serious ones.

[2007] EWHC 178 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 178 (QB)
QBD (Dobbs J)
9 February 2007

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate, despite the offender's lack of premeditation and low intellect, where the offender had brutally attacked the victim.

[2007] EWHC 176 (QB)
[2007] EWHC 176 (QB)
QBD (Dobbs J)
9 February 2007

A minimum term of 10 years in respect of a sentence of life imprisonment imposed on the offender for murdering her former partner was appropriate where she had made good, but not exceptional, progress in prison and where there were mitigating features that counsel had not addressed before the trial judge.

[2007] EWCA Crim 358
[2007] EWCA Crim 358
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Irwin J, Judge Barker QC)
7 February 2007

There was no proper basis on which to exclude a murder done in the course of a street robbery from the statutorily prescribed starting point of 30 years when calculating the minimum term as prescribed by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.(5)(2)(c), which did not permit a sub-division of categories of robbery.

[2007] EWCA Crim 53
[2007] EWCA Crim 53
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President), Gray J, Henriques J)
30 January 2007

A minimum term of 12 years for murder was unduly lenient and a term of 15 years was substituted where, despite the offender's young age and mental illness, there were striking features of the case that represented a formidable level of culpability and seriousness.

[2007] EWCA Crim 187
[2007] EWCA Crim 187
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Burton J, Recorder of Winchester)
26 January 2007

It was not necessary for judges to adopt a formulaic mantra setting out all the statutory provisions when reviewing the minimum term set for mandatory life sentences. Where judges departed from the recommendations of the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice, it was sufficient for them to make clear their reasons.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3
[2007] EWCA Crim 3
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Rafferty J, McCombe J)
26 January 2007

In the circumstances, two co-defendants' convictions for murder were safe where the judge had clearly and carefully directed the jury in conventional terms that police interviews of a third co-defendant, who had not given evidence at trial, were only to be treated as evidence in the case of that co-defendant.

[2007] EWCA Crim 192
[2007] EWCA Crim 192
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President), Gray J, Henriques J)
24 January 2007

A judge had been correct to impose a whole life order on a defendant who had abducted and murdered a teenage girl for his own sexual pleasure and subsequently dismembered her body in an attempt to hide his guilt.

[2007] EWCA Crim 44
[2007] EWCA Crim 44
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Nelson J, Judge John Griffith Williams QC)
19 January 2007

A judge had erred in adopting a starting point of 15 years for a murder involving a firearm and in considering it to be a free-standing aggravating feature, as the statutory framework required a mandatory starting point of 30 years' imprisonment. However, he was correct to allow the prevalence of local gun crime to affect the minimum term imposed.

[2007] EWCA Crim 142
[2007] EWCA Crim 142
CA (Crim Div) (Longmore LJ, Toulson J, Judge Miskin QC Recorder of London)
19 January 2007

An offender's moral culpability could not be reduced by virtue of a victim's pre-existing medical condition, as it was necessary for the court to concentrate carefully on the crime itself and the offender's intent.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1
[2007] EWCA Crim 1
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Silber J, Treacy J)
12 January 2007

A conviction for murder was unsafe where the appellant's legal representatives had failed to carry out essential pre-trial preparation, which resulted in a failure to adduce evidence that would have assisted the appellant's case.

[2006] EWHC 3244 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3244 (QB)
QBD (Royce J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 11 years was appropriate for the murder of a family friend where, although the offender had had prior possession of the weapon, the offence had lacked any substantial degree of premeditation and he had intended to cause grievous bodily harm rather than to commit murder.

[2006] EWHC 3246 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3246 (QB)
QBD (Royce J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 19 years was appropriate in the case of four gang members who had been involved in a gangland shooting at which a member of a rival gang had been fatally shot.

[2006] EWHC 3261 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3261 (QB)
QBD (Penry-Davey J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 12 years was imposed on an offender who had murdered his friend and fellow alcoholic by punching, kicking and stamping on him after consuming a considerable amount of alcohol.

[2006] EWHC 3254 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3254 (QB)
QBD (Penry-Davey J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 15 years was appropriate for an offender who murdered three family members but had been suffering from chronic paranoid psychosis at the time of the murders.

[2006] EWHC 3245 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3245 (QB)
QBD (Royce J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had murdered his girlfriend, mutilated her face and attempted to conceal her body.

[2006] EWHC 3241 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3241 (QB)
QBD (Royce J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment was appropriate for an offender who had murdered his partner by strangulation where there were no relevant aggravating features and the principal mitigating factor was the lack of premeditation.

[2006] EWHC 3259 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3259 (QB)
QBD (Penry-Davey J)
21 December 2006

Given a minimum term could not be longer than that likely to have been set by the secretary of state, a minimum term of 17 years was appropriate for an offender who had murdered another man as part of a contract killing.

[2006] EWHC 3255 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3255 (QB)
QBD (Penry-Davey J)
21 December 2006

Given that a minimum term could not be longer than that likely to have been set by the secretary of state, a minimum term of 17 years was appropriate for an offender who had procured the killing of a 16-year-old boy by hiring two contract killers.

[2006] EWHC 3257 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3257 (QB)
QBD (Penry-Davey J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 17 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate where the offender had been hired as a contract killer, rendering the seriousness of the offence particularly high.

[2006] EWHC 3253 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3253 (QB)
QBD (Penry-Davey J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment for murder was appropriate where an offender's progress in custody had not been so exceptional as to justify reduction of the minimum term.

QBD (Penry-Davey J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 11 years was set following a conviction for murder where there were a number of mitigating factors and the offender had made exceptional progress in prison.

[2006] EWHC 3260 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3260 (QB)
QBD (Penry-Davey J)
21 December 2006

A minimum term of 15 years was appropriate where the offender had recruited several armed supporters to accompany him to a meeting at which a fight broke out resulting in the murder of a man he had quarrelled with and serious injury to several others.

[2006] EWCA Crim 3119
[2006] EWCA Crim 3119
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Jack LJ, Tugendhat J)
20 December 2006

Applications for leave to appeal against convictions for murder based on fresh evidence sought to be led by one of the applicants, wherein he gave a new version of events leading to the killing, were refused since the fresh evidence was incapable of belief. Circumstantial evidence was capable of providing, and often did provide, a very strong case against an accused and was not to be considered as an indicator of weakness of the prosecution case.

[2006] EWCA Crim 3187
[2006] EWCA Crim 3187
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Forbes J, Hodge J)
19 December 2006

In the circumstances, the appellant had not given any reasonable explanation for the failure to adduce appropriate medical evidence as to his mental condition at the time of his trial for murder and it was neither necessary nor expedient in the interests of justice to admit it on appeal.

[2006] EWHC 3035 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3035 (QB)
QBD (Mackay J)
19 December 2006

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had committed murder whilst suffering from a significant mental disorder in the months prior to the commission of the offence and possibly at the time.

[2006] EWHC 3038 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3038 (QB)
QBD (Mackay J)
19 December 2006

In the circumstances, minimum terms of 13 and 11 years' imprisonment were set following convictions for murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

[2006] EWHC 3037 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3037 (QB)
QBD (Mackay J)
19 December 2006

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had murdered his former partner in the course of a planned and premeditated attack.

[2006] EWHC 2944 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2944 (QB)
QBD (Openshaw J)
19 December 2006

A minimum term of 30 years was proper for an existing life prisoner who had abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled a 16-year-old girl before freezing her body and eventually burying it, and who had, after the life sentence was imposed, pleaded guilty to two earlier rapes.

[2006] EWHC 3120 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3120 (QB)
QBD (Cooke J)
14 December 2006

A minimum term of eight years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had murdered his seven-week old son by losing his temper and shaking him violently on two occasions.

[2006] EWHC 3126 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3126 (QB)
QBD (Cooke J)
14 December 2006

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had murdered his neighbour in the course of a planned and premeditated rape.

[2006] EWHC 3123 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3123 (QB)
QBD (Cooke J)
14 December 2006

A minimum term of 12 years was appropriate in the case of two men who had taken part in a brutal and prolonged assault on a man in poor health.

[2006] EWHC 3125 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3125 (QB)
QBD (Cooke J)
14 December 2006

A minimum term of 18 years' imprisonment was set in respect of an offender who had callously strangled his lover three days after taking out insurance on her life.

[2006] EWHC 3127 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3127 (QB)
QBD (Cooke J)
14 December 2006

A minimum term of eight years' imprisonment was appropriate where an offender had murdered his partner's six-month-old son after losing his temper and slamming the child's head on to a hard surface.

[2006] EWHC 3124 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3124 (QB)
QBD (Cooke J)
14 December 2006

Offenders were ordered to serve minimum terms of 18 years' and 14 years' imprisonment respectively for a premeditated murder carried out for gain where, under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 para.8 , the court could not order a minimum term greater than would have been set under the previous practice of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

[2006] EWHC 3121 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3121 (QB)
QBD (Cooke J)
14 December 2006

In the circumstances, the early release provisions under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 para.3 applied to the prisoner, who was serving a mandatory life sentence for murder, after a minimum term of 17 years in accordance with the recommendation of the secretary of state.

[2006] EWHC 3122 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3122 (QB)
QBD (Cooke J)
14 December 2006

The early release provisions contained in the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 s.28(5) to s.28(8) applied to a prisoner who was serving a life sentence for organising the murder of a woman who had been living with her husband as she had suffered a mental disorder which lowered her degree of culpability and she had been provoked by her husband's appalling behaviour. Accordingly, the provisions applied when she had served 18 years and one month in prison from the date of her conviction.

[2006] EWCA Crim 3190
[2006] EWCA Crim 3190
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Walker J, Jackson J)
4 December 2006

In setting the appropriate minimum term to be served by a burglar who, upon being discovered, had stabbed to death an occupant of the premises in order to facilitate his escape, the court determined that the appropriate starting point was 30 years in accordance with the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5(2)(c). Escaping after a burglary was an integral element of the criminal enterprise and if murder was committed to facilitate escape from a burglary whose object was gain, then the murder could properly be said to have been committed for gain.

[2006] EWHC 2966 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2966 (QB)
QBD (Mitting J)
30 November 2006

A minimum term in respect of a conviction for murder was reduced by six months where the offender's conduct in prison had been exceptional.

[2006] EWCA Crim 3177
[2006] EWCA Crim 3177
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Calvert-Smith J, Judge Warwick McKinnon)
29 November 2006

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5 applied equally to those under the age of 18 as it did to those over the age of 18 and, in the circumstances of the case, the minimum specified terms set for offences of murder were unduly lenient.

[2006] EWHC 2778 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2778 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
20 November 2006

A minimum term of 14 years and six months' imprisonment was set following a conviction for murder where there were no mitigating factors.

[2006] EWHC 2790 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2790 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
20 November 2006

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was appropriate where the offender was the leader of a planned attack using baseball bats and knives but had subsequently drawn the attention of the police to the fatally injured victim.

[2006] EWHC 2781 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2781 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
20 November 2006

A minimum term of 15 years was set following a conviction for murder where the offender had concealed the body of his wife under a concrete floor.

[2006] EWHC 2782 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2782 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
20 November 2006

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was set in respect of an offender who had been involved in committing a premeditated murder but who had made exceptional progress whilst in prison.

[2006] EWHC 2776 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2776 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
20 November 2006

A minimum term of 18 years was appropriate in the case of a drug dealer who had instigated an organised gangland killing.

[2006] EWHC 2779 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2779 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
20 November 2006

A minimum term of 18 years was set following a conviction for murder of a police officer acting in the course of his duty where the offender had, whilst being engaged in criminal conduct, pursued the officer with intent at least to cause really serious injury.

[2006] EWHC 2777 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2777 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
20 November 2006

A minimum term of 12 years was set following a conviction for murder where the victim was an acquaintance of the offender and the murder was committed in the heat of a drunken argument without pre-meditation beyond that necessary to constitute the offence.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2919
[2006] EWCA Crim 2919
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Hodge J, John Griffith Williams QC)
15 November 2006

A judge had been correct not to sever an indictment where the offences were close in proximity and background and the judge had provided adequate directions on the mutual admissibility of the facts of those offences.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2749
[2006] EWCA Crim 2749
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Cox J)
15 November 2006

A conviction for murder was quashed and a verdict of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility was substituted where the trial judge had delivered a jury direction on diminished responsibility along the same lines as that which was held to be a misdirection in R v Dietschmann (Anthony) (2003) UKHL 10, (2003) Crim LR 550.

[2006] EWHC 2826 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2826 (QB)
QBD (Stanley Burnton J)
10 November 2006

As the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons 1983 prohibited a state to which a life prisoner was transferred from aggravating the penal position of the prisoner, the court was prevented from imposing a minimum term in excess of that imposed on the prisoner by the trial judge. In the circumstances, a minimum term of 10 years was set in respect of the life prisoner.

CA (Crim Div) (Tucker LJ, Holman J, Hodge J)
9 November 2006

A conviction for murder following trial in 1982 was quashed where police officers had obtained false confessions from the defendant by using oppressive and violent tactics in interviews and taking advantage of his limited literacy skills.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2799
[2006] EWCA Crim 2799
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Henriques J, Field J)
26 October 2006

A sentence of five years' imprisonment following conviction for an offence of assisting an offender, by arranging funds and hotel accommodation near an airport to enable that offender, in the immediate aftermath of having committed an organised murder, to go to ground and if necessary fly out of the jurisdiction at short notice, was upheld.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2780
[2006] EWCA Crim 2780
CA (Crim Div) (Tuckey LJ, Holman J, Cooke J)
26 October 2006

Minimum terms of 23 years and 17 years were appropriate for offenders where one of them had stabbed a woman to death and repeatedly stabbed her husband, and their offences were aggravated by their criminal records and by having been committed whilst on bail.

CA (Crim Div) (Lord Philips LCJ, Pitchford J, Calvert-Smith J)
24 October 2006

Wide-scale media coverage of an offence was insufficient to render a conviction unsafe where the case against a defendant was overwhelming.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2669
[2006] EWCA Crim 2669
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Pitchford J, Calvert-Smith J)
24 October 2006

Although it was not a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.6 for an original trial judge to carry out, on appeal, the task of fixing a minimum term of imprisonment pursuant to the transitional provisions under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 , in the circumstances the term on which he decided and subsequently maintained had nonetheless failed to adequately reflect the relevant mitigating factors.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2602
[2006] EWCA Crim 2602
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Gibbs J, Cooke J)
28 September 2006

A judge had been correct to find that there was sufficient evidence against a defendant that there was a case to answer where disputed DNA evidence was not the only evidence linking the appellant to the shooting in question.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2101
[2006] EWCA Crim 2101
CA (Crim Div) (Waller LJ, Mackay J, Cox J)
25 August 2006

A misdirection concerning adverse inferences did not necessarily render a conviction unsafe in circumstances where there was a compelling case against the defendants and they did not have an explanation that would have stood up to scrutiny.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2311
[2006] EWCA Crim 2311
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Dobbs J, Judge Mettyear QC)
18 August 2006

A judge had been correct to impose a minimum term of 16 years' imprisonment for murder, albeit by incorrect reference to intention to kill as an aggravating feature.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2099
[2006] EWCA Crim 2099
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Dobbs J, Judge Mettyear QC)
17 August 2006

A judge had been right to impose a minimum term of 30 years for an offence of murder where the defendant had been the main protagonist in a plot to kill her husband.

[2006] EWHC 2159 (Admin)
[2006] EWHC 2159 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Stanley Burnton J)
17 August 2006

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was set following a conviction for murder where the offence was aggravated by substantial planning and premeditation and an attempt to make the victim's death appear as an accident.

[2006] EWHC 1820 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 1820 (QB)
QBD (Openshaw J)
11 August 2006

A minimum term of 12 years was set following a conviction for murder where the mitigating factor did no more than counteract an aggravating factor.

[2006] EWHC 3351 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3351 (QB)
QBD (Openshaw J)
11 August 2006

A minimum term of 10 years was set following a conviction for murder where the offender had killed his father by strangulation with a rope.

[2006] EWHC 1813 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 1813 (QB)
QBD (Openshaw J)
11 August 2006

A minimum term of 20 years' imprisonment was set following a conviction for murder where the offender had aggravated the offence by concealing the body and re-offending.

[2006] EWHC 1819 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 1819 (QB)
QBD (Openshaw J)
11 August 2006

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was set following a conviction for murder where the aggravating features of the case were negated by a mitigating feature.

[2006] EWHC 2057 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 2057 (QB)
QBD (Openshaw J)
11 August 2006

A minimum term of 14 years was set following a conviction for murder where the mitigating factor did no more than counteract an aggravating factor.

QBD (Openshaw J)
11 August 2006

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was set following a conviction for murder where the offender had not participated in any direct act of violence but was a secondary party to a joint enterprise.

[2006] EWHC 1818 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 1818 (QB)
QBD (Openshaw J)
11 August 2006

A minimum term of 14 years' imprisonment was set following a conviction for murder where the offence was aggravated by the offender's other grave offences.

[2006] EWCA Crim 1902
[2006] EWCA Crim 1902
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President), Sir Mark Potter (President), Crane J)
27 July 2006

The findings in the care proceedings relating to the care of a child, whose brother had been allegedly murdered by its father, could not be a final determination of the criminal proceedings. The paramount consideration in the care proceedings was the welfare of the child and issues of prosecution or conviction could not be determined by that court.

[2006] UKHL 39
[2006] UKHL 39
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Mance)
19 July 2006

Save in exceptional circumstances, an appellate court should quash a conviction, whether for murder or for a lesser offence, as constituting a serious miscarriage of justice where a judge had erred in failing to leave to the jury, irrespective of the wishes of trial counsel, any lesser alternative verdict which there was evidence to support.

[2006] EWCA Crim 1885
[2006] EWCA Crim 1885
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ, Irwin J, Sir Richard Curtis)
5 July 2006

The minimum term of a life prisoner was reduced by one year on the ground of his exceptional progress in prison.

[2006] EWHC 1616 (Admin)
[2006] EWHC 1616 (Admin)
DC (Latham LJ, McCombe J, Dobbs J)
3 July 2006

The district judge had been entitled to send the appellant's case to the secretary of state for his decision as to whether the appellant should be extradited to Albania where no evidential basis had been established to show that the appellant's plea of guilty to murder had been procured by ill treatment.

[2006] UKPC 34
[2006] UKPC 34
PC (Bah) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell)
29 June 2006

Even in a case where an eye witness recognised an accused, the trial judge should always give an appropriate direction in accordance with R v Turnbull (1977) QB 224 unless, as in the instant case, the nature of the eye witness evidence was such that the direction added nothing of substance to the judge's other directions to the jury on how to approach that evidence. The judge's direction regarding alibi in the instant case had, however, been unfairly prejudicial to the accused because it had undermined the alibi that was the central issue raised in the defence.

[2006] EWCA Crim 1720
[2006] EWCA Crim 1720
CA (Crim Div) (Tuckey LJ, Leveson J, Irwin J)
23 June 2006

A judge had been correct to admit evidence against a defendant on the basis that a jury was entitled to consider all his movements and behaviour in the hours and days following the disappearance of the victim.

[2006] EWCA Crim 1641
[2006] EWCA Crim 1641
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Dobbs J, Judge Loraine-Smith)
19 June 2006

A judge had been wrong to view the culpability of two co-defendants as equal where the instigator of an offence was twice his fellow co-defendant's age and had played a more prominent role in the offence.

[2006] EWCA Crim 1354
[2006] EWCA Crim 1354
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, Sir Igor Judge (President), Silber J, Rafferty J, Openshaw J)
16 June 2006

It was in the interests of justice to quash an acquittal for murder where, after the acquittal, the offender had confessed to the murder in the belief that he could not be tried again for the crime.

[2006] EWCA Crim 1371
[2006] EWCA Crim 1371
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Calvert-Smith J, Judge Stokes QC)
8 June 2006

A conviction for murder was safe as fresh evidence would not have affected the jury's decision to convict.

[2006] EWCA Crim 955
[2006] EWCA Crim 955
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Mackay J, Judge Goddard QC)
15 May 2006

In the circumstances, it was necessary and expedient in the interests of justice to admit fresh evidence of mental illness that was not relied on at trial and that pointed to a new defence of diminished responsibility. In view of the fresh evidence a conviction for murder was quashed and a verdict of manslaughter was substituted.

[2006] UKPC 23
[2006] UKPC 23
PC (Jam) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Carswell)
25 April 2006

A prosecution based solely on identification by a single witness required particular care from the trial judge. The judge should have set out fully the strengths and weaknesses of the identification and linked the facts to the principles of law rather than merely rehearsing the principles.

[2006] EWCA Crim 819
[2006] EWCA Crim 819
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Forbes J)
12 April 2006

A conviction for murder was unsafe where the judge, wrongly directing the jury on the issue of an intoxicated offender raising the defence of diminished responsibility, had departed from the authority of Dietschmann (2003) UKHL 10, (2003) Crim LR 550.

[2006] EWCA Crim 901
[2006] EWCA Crim 901
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, McCombe J, Wilkie J)
5 April 2006

Before the Criminal Justice Act 2003 came into force, a sentence of life imprisonment was appropriate for a failed contract killer who was likely to represent a serious danger to the public for an indeterminate time by being likely to commit offences of a sexual or violent nature.

[2006] UKPC 19
[2006] UKPC 19
PC (Bah) (Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Woolf, Lord Hope of Craighead, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood)
3 April 2006

A trial judge had erred in admitting into evidence a confession where there had been a clear breach of the defendant's constitutional right to legal advice. However, that decision had not resulted in a miscarriage of justice since there had been a very strong prima facie case against the defendant.

[2006] UKPC 15
[2006] UKPC 15
PC (Gren) (Lord Hoffmann, Lord Woolf, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood)
27 March 2006

The failure by a judge to give a jury a good character direction was neither fatal to the fairness of the trial nor to the safety of an offender's conviction, as the circumstances of the case were such that any appropriate direction as to the relevance of the offender's good character was wholly outweighed by the nature and coherence of the circumstantial evidence against him.

[2006] UKPC 16
[2006] UKPC 16
PC (CI) (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Steyn, Lord Carswell, Lord Mance, Sir Swinton Thomas)
27 March 2006

The decision as to whether a defendant should go into the witness box was one of such potential importance that where it was decided that he should not, then that should be recorded in writing along with a brief summary of reasons for that decision endorsed by the defendant. Although those that had represented the appellant in the instant case had failed to do that, it was evidentially clear that they had been following his instructions in not calling him.

[2006] EWHC 524 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 524 (QB)
QBD (Calvert-Smith J)
24 March 2006

A minimum term of 20 years was set following a conviction for murder where the offender had shot the victim in a planned and unprovoked attack in order to prevent the victim from giving evidence against him in a criminal trial.

[2006] EWHC 523 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 523 (QB)
QBD (Calvert-Smith J)
24 March 2006

A minimum term of 15 years was set in the case of the defendant, who had attacked a man with a machete after an argument in a public house.

[2006] EWHC 525 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 525 (QB)
QBD (Calvert-Smith J)
24 March 2006

A minimum term of 17 years' imprisonment was set following a conviction for murder where the offender had murdered the victim in order to facilitate the robbery of a pub or to prevent detection afterwards.

[2006] EWHC 586 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 586 (QB)
QBD (Stanley Burnton J)
23 March 2006

A minimum term of 19 years' imprisonment was set in respect of an offender who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for three murders where the offender had made exceptional progress since his conviction.

[2006] EWHC 473 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 473 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
22 March 2006

A minimum term of 11 years and three months was set following a conviction for murder where there were no aggravating features under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.10 but there were mitigating features, including an absence of intention to kill, the offender's age and that the offender had made exceptional progress following his conviction.

[2006] EWHC 467 (Admin)
[2006] EWHC 467 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Jack J)
22 March 2006

A minimum term of 12 years and 6 months' imprisonment was set where the applicant had been jointly responsible for the death of a man following a vicious and unprovoked attack.

[2006] EWHC 471 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 471 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
22 March 2006

A minimum term of 15 years was set where an offender convicted of murder had an intention to cause serious bodily harm rather than to kill, which was an important mitigating feature.

[2006] EWHC 472 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 472 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
22 March 2006

A minimum term of 18 years' imprisonment was set following a conviction of murder where the mitigating factors of lack of premeditation and the applicant's lowered degree of culpability due to his mental condition did not justify a reduction in the starting point of 30 years to below 18 years.

[2006] EWHC 466 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 466 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
22 March 2006

A minimum term of 15 years was set in the case of the applicant, who had been jointly responsible for the death of a man following a vicious, unprovoked, racist attack.

[2006] EWHC 469 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 469 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
22 March 2006

A minimum term of 12 years was set in the case of the applicant, who had been involved in a gang killing at the age of 18.

[2006] EWHC 468 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 468 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
22 March 2006

A minimum term of 10 years' imprisonment was set following a conviction for murder and that sentence took adequate account of the mitigating circumstances of the applicant's old age and ill health.

[2006] EWHC 470 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 470 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
22 March 2006

A minimum term of 20 years was set following a conviction for murder where the offender had been the driving force in the premeditated shooting of a rival gang member. The offender's enhanced prisoner status and conduct after sentence justified a reduction of 18 months from the minimum term.

[2006] EWHC 357 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 357 (QB)
QBD (Mitting J)
16 March 2006

A minimum term of 18 years was appropriate in the case of the defendant, who had fatally stabbed a man in a gratuitous and unprovoked attack in a nightclub.

[2006] EWHC 358 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 358 (QB)
QBD (Mitting J)
16 March 2006

Following the offender's convictions for abduction and murder of his stepdaughter, the court determined that the appropriate minimum term before he could be considered for release on licence was 25 years.

[2006] EWHC 359 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 359 (QB)
QBD (Mitting J)
16 March 2006

A minimum term of 14 years was set following a conviction for murder where the only mitigating factor, namely the offender's age, did no more than counteract an aggravating factor.

[2006] EWHC 355 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 355 (QB)
QBD (Mitting J)
16 March 2006

A minimum term of 14 years was set following a conviction for murder where the murder had been premeditated and none of the mitigating factors set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.11 applied.

[2006] UKPC 12
[2006] UKPC 12
PC (Jam) (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Woolf, Lord Hutton, Lord Carswell, Lord Mance)
13 March 2006

In a murder trial involving two defendants, the judge had failed to give clear and accurate directions on the law relating to joint enterprise, and to spell out the possible inferences that could be drawn from a statement that one defendant had given to the police.

[2006] UKPC 10
[2006] UKPC 10
PC (Bah) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood)
8 March 2006

The Bahamas Penal Code was to be construed as prescribing a discretionary and not a mandatory death sentence for murder.

[2006] EWCA Crim 513
[2006] EWCA Crim 513
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Rafferty J, Sir Richard Curtis)
16 February 2006

For the purposes of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5(2)(e) , sadistic conduct did not require a sexual element. The fundamental question was the determination of whether, sadistic or not, the conduct of the defendants in a murder was serious enough to warrant a 30-year starting point.

[2006] UKPC 6
[2006] UKPC 6
PC (Jam) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Mance)
16 February 2006

Although the trial judge had been in error in suggesting to the jury that an identification parade where there was identification by recognition would have served no useful purpose, the fact was that a parade had been held and the judge had given ample directions on the need to ensure that it had been fairly conducted.

[2006] UKPC 5
[2006] UKPC 5
PC (Jam) (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Steyn, Lord Carswell, Lord Mance, Sir Swinton Thomas)
14 February 2006

The overarching criterion for admission of a statement was fairness, and the major factor in determining fairness was the voluntary nature of the statement. If a statement was voluntary, that was a strong reason for admitting it, notwithstanding a breach of Practice Note (CCA: Judges' Rules) (1964) 1 WLR 152. However, the court could still refuse to admit a statement made voluntarily if it would be unfair to admit it.

[2006] EWCA Crim 3427
[2006] EWCA Crim 3427
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Jack J, Royce J)
14 February 2006

The cumulative effect of a judge's misdirections both as to the law in relation to murder and manslaughter and as to the relevance of evidence of the appellant's bad character was such as to render unsafe his convictions for murder and arson.

[2006] EWCA Crim 408
[2006] EWCA Crim 408
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, Newman J, Royce J)
8 February 2006

Evidence of a defendant's previous convictions had been correctly admitted at trial under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(d) as the judge had clearly and correctly applied the principles in R v Hanson (2005) EWCA Crim 824.

[2006] EWCA Crim 15
[2006] EWCA Crim 15
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Tomlinson J, Andrew Smith J)
26 January 2006

There was no reason to quash a discretionary life sentence with a hospital and limitation direction under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.45A , and to substitute for it a hospital order under s.37 and s.41 of the Act where the offender, who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility and had been diagnosed with a pathological borderline personality disorder, had been later diagnosed with a mental illness also. A s.45A order did not, by its terms, preclude its application in cases where the offender suffered from both, and gave a better measure of control without impeding the offender's treatment.

[2006] UKPC 2
[2006] UKPC 2
PC (Jam) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell)
16 January 2006

The Evidence Act (Jamaica) s.31D , which permitted the admission of an unsworn statement made out of court, where the statutory conditions were met and subject to the exercise of any relevant judicial discretion, was not inconsistent with the Constitution of Jamaica s.20(6)(d) enshrining the right to examine witnesses before the court. The law of Jamaica, properly applied, provided adequate safeguards for the rights of the defence when it was sought to admit a hearsay statement.

[2006] EWHC 4 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 4 (QB)
QBD (Hallett LJ)
16 January 2006

A minimum term of 15 years' imprisonment was imposed on an offender convicted of murdering his former partner. The offender did not deserve credit for any remorse and although he had made progress in prison, he had not made exceptional progress.

[2006] EWHC 3 (QB)
[2006] EWHC 3 (QB)
QBD (Hallett LJ)
16 January 2006

A minimum term of 20 years' imprisonment was imposed on an offender who had murdered a woman in a sadistic and sexually motivated attack.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3245
[2005] EWCA Crim 3245
CA (Crim Div) (Scott Baker LJ, Jack J, David Clarke J)
21 December 2005

In the instant case, fresh evidence could not be introduced as it was likely to have affected neither the defence case, had it been available at trial and had the defence team realised its importance, nor the jury's decision to convict.

[2005] EWHC 2890 (Ch)
[2005] EWHC 2890 (Ch)
Ch D (Lightman J)
19 December 2005

The court was satisfied on a balance of probabilities, taking full account of the seriousness of the allegations, that the defendant had recruited two dangerous men to murder a victim in order to halt the prosecution of Chancery Division proceedings against him and to obtain the release or settlement of claims against him on favourable terms.

[2005] UKPC 48
[2005] UKPC 48
PC (Jam) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Scott of Foscote, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood)
15 December 2005

The appellant's conviction for capital murder was safe where it was clear that the jury had convicted on the basis that the appellant himself had killed the victim; therefore, the fact that the judge's directions on joint enterprise had been fundamentally flawed was not relevant and did not affect the safety of the conviction.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3233
[2005] EWCA Crim 3233
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Holman J, Fulford J)
14 December 2005

In a trial for murder where co-defendants had been tried together, the judge had been entitled to direct the jury to consider all the evidence, including evidence adduced by one of the co-defendants as to the bad character of her co-accused.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3377
[2005] EWCA Crim 3377
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Tomlinson J, Andrew Smith J)
13 December 2005

A person who killed someone in a quarrel that he himself started, by provoking it or entering into it willingly, could plead self defence if his victim then retaliated. Whether the plea of self defence was available depended, in a case of that kind, on whether the retaliation was such that the accused was entitled then to defend himself.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3359
[2005] EWCA Crim 3359
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Crane J, Openshaw J)
7 December 2005

In the context of a conspiracy to rob where a gun had been used to murder a woman, it had been properly open to a judge to sentence a co-conspirator on the basis that weapons had been knowingly carried and would be used to subdue workers in the shop or members of the public.

[2005] EWHC 2650 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 2650 (QB)
QBD (Crane J)
1 December 2005

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment was imposed on an offender convicted of murdering his one-month-old son where the offender had refused to accept responsibility of the kind attributed to him by the jury and the judge, and therefore it was impossible to regard his progress in prison as being exceptional for the purpose of setting the tariff.

[2005] EWHC 2651 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 2651 (QB)
QBD (Crane J)
1 December 2005

The minimum term to be served by an offender should not be reduced where the starting point for minimum term for murder had increased since the offender was sentenced and there was no indication of any exceptional progress by the offender that might affect the fixing of a minimum term.

[2005] EWHC 2652 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 2652 (QB)
QBD (Crane J)
1 December 2005

The minimum term to be served by an offender was that set by the secretary of state, as it fairly reflected sentencing practice at the time the tariff was set and the offender had made no exceptional progress since sentencing to justify a reduction in the minimum term.

[2005] EWHC 2649 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 2649 (QB)
QBD (Crane J)
1 December 2005

A minimum term of 12 years' imprisonment was imposed on an offender convicted of murdering his wife. The trial judge, in recommending a term of 12 years, had given sufficient weight to the offender's mental state and had correctly assessed his remorse and distress.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3115
[2005] EWCA Crim 3115
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, Cresswell J, Mackay J)
30 November 2005

The scheme of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 was that the trial judge had first to determine the starting point and then consider whether it was appropriate to adjust the sentence upwards or downwards to take account of aggravating or mitigating factors. That approach was not possible in respect of a whole life order. A whole life order should be imposed where the seriousness of the offending was so exceptionally high that just punishment required the offender to be kept in prison for the rest of his life.

[2005] EWHC 2624 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 2624 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
28 November 2005

A minimum sentence of 18 years' imprisonment imposed following a conviction for murder would not be reduced, since there were no mitigating factors present, but there were serious aggravating features, namely significant planning and premeditation, a particularly vulnerable victim, and mental and physical suffering inflicted on the victim before his death during a period of kidnap and false imprisonment.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3001
[2005] EWCA Crim 3001
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Jack J, Judge Gordon)
24 November 2005

A conviction for murder was unsafe in the light of fresh expert evidence which indicated that damage to muscles of the victim had not been simultaneous with death and accordingly the evidence of a prosecution expert that the cause of death had been smothering could not be relied upon.

[2005] UKPC 43
[2005] UKPC 43
PC (Jam) (Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe)
14 November 2005

Evidence of a dual criminal purpose had to be shown for a conviction for capital murder under the Offences against the Person Act 1864 s.2(1)(d) in Jamaica.

[2005] EWHC 2421 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 2421 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
11 November 2005

In the circumstances, the early release provisions contained in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 para.3 applied to a prisoner who was serving a life sentence for the murder and buggery of a 12-year-old boy as he had been imprisoned for 22 years and 10 months and that period adequately reflected the matters, set out in Sch.22 para.4 , that had to be taken into account in determining whether the early release provisions applied.

[2005] EWHC 2421 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 2421 (QB)
QBD (Jack J)
11 November 2005

The minimum term to be served by an offender was reduced where the offender's age at the time of the offence was a material consideration, he had made good progress in prison, and the Home Secretary may have misunderstood the recommendation of the Lord Chief Justice when fixing the original tariff.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3515
[2005] EWCA Crim 3515
CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Holman J, Silber J)
7 November 2005

Authority indicated that there was no basis for the argument that a defence of self defence on the basis that the victim had struck the first blow could not involve an imputation on the character of the victim within the meaning in the Criminal Evidence Act 1898 s.1(3)(ii) . A judge had erred in the exercise of his discretion by allowing in evidence of the defendant's previous convictions as the effect of doing so had been to increase the attack on the defendant's propensity such that the prejudice to him outweighed any advantage to the jury.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3080
[2005] EWCA Crim 3080
CA (Crim Div) (Longmore LJ, David Steel J, Judge Brodrick)
3 November 2005

Where a conviction for murder was contested on the grounds of diminished responsibility after the emergence of fresh medical evidence many years after the conviction, counsel should make clear to the applicant that if the Crown contested the new evidence, a retrial was likely.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3082
[2005] EWCA Crim 3082
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, Rafferty J, Mackay J)
2 November 2005

Evidence of a tacit admission had been correctly admitted in evidence by the trial judge.

[2005] EWCA Crim 2513
[2005] EWCA Crim 2513
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Collins J, Jack J)
31 October 2005

In view of the evidence and the manner in which the case was presented by the Crown, the jury verdicts convicting the offender of murder and his co-accused of manslaughter were ones which no reasonable jury, that had applied its mind to the facts of the case, could have reached. The offender's conviction for murder was set aside and replaced with a conviction for manslaughter.

[2005] EWCA Crim 2951
[2005] EWCA Crim 2951
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Phillips LCJ, Rafferty J, Mackay J)
26 October 2005

The decision in R v O'Grady (1987) QB 995 that where a defendant sought to establish the defence of self defence it was not open to him to rely on a mistake induced by voluntary intoxication, applied equally to cases of manslaughter and murder.

[2005] EWCA Crim 2963
[2005] EWCA Crim 2963
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Leveson J, Calvert-Smith J)
24 October 2005

Where a defendant had previously been convicted of wounding with intent and acquitted of attempted murder, a subsequent prosecution for murder following the death of the victim from her injuries was not in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights Protocol 7 Art.4 since the new fact of the death of the victim had emerged since the first trial.

[2005] EWHC 1933 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 1933 (QB)
QBD (Leveson J)
6 October 2005

Pursuant to the transitional provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.276 and Sch.22 , the high court determined that, given the premeditative confrontation of the victim and a motive of revenge, the appropriate minimum term to be served under a life sentence for murder before the early release provisions could apply was 15 years.

[2005] EWCA Crim 2347
[2005] EWCA Crim 2347
CA (Crim Div) (Scott Baker LJ, Treacy J, Walker J)
4 October 2005

Fresh evidence was not admitted on the offender's appeal against conviction for murder as it merely provided a refinement to the evidence at trial and did not show that it was completely impossible for him to have committed the murder where the circumstantial evidence against him was overwhelming.

[2005] EWHC 2036 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 2036 (QB)
QBD (Keith J)
29 September 2005

Following the defendants' conviction for the murder of a blind man, the court determined, in accordance with the minimum term which would have been set by the secretary of state, that the appropriate minimum term to be served before they could be considered for release on licence was 13 years.

[2005] EWHC 1935 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 1935 (QB)
QBD (Leveson J)
9 September 2005

Pursuant to the transitional provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.276 and Sch.22 the High Court determined that the appropriate minimum term to be served before the early release provisions were to apply was 20 years in a case involving the sadistic infliction of injury and sexual abuse prior to causing death.

[2005] UKHL 51
[2005] UKHL 51
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Baroness Hale of Richmond)
28 July 2005

The progress of those sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 s.53(1) before November 30, 2000 on conviction as a child or young person for murder, whose minimum terms had been set by the Lord Chief Justice and had not expired, should remain subject to continuing review for reconsideration of the minimum term imposed if clear evidence of exceptional and unforeseen progress was reasonably judged to require it.

[2005] UKHL 52
[2005] UKHL 52
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Baroness Hale of Richmond)
28 July 2005

Where a young offender's tariff was reviewed by the Lord Chief Justice in accordance with Practice Statement: Life Sentences For Murder (2000) All E.R. 831 , the offender had no absolute right to an oral hearing as part of the review procedure.

CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Forbes J, Calvert-Smith J)
21 July 2005

Following the adjournment of an application for leave to appeal against the minimum term imposed following a sentence of life imprisonment, the Court of Appeal commented on the inadequate provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 .

[2005] EWCA Crim 1980
[2005] EWCA Crim 1980
CA (Crim Div) (Gage LJ, Gross J, McFarlane J)
21 July 2005

A new hypothesis seeking to show that the conventional triad of intracranial injuries was not diagnostic of non-accidental head injury in infants was not credible. Four appeals heard together demonstrated that cases of alleged non-accidental head injury in infants were fact-specific and had to be determined on their individual facts.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1883
[2005] EWCA Crim 1883
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Ouseley J, Davis J)
13 July 2005

Convictions for murder following a trial were not rendered unsafe by reason of the fact that the prosecution had subsequently accepted pleas of guilty to manslaughter from others involved in the same incident.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1880
[2005] EWCA Crim 1880
CA (Crim Div) (Scott Baker LJ, Gloster J, Judge Mettyear)
13 July 2005

Where a jury convicted an appellant for murder after having been directed as to the law on provocation in accordance with a precedent which was wider than the one that superseded it, it was inconceivable that the same jury would have come to any other conclusion had they been directed on the law of provocation in accordance with the subsequent tighter definition.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1882
[2005] EWCA Crim 1882
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Grigson J, Sir Charles Mantell)
13 July 2005

The law relating to joint enterprise, in particular whether an act was the cause of a joint venture, was clearly laid down in R. v Powell (Anthony Glassford) (1999) 1 AC 1, and cases which were inconsistent with Powell should no longer be regarded as good law to that extent.

[2005] EWCA Crim 2037
[2005] EWCA Crim 2037
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Holland J, Richards J)
6 July 2005

A recommended minimum term of 24 years, following a sentence of life imprisonment, was severe but not manifestly excessive for a public execution. The absence of previous convictions was of little importance in such a case.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1728
[2005] EWCA Crim 1728
CA (Crim Div) (May LJ, Pitchers J, Cox J)
5 July 2005

Even though a provocation direction should have been given in a murder trial but had not, convictions for murder were safe where the unavoidable facts of the case and the necessary logic of the jury's verdict ruled out any possibility of a miscarriage of justice.

[2005] UKPC 23
[2005] UKPC 23
PC (Jer) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell)
15 June 2005

Parliament adopted a uniform, objective standard of self-control in the Homicide Act 1957 s.3 and evidence that the defendant was suffering from chronic alcoholism was not a matter to be taken into account by the jury when considering whether, having regard to the actual provocation and their view of its gravity, a person having ordinary powers of self-control would have done what the defendant did.

[2005] EWHC 1035 (QB)
[2005] EWHC 1035 (QB)
QBD (Gloster J)
27 May 2005

In the circumstances, it was appropriate that the minimum term of 12 years in respect of the applicants' mandatory life imprisonment sentences for murder, as notified to them by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, be reduced to 10 years.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1408
[2005] EWCA Crim 1408
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ, Newman J, Judge Tilling)
26 May 2005

When setting a minimum term of imprisonment for murder, the judge, when weighing up aggravating and mitigating factors, was entitled to treat unlawful possession of a knife as an aggravating factor even though it was not identified as such in para.10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 . The carrying of a knife was some evidence that the carrier might be prepared to use it, which was sufficient to justify treating the unlawful possession as an aggravating factor, and the extent to which it should be so treated would depend entirely on the circumstances.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1331
[2005] EWCA Crim 1331
CA (Crim Div) (Waller LJ, Cox J, David Clarke J)
12 May 2005

When sentencing an offender, in circumstances where he had pleaded guilty, the appropriate process for the court to go through was to fix the starting point, then calculate any aggravating and mitigating features of the case, and then apply the discount for the guilty plea.

[2005] UKPC 20
[2005] UKPC 20
PC (Dom) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell)
11 May 2005

In circumstances where visual identification evidence had many difficulties, it was incumbent on the judge to give a careful Turnbull direction to the jury in his summing up and it was desirable that he should tailor it so that the strengths and weaknesses of the identification could be clearly appreciated and weighed up by the jury in reaching a verdict.

[2005] UKPC 21
[2005] UKPC 21
PC (Trin) (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Hutton, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Sir Andrew Leggatt)
11 May 2005

Although there had been a misdirection on the admissibility of evidence at the appellants' murder trial, the first appellant's conviction for murder was safe as there was powerful corroboration of evidence identifying him. The second appellant's conviction for manslaughter was unsafe as the Court of Appeal had no justification for substituting a verdict of manslaughter for his murder conviction.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1092
[2005] EWCA Crim 1092
CA (Crim Div) (Judge LJ, Hallett J, Leveson J)
3 May 2005

While there had been conflicting expert opinion about the probable cause of death of the appellant's baby, unlike in R. v Cannings (Angela) (2004) EWCA Crim 01 , (2004) 1 W.L.R. 2607 there had also been sufficient additional evidence before the jury to justify the verdict that she was guilty of his murder. The fact that the expert chosen by the defence had not given evidence at trial as well as was hoped, or that parts of his evidence were exposed as untenable, thereby undermining confidence in his evidence as a whole, did not begin to justify the calling of fresh evidence by further medical expert witnesses on appeal.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1246
[2005] EWCA Crim 1246
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Curtis J, Pitchford J)
3 May 2005

A conflict of interest existed in circumstances where the solicitor acting for a defendant in a murder trial had previously represented parties arrested on suspicion of the same charges, who had only agreed to his representing the defendant on the basis that in conducting the defence he made no suggestion that one of them had committed the offences.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1143
[2005] EWCA Crim 1143
CA (Crim Div) (Tuckey LJ, Christopher Clarke J, Sir Douglas Brown)
28 April 2005

A mistaken belief by a defendant, that an application to discharge a jury where counsel could not continue had been made but refused, did not render a conviction unsafe as the defendant had wished to proceed in the face of advice to the contrary from new counsel and the case had been properly, fully and competently put before the jury.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1105
[2005] EWCA Crim 1105
CA (Crim Div) (Waller LJ, Hedley J, Royce J)
26 April 2005

It had been open to a judge to permit the prosecution to cross-examine a defence witness on whether or not she had been anxious as to a defendant's state of mind and actions and to recall a witness to provide hearsay evidence in rebuttal as the issue had been raised by the defence and the evidence of the defence witness was inconsistent with what she had said on another occasion.

[2005] EWCA Crim 952
[2005] EWCA Crim 952
CA (Crim Div) (Judge LJ, Hallett J, Leveson J)
11 April 2005

The appellant's convictions for the murder of her two babies were unsafe in light of doubt cast on expert medical evidence on the rarity of the occurrence of more than one cot death in a family.

[2005] EWCA Crim 1011
[2005] EWCA Crim 1011
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Dobbs J, Judge Zucker QC)
22 March 2005

When deciding on the minimum term following the imposition of a life sentence for murder, the judge had taken an incorrect starting point.

[2005] EWCA Crim 802
[2005] EWCA Crim 802
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Dobbs J, Judge Findlay Baker QC)
17 March 2005

The sentencing judge, when giving a life sentence for murder, should not have disapplied the early release provisions in order to protect the public. Consideration should be given to the seriousness of the offence but not the protection of the public, which would be protected by the life sentence itself.

[2005] EWCA Crim 605
[2005] EWCA Crim 605
CA (Crim Div) (Judge LJ, Cresswell LJ, Fulford J)
10 March 2005

Although the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 provided a series of criteria to be taken into account when the court was determining the appropriate minimum term in relation to mandatory life sentences to reflect the "seriousness" of the individual offence, the court was not rigidly bound by or limited to considering the aggravating factors listed in Sch.21 para.10 and mitigating factors listed in Sch.21 para.11 . The true seriousness of the offence inevitably represented a combination, and simultaneously, a balancing of all relevant factors in the case.

[2005] EWCA Crim 278
[2005] EWCA Crim 278
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Smith LJ, Owen J)
3 February 2005

The appropriate deductions from a starting point of a sentence of 20 years' custody imposed for murder were 18 months in respect of a guilty plea and 2 years and 6 months to take account of the fact that the defendant was only 18 years old at the date of the offence.

[2005] EWCA Crim 70
[2005] EWCA Crim 70
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ (V-P), Mitting J, Walker J)
12 January 2005

In a trial for murder the psychiatric evidence had been adequately summed up and the jury had been perfectly entitled to conclude that the issue of diminished responsibility did not arise.

[2004] EWHC 3116 (Admin)
[2004] EWHC 3116 (Admin)
DC (Tuckey LJ, Field J)
17 December 2004

It was irrational to refuse to adjourn extradition proceedings in circumstances where there was no statutory power which enabled a serving prisoner to be released earlier than he should be in order that he could be extradited, there was no reasonable cause for delay and there were no reasons not to adjourn. The lack of a provision allowing early release in extradition cases undermined the purpose of the Extradition Act 2003 s.37 and s.186 and the sooner Parliament filled the yawning gap the better.

[2004] UKPC 58
[2004] UKPC 58
PC (Bar) (Lord Hoffmann, Lord Millett, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood)
16 December 2004

The felony murder rule under the Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.2 had been an existing law for the purposes of the Constitution of Barbados s.26(1) and remained in force at the time of the victim's death and the appellants' trial for murder. Therefore s.2, which presupposed the existence of the common law crime of murder and prescribed the penalty for those convicted of it, was not inconsistent with the Constitution of Barbados.

[2004] EWCA Crim 3520
[2004] EWCA Crim 3520
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ, Stanley Burnton J, Judge Andrew Patience QC)
8 December 2004

Whilst a defendant who had no previous convictions was on the face of it entitled to a good character direction, any directions were dependent on the particular circumstances of the case. Where a defendant had relentlessly lied during investigation it was absurd to give a direction as to credibility and where a defendant was involved in illegal activities a direction as to propensity was irrelevant.

[2004] EWHC 2747 (Admin)
[2004] EWHC 2747 (Admin)
DC (Laws LJ, Hallett J)
3 December 2004

The Extradition Act 1989 s.6(1)(d) should not be read as conferring on the court so wide a power of judgment over the practices of a foreign State as to require a refusal of extradition where the applicant would face a perfectly fair trial but complained that other groups would not have to face trial at all. In the instant case, there was insufficient evidence to support the applicant's case under s.6(1)(d) and s.11(3)(b) of the Act.

[2004] EWHC 2753 (Admin)
[2004] EWHC 2753 (Admin)
DC (Thomas LJ, Richards J, Fulford J)
25 November 2004

An implied term was to be read into the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22 para.11 giving a High Court judge the discretion to order an oral hearing for the fixing of an existing mandatory life prisoner's minimum term, where such a hearing was required to comply with the rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.6 (1) of a prisoner who made an application under Sch.22 para.3 or whose case was referred under Sch.22 para.6.

[2004] EWCA Crim 2881
[2004] EWCA Crim 2881
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Poole J, Stanley Burnton J)
4 November 2004

When setting the specified minimum term following a life sentence imposed on a conviction for murder the judge had failed to have proper regard to the mitigating factors, in particular the fact that the defendant had not intended to kill.

[2004] EWCA Crim 2770
[2004] EWCA Crim 2770
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Henriques J, Dobbs J)
28 October 2004

When setting the specified minimum term following a life sentence imposed on a conviction for murder the judge had taken the wrong starting point and had failed to regard, as mitigation, the fact that the defendant had not had an intention to kill.

[2004] EWCA Crim 2751
[2004] EWCA Crim 2751
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, McCombe J, David Clarke J)
27 October 2004

In all the circumstances, following a conviction for murder and the imposition of a life sentence, the specified minimum period of 13 years' imprisonment was unduly lenient as the judge had failed to have regard to the statutory aggravating features contained in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 .

[2004] EWCA Crim 2047
[2004] EWCA Crim 2047
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Curtis J, Wakerley J)
16 July 2004

Fresh scientific evidence about the possible cause of blood splatters on the defendant's clothing might reasonably have affected the decision of the jury to convict the defendant of murdering his foster daughter and therefore his conviction would be quashed and a retrial ordered.

[2004] EWCA Crim 2094
[2004] EWCA Crim 2094
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ, Gray J, Alliott J)
15 July 2004

The defendant's conviction for murder was safe, as expert evidence as to the cause of death, given by a doctor who had subsequently been criticised in R v Sally Clark was not the only evidence, there was a powerful prosecution case even without the medical evidence. The expert had been criticised in R v Sally Clark for failing to disclose material and that was not the case here.

[2004] UKPC 33
[2004] UKPC 33
PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Edward Zacca J)
7 July 2004

The mandatory death penalty for murder in Trinidad and Tobago was constitutional as it was an existing law when the constitution came into force and could not therefore be invalidated for inconsistency as an infringement of the right to life or a cruel and unusual punishment. Roodal v Trinidad & Tobago (2003) UKPC 78, (2004) 2 W.L.R. 652 overruled.

[2004] UKPC 34
[2004] UKPC 34
PC (Jam) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Edward Zacca J)
7 July 2004

Any death penalty passed under the mandatory requirement in the Offences Against the Person Act 1864 (Jamaica) s.3(1A), as amended by the Offences against the Person (Amendment) Act 1992 (Jamaica), was inconsistent with the right not to be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading punishment and therefore void to the extent that it required, rather than merely authorised the imposition of the death sentence.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1359
[2004] EWCA Crim 1359
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Leveson J, Judge Mettyear QC)
28 May 2004

A defendant in a joint trial had an unquestionable right to lead relevant evidence including evidence of an admission made by the co-defendant, even though not used by the Crown, and evidence of the defendant's previous aggressive behaviour which could go to propensity.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1388
[2004] EWCA Crim 1388
CA (Crim Div) (Waller LJ, Davis J, David Clarke J)
28 May 2004

The appellant's conviction was rendered unsafe by the exclusion of evidence which suggested that another may have committed the offence.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1224
[2004] EWCA Crim 1224
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Keith J, Sir Charles Mantell)
7 May 2004

The judge in a murder trial had been right to reject a submission that there was no sufficient case to go before the jury in circumstances where there was considerable circumstantial evidence, at least some of which could be relevant on the question of how the fire that caused the fatality had started.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1074
[2004] EWCA Crim 1074
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Keith J, Judge Paget QC)
30 April 2004

If a defendant had a previous conviction that because of its age or its nature could have entitled him to be treated as of effective good character, the trial judge had a discretion so to treat him. Where the previous conviction could only have been regarded as irrelevant or of no significance in relation to the offence charged, that discretion ought to be exercised in favour of treating the defendant as of good character.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1091
[2004] EWCA Crim 1091
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Hughes J, Gloster J)
22 April 2004

The defendant's conviction for the murder of her partner was safe as the judge had correctly directed the jury in relation to provocation.

[2004] EWCA Crim 960
[2004] EWCA Crim 960
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Roderick Evans J, Cooke J)
2 April 2004

The defendant's conviction for murder would be quashed and manslaughter substituted as the judge failed to draw to the jury's attention to various accounts given to doctors by the defendant that could have supported provocation andor diminished responsibility.

[2004] UKPC D 1
[2004] UKPC D 1
PC (Sc) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell)
18 March 2004

Part I of the Schedule to the Convention Rights (Compliance) (Scotland) Act 2001 was compatible with the Convention rights of the appellant mandatory life prisoners.

[2004] EWCA Crim 821
[2004] EWCA Crim 821
CA (Crim Div) (Hunt J, Crane J, Rose LJ)
17 March 2004

The defendant's conviction for attempted murder was safe as the judge had been right to allow evidence of the defendant's previous conviction for a similar offence to be adduced given the strong identification evidence and to rebut possible innocent explanations given by the defendant. The jury had been clearly and carefully directed as to how they could use the evidence.

[2004] EWCA Crim 671
[2004] EWCA Crim 671
CA (Crim Div) (Keene LJ, Leveson J, Judge Zucker)
16 March 2004

The defendant's conviction for, inter alia, attempted murder and having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence was safe as the judge had adequately summed up the identification evidence and the effect the victim's drinking could have had on the identification.

[2004] EWCA Crim 526
[2004] EWCA Crim 526
CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Judge David Hodson)
10 March 2004

The failure of the trial judge to direct the jury that the fatal injuries sustained by a murdered man had to have been sustained when the joint enterprise was continuing and that the particular defendants were still acting within that joint enterprise rendered the convictions of two of the appellants unsafe.

[2004] EWCA Crim 525
[2004] EWCA Crim 525
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Douglas Brown J)
9 March 2004

The appellant's 1971 murder conviction was not rendered unsafe by the directions given by the judge relating to alleged lies told by the appellant.

[2004] EWCA Crim 945
[2004] EWCA Crim 945
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Keith J, Sir Edwin Jowitt)
4 March 2004

The defendant's convictions for conspiracy to possess firearms and ammunition with intent and conspiracy to supply controlled drugs were safe as the judge had been right to refuse to allow a defence of duress to go before the jury. The evidential basis for a defence of duress did not arise.

[2004] EWCA Crim 431
[2004] EWCA Crim 431
CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Butterfield J, Judge David Hodson)
13 February 2004

Where a jury found the applicant unfit to stand trial but the determination was postponed to allow medication and there was subsequent disagreement between doctors as to whether the applicant was then fit to stand trial, there was no mechanism under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity and Unfitness to Plead) Act 1964 by which to set aside the finding so the matter had to proceed to determination. That disclosed an unsatisfactory lacuna in the law. However, any rights or breach of those rights were retained and the applicant could seek civil remedies.

[2004] EWCA Civ 99
[2004] EWCA Civ 99
CA (Civ Div) (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers MR, Mantell LJ, Carnwath LJ)
11 February 2004

The secretary of state was required to subject the tariffs for young persons sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure, fixed in the transitional cases after the case of R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Venables (1998) A.C. 407, to periodic review.

[2004] UKPC 7
[2004] UKPC 7
PC (UK) (Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
29 January 2004

The appellant's murder conviction was not unsafe.

[2004] UKPC 5
[2004] UKPC 5
PC (Jam) (Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe)
22 January 2004

The defendants appeal against murder would be dismissed as the evidence of the principle witness at trial, to the effect that he had lied at trial, was fanciful and not capable of belief. The Court of Appeal had been correct in deciding whether the evidence was capable of belief from the affidavits.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1
[2004] EWCA Crim 1
CA (Crim Div) (Judge LJ, Rafferty J, Pitchers J)
19 January 2004

In the current state of knowledge, it did not necessarily follow that three sudden unexplained infant deaths in the same family led to the inexorable conclusion that they must have resulted from the deliberate infliction of harm.

[2003] UKHL 69
[2003] UKHL 69
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
18 December 2003

Where two defendants were jointly charged with a crime and each blamed the other for its commission, one accused could rely on the more significant criminal propensity of the other in order to prove his innocence.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3713
[2003] EWCA Crim 3713
CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Aikens J, Grigson J)
18 December 2003

A judge's failure to specifically direct the jury in a murder case to take into account particular characteristics of the offender in considering the issue of provocation had not been fatal where the jury had been aware of the offender's particular characteristics; the jury would not have disregarded such characteristics when considering the issue of provocation.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3643
[2003] EWCA Crim 3643
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Aikens J, Davis J)
15 December 2003

The appellants' convictions for murder were quashed in the light of fresh evidence which rendered the evidence of the co-accused, who gave evidence against them at trial, so unreliable that it was worthless.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3642
[2003] EWCA Crim 3642
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Curtis J, Forbes J)
12 December 2003

The Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to hear the Crown's appeal against a ruling made by the trial judge at a preparatory hearing, as that ruling brought the proceedings to an end and was not within the ambit of s.29(2) Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3636
[2003] EWCA Crim 3636
CA (Crim Div) (Potter LJ, Cresswell J, Davis J)
12 December 2003

Where the judge intended to direct the jury on the question of provocation on a charge of murder, he should discuss with counsel the terms of the appropriate direction before speeches were given; he should also use the Judicial Studies Board specimen direction of April 2003 as a starting point.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3935
[2003] EWCA Crim 3935
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Douglas Brown J)
10 December 2003

Convictions for murder were safe as the evidence of the pathologist showed a sufficient causal link between the injury sustained by the victim and his eventual death from an infection whilst in a coma.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3556
[2003] EWCA Crim 3556
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Silber J, Leveson J)
8 December 2003

The appeal against conviction for murder failed as the appellant was properly convicted according to the law in 1955 when she committed the offence. The trial judge correctly withdrew the issue of provocation from the jury.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3434
[2003] EWCA Crim 3434
CA (Crim Div) (Potter LJ, Cresswell J, Davis J)
28 November 2003

Fresh evidence only affected the safety of a conviction if it might reasonably have affected the jury's decision to convict. The acquittal of one defendant did not, in the absence of any cogent error or misunderstanding, make the conviction of a co-accused unsafe.

[2003] UKPC 82
[2003] UKPC 82
PC (Trin) (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Hoffmann, Sir Andrew Leggatt, Sir Philip Otton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Scott of Foscote)
24 November 2003

Unsuccessful appeal against conviction for attempted murder where the appellant failed to establish that the conduct of either the trial judge or the appellant's counsel at trial or on appeal rendered his conviction unsafe. However the appeal against sentence was allowed since the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago did not have the power to vary the sentence imposed by the trial judge.

[2003] EWHC 2797 (Admin)
[2003] EWHC 2797 (Admin)
DC (Kennedy LJ, Mackay J)
21 November 2003

To access the full text of this judgment, please use the link above. A full Lawtel Case Report is being prepared and will be published shortly.

[2003] UKPC 79
[2003] UKPC 79
PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Millett, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe)
20 November 2003

The 'felony murder rule' enacted in s.2A Criminal Law Act 1979 of Trinidad and Tobago was constitutional but a mandatory death sentence on conviction of murder under s.2A was unconstitutional.

[2003] UKPC 78
[2003] UKPC 78
PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Millett, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe)
20 November 2003

Section 4 Offences Against the Person Act 1925 of Trinidad and Tobago should be interpreted, by operation of s.5 of the 1976 Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, as providing for a discretionary, rather than mandatory, life sentence for murder.

[2003] EWHC 2910 (Admin)
[2003] EWHC 2910 (Admin)
QBD (Admin)
18 November 2003

The National Probation Service had erred in failing to consider the rights of the applicant when considering him for early release on licence by deciding that a third party should be informed of the applicant's conviction.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3486
[2003] EWCA Crim 3486
CA (Crim Div) (Elias J, Leveson J)
17 November 2003

Where a defendant was tried for murder there was no need for the judge to leave the issue of provocation for the jury where there was only minimal evidence of loss of self control which, at most, could only give rise to a speculative possibility that the defendant lost control.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
13 November 2003

A change in the defendant's behaviour and any consideration in respect of his welfare, did not require any lowering in sentence tariff for two offences of murder, two offences of attempted murder that had left the victims with severe injuries, and one offence of robbery, which were all committed during one incident when the defendant was 17 years old.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3309
[2003] EWCA Crim 3309
CA (Crim Div) (Keene LJ, Roderick Evans J, Cooke J)
13 November 2003

A conviction for manslaughter was unsafe where an application to exclude evidence of confession under s.76 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, for breaches of the Codes of Practice, had been refused and it later transpired it was highly likely police officers had known the defendant had a mental impairment and an appropriate adult should have been present.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3319
[2003] EWCA Crim 3319
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Leveson J)
10 November 2003

In the circumstances there had been no breach of the then relevant Code D2.3 where an unmasked identification parade was held. The judge was right to admit identification evidence as he had clearly considered the extent to which hearsay formed the basis of the witness' evidence.

[2003] EWCA Civ 1561
[2003] EWCA Civ 1561
CA (Civ Div) (Mummery LJ, Sedley LJ, Munby J)
6 November 2003

Whether a prisoner's 15 month delay between parole board reviews was excessive had not been satisfactorily determined on refusal of his application for judicial review, but his appeal was dismissed as he had now been released and had claimed no relief.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3203
[2003] EWCA Crim 3203
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ, Poole J, Hallett J)
29 October 2003

A total sentence of ten years' imprisonment for two counts of attempted murder was unduly lenient and a sentence of 18 years' imprisonment would be substituted, the courts had to send out the message that gun crime would not be tolerated.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2957
[2003] EWCA Crim 2957
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Douglas Brown J, Davis J)
28 October 2003

Convictions for murder and robbery committed in 1949 were quashed where the failure to disclose the statements of key witnesses rendered the convictions unsafe, and where the second defendant was under undue pressure to plead guilty based on the first defendant's death sentence for the offence.

[2003] UKPC 70
[2003] UKPC 70
PC (BVI) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
20 October 2003

Successful appellants were awarded the costs of their appeals to the Privy Council. Where one of the appellant's had been granted special leave to appeal as a poor person, but his status subsequently changed, his entitlement to costs was limited to those costs incurred once he was self-funded.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2750
[2003] EWCA Crim 2750
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Forbes J, Aikens J)
15 October 2003

The defendant's appeal against her conviction for murder failed as the substance of the material on which fresh medical evidence was based was known at trial and the defendant had a full opportunity to put forward her defence at trial.

[2003] UKPC 69
[2003] UKPC 69
PC (Jam) (Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton, Lord Millett)
8 October 2003

Verdicts of non-capital murder were substituted for verdicts of capital murder where the judge had wrongly failed to leave to the jury the question whether the appellants were part of a joint enterprise but did not inflict or attempt to inflict the fatal shots.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2768
[2003] EWCA Crim 2768
CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Aikens J, Grigson J)
7 October 2003

In all the circumstances, a sentence of six years for manslaughter was manifestly excessive and did not reflect the level of provocation.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2428
[2003] EWCA Crim 2428
CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Nelson J, Jack J)
5 September 2003

Appeals by young offenders against conviction and sentence for murder and conspiracy to rob. The second appellant's conviction for murder was unsafe and was therefore quashed.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2257
[2003] EWCA Crim 2257
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Cresswell J, Bennett J)
31 July 2003

The appellants' convictions in 1970 for murder were unsafe in light of the cumulative effect of criticisms against the conviction relating to the credibility of the prosecution's main witness and the failure to disclose certain evidence to the defence.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1976
[2003] EWCA Crim 1976
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Gage J, Mitting J)
29 July 2003

The appellant's conviction for murder was unsafe and had to be quashed where it was highly probable that the victim had been attacked by one man, and where the DNA evidence had excluded the appellant as the attacker.

CA (Mantell LJ, Nelson J, Jack J)
29 July 2003

In the particular circumstances of this case the court would not interfere with a sentence of three and a half years' imprisonment for manslaughter on the grounds of provocation where the defendant killed his wife and son.

QBD (Judge Heppel QC)
28 July 2003

The police had proved that there were reasonable grounds to arrest the claimant on suspicion of murder in prevailing circumstances when arrest was effected and therefore the arrest was not unlawful.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2223
[2003] EWCA Crim 2223
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Aikens J, Penry-Davey J)
21 July 2003

Where defendants were indicted for robbery, before an automatic life sentence was imposed under s.109 Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, it had to be unequivocally established that s.109(5)(h) applied.

[2003] EWHC 1789 (Admin)
[2003] EWHC 1789 (Admin)
DC (Rose LJ, Henriques J)
10 July 2003

The Secretary of State for the Home Department could not be construed as "a court" within the meaning in para.2(1) sch.2 Criminal Appeal Act 1968 and therefore had had power to set a higher tariff than had originally been imposed following a conviction for murder after a re-trial. The secretary of state had not erred in taking into account the decision in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Anderson (2003) 1 AC 837 and forthcoming legislation when refusing to review the tariff of two life prisoners.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2315
[2003] EWCA Crim 2315
CA (Crim Div) (Tuckey LJ, Leveson J, Judge Rivlin QC)
10 July 2003

A minimum term of ten years following a conviction for murder was not manifestly excessive or wrong in principle as it was clear the sentencing judge had in mind the Practice Statement on minimum terms. However, it was possible insufficient account was taken of the defendant's positive good character and the term would be reduced to nine years.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1994
[2003] EWCA Crim 1994
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Cresswell J, Bennett J)
24 June 2003

A sentence of seven years for manslaughter was unduly lenient. Applying the factors set out in Attorney-General's Reference (Nos.19,20,21 of 2002) sub nom R v Burn & Ors to the facts of the present offence a sentence of eight-and-a-half years was appropriate.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1753
[2003] EWCA Crim 1753
CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Keith J, Simon J)
17 June 2003

Appeals against convictions for murder were allowed as the non-disclosure of prosecution evidence influenced the jury's assessment of the reliability of the evidence of a key eye-witness, and the use of a hearsay statement of a witness who had not given evidence at the trial was unfairly prejudicial to the defence.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2196
[2003] EWCA Crim 2196
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Owen J)
17 June 2003

The appellant's conviction for murder was quashed as important pathological evidence as to the time of the victim's death had not been before the jury at trial.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1640
[2003] EWCA Crim 1640
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Henriques J, Treacy J)
10 June 2003

An appeal against conviction for murder was allowed where new evidence concluded that the appellant was educationally retarded, abnormally suggestible and potentially vulnerable when being interviewed by police as the essential and sole issue on which the jury were asked to judge the appellant's case had been whether his confession was voluntary and true or not.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1966
[2003] EWCA Crim 1966
CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Silber J, Owen J)
6 June 2003

Where the defendants ran cut-throat defences a judge had to give a warning as to the credibility of the evidence of co-defendants against each other and no principle could be derived from R v Burrows that a warning should not be given.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1840
[2003] EWCA Crim 1840
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Fulford J, Tugendhat J)
5 June 2003

A retrial of a life prisoner was in the public interest, the court having considered the length of time since the original trial, the prisoner's age, his health and evidence of police misconduct in the original trial.

[2003] UKPC 40
[2003] UKPC 40
PC (Bze) (Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Sir Andrew Leggatt, Sir Swinton Thomas)
22 May 2003

In reaching its conclusion the Court of Appeal had not taken into account the problems caused by the failure of the police to hold an identification parade or to give a direction about the inconsistencies in the evidence of the chief witness.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1500
[2003] EWCA Crim 1500
CA (Crim Div) (Longmore LJ, Mitting J)
22 May 2003

The non-disclosure of a witness's previous convictions for dishonesty offences would have affected the defence in that the witness would have been cross-examined more rigorously. However, that witness's evidence did not go to the heart of the case and would not have affected the verdict had the previous convictions been disclosed.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1722
[2003] EWCA Crim 1722
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Roderick Evans J, Royce J)
20 May 2003

Where an indictment contained a single count of attempted murder, the judge was right to leave to the jury an alternate count of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, as a defendant could not intend to kill without also intending to cause grievous bodily harm.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1373
[2003] EWCA Crim 1373
CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Keith J, Simon J)
20 May 2003

A conviction for murder referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission was safe as the evidence of a new expert witness did not add anything of significance to the evidence of the expert witness at trial.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1621
[2003] EWCA Crim 1621
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Pitchers J)
15 May 2003

Where detention was ordered at Her Majesty's pleasure, a minimum term of five and a half years for murder was unduly lenient as the sentencing judge had effectively taken into account the early release provisions twice. The correct minimum term was 11 years.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1324
[2003] EWCA Crim 1324
CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Royce J, Judge Mettyear)
13 May 2003

A sentence of six years' imprisonment following a plea of guilty to manslaughter was not manifestly excessive in the circumstances, but a two-year licence period extension under s.85 Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 was quashed as unnecessary.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1240
[2003] EWCA Crim 1240
CA (Crim Div) (Scott Baker LJ, Pitchers J, Judge Richard Brown)
2 May 2003

The appellant's conviction was safe. The evidence of a third witness would not have helped his case as the witness was not credible.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1048
[2003] EWCA Crim 1048
CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Jack J, Hedley J)
16 April 2003

A murder conviction was safe where it relied on the conviction of the appellant's co-accused, which was based on evidence of an out of court admission that was not admissible against the appellant.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1060
[2003] EWCA Crim 1060
CA (Crim Div) (Buxton LJ, Crane J, Fulford J)
16 April 2003

A conviction for murder referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission was safe as none of the matters raised by the appellant would have affected the outcome of the trial in the light of the other evidence.

[2003] UKPC 36
[2003] UKPC 36
PC (Trin) (Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
15 April 2003

The judge's failure in a murder case to direct the jury that the defendant as a man of good character might have been unlikely to indulge in very serious violence without first being provoked was a material misdirection and verdicts of manslaughter were substituted for verdicts of murder.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1440
[2003] EWCA Crim 1440
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Goldring J, Cox J)
15 April 2003

In a case of joint enterprise the judge was wrong to direct the jury that they could only convict all the defendants of murder or all of them of manslaughter but could not convict some of murder and some of manslaughter. However, there was overwhelming evidence that the defendants were all in it together from the outset and the convictions were safe.

[2003] EWHC 835 (Admin)
[2003] EWHC 835 (Admin)
DC (Mitchell J, Maurice Kay J)
15 April 2003

The Criminal Cases Review Commission made an error of law in refusing to refer the claimant's case to the Court of Appeal. The Commission misconstrued the Court of Appeal's appellate function and failed to identify inadequacies in the trial judge's directions on the issue of provocation.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1167
[2003] EWCA Crim 1167
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Mitchell J, Leveson J)
14 April 2003

Where counsel had conducted two separate trials simultaneously and at the time was being investigated for allegations of rape, the court had to decide whether his conduct was so unreasonable so as to affect the fairness of the trial. The convictions were safe as there had been overwhelming evidence.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1257
[2003] EWCA Crim 1257
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Goldring J, Pitchers J)
11 April 2003

Public interest required a retrial where there was the serious offence of murder, even though there had been a substantial lapse of time since the offence: it was still possible for the retrial to be fair.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1020
[2003] EWCA Crim 1020
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Holland J, Hallett J)
11 April 2003

A mother's convictions for the murder of her two children were unsafe in the light of new evidence revealing previously undisclosed microbiological reports relating to one of the children, which provided evidence upon which it was possible to conclude that the child had died from natural causes.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1379
[2003] EWCA Crim 1379
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Astill J, Sullivan J)
11 April 2003

The appeal against conviction for murder was dismissed as relevant evidence concerning motive had properly been admitted, the jury had not been misdirected and the defendant's solicitor's advice in police interviews was not open to criticism.

[2003] UKPC 27
[2003] UKPC 27
PC (BVI) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
7 April 2003

The evidence of prison informers was inherently unreliable given the personal advantage such witnesses might obtain by providing information to the authorities. A judge had to draw the jury's attention to the indications that might justify the inference that the evidence was tainted and to advise the jury to be cautious before accepting that evidence.

[2003] EWHC 692 (Admin)
[2003] EWHC 692 (Admin)
DC (Kennedy LJ, Mitchell J)
3 April 2003

Section 28(4) Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 required the Secretary of State for the Home Department to direct, and when appropriate re-direct, what the minimum period of imprisonment was to be, taking account of progress, for juveniles held at Her Majesty's pleasure.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1008
[2003] EWCA Crim 1008
CA (Crim Div) (Tuckey LJ, Mitting J, Sir Brian Smedley)
27 March 2003

Where a conviction for murder was referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission in light of fresh evidence, the conviction was held to have been safe where the fresh evidence would not have affected the jury's decision to convict.

[2003] EWCA Crim 815
[2003] EWCA Crim 815
CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Jack J, Hedley J)
26 March 2003

The judge's direction on provocation did not remove obsessiveness and jealousy, as the particular characteristics upon which the defendant had been seeking to rely, from the jury's consideration.

[2003] UKHL 10
[2003] UKHL 10
HL (Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
27 February 2003

Even if a defendant would not have killed if he had not taken drink, a defence of diminished responsibility could be available to him if he could satisfy the jury that, despite the drink, a mental abnormality substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his fatal acts.

[2003] EWCA Crim 436
[2003] EWCA Crim 436
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, McCombe J, Treacy J)
21 February 2003

Where co-defendants each accused the other of having inflicted the deceased's fatal injuries, the more significant criminal record of one was relevant and admissible to show that it was more likely that he had committed the crime.

[2003] EWCA Crim 357
[2003] EWCA Crim 357
CA (Crim Div) (Potter LJ, Mackay J, Judge Mellor)
20 February 2003

Where the entirety of the Crown's evidence was contained in a witness statement that had been read to the jury, and the defendant had not had the opportunity to cross-examine that witness, the admission of the evidence had breached the defendant's right to a fair trial and destroyed the safety of the jury's determination.

[2003] EWCA Crim 271
[2003] EWCA Crim 271
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, McCombe J, Treacy J)
13 February 2003

Alleged admissions from a co-defendant's girlfriend after the trial constituted hearsay evidence and were therefore inadmissible under the rule in R v Melanie Myers (1997) 3 WLR 552.

[2003] EWCA Crim 415
[2003] EWCA Crim 415
CA (Crim Div) (Jackson J, Elias J)
7 February 2003

In certain circumstances, where women in domestic situations did acts of manslaughter following provocation, a lesser sentence was sometimes justified.

[2003] EWCA Crim 192
[2003] EWCA Crim 192
CA (Crim Div) (Rix LJ, Crane J, Judge Maddison)
7 February 2003

In a murder case the Court of Appeal reaffirmed the direction on intention as set out in R v Woollin (1999) 1 AC 82.

[2003] EWCA Crim 178
[2003] EWCA Crim 178
CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Gage J, Poole J)
6 February 2003

Appeal dismissed as there was no evidence to the unreliability of the confessions made to police.

[2003] EWCA Crim 309
[2003] EWCA Crim 309
CA (Crim Div) (Longmore LJ, Sachs J, Davis J)
30 January 2003

In the light of the Practice Statement on Life Sentences (2002) 1 WLR 1789, a judge had to go through four steps in order to reach a conclusion in relation to a minimum term. First he had to fix a starting point; secondly, he had to consider the aggravating circumstances; thirdly, he had to consider the mitigating circumstances and fourthly, he had to deduct any time spent on remand.

PC (Trin) (Lord Hoffmann, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Sir Denis Henry)
29 January 2003

The Privy Council dismissed appeals against convictions for murder rejecting all the grounds of appeal which included alleged misdirections by the judge in relation to the law of joint enterprise, identification, fingerprint evidence, a spontaneous statement by the deceased and the standard of proof.

[2003] EWCA Crim 28
[2003] EWCA Crim 28
CA (Crim Div) (Mance LJ, Sachs J, Mitchell J)
29 January 2003

The trial judge had correctly directed the jury as to causation on a charge of murder and the jury had been entitled to reach its own conclusions on that issue even though the issue was dominated by conflicting expert evidence.

[2003] EWCA Crim 284
[2003] EWCA Crim 284
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Gray J, Aikens J)
27 January 2003

In light of fresh evidence, which indicated that the defendant was suffering from a severe personality disorder amounting to an abnormality of the mind at the time of the offence, the conviction for murder was unsafe, and a verdict of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, would be substituted.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
21 January 2003

An 11-year tariff imposed on offenders convicted of murder, would not be altered on review despite their increased maturity.

[2003] UKPC 1
[2003] UKPC 1
PC (Trin) (Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
15 January 2003

Appeals against convictions for murder were allowed where the court could not be satisfied that the trial judge had given proper directions on identification evidence in summing-up and the remaining evidence against the appellants was not compelling enough to make convictions inevitable.

[2002] EWCA Crim 2950
[2002] EWCA Crim 2950
CA (Crim Div) (Dyson LJ, Harrison J, Cooke J)
20 December 2002

A stay on the ground that a fair trial was not possible by reason of the loss of evidence would only be granted in the most exceptional circumstances. A woman's conviction for the murder of her husband by injection of insulin was not overturned on the basis of fresh expert evidence.

[2002] EWCA Crim 2912
[2002] EWCA Crim 2912
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Wright J, Henriques J)
12 December 2002

Appeal against conviction on five counts of murder by the appellant dismissed as there was nothing in any of the grounds to throw doubt upon the safety of the convictions.

[2002] EWCA Crim 2782
[2002] EWCA Crim 2782
CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Treacy J, Simon J)
6 December 2002

Three appeals against conviction for conspiracy to murder were dismissed.

[2002] UKHL 47
[2002] UKHL 47
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
25 November 2002

Mandatory life sentences imposed following convictions for murder did not violate Art.3 or Art.5 European Convention on Human Rights.

[2002] EWCA Civ 1661
[2002] EWCA Civ 1661
CA (Civ Div) (Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (President), Waller LJ, Sir Philip Otton)
7 November 2002

Neither the Registrar General nor a prison director had the power to prevent a proposed marriage from taking place until after the criminal trial of a man on remand, where the proposed wife was to be called to give evidence at that trial but would cease to be a compellable witness following marriage to the prisoner by reason of s.80 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (as amended). * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.

[2002] UKPC 58
[2002] UKPC 58
PC (Jam) (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Hutton, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Steyn, Gault J)
6 November 2002

Where the critical issue at trial had been one of identification and highly material video evidence had not been disclosed, the defendants' convictions were unsafe.

[2002] EWCA Crim 2227
[2002] EWCA Crim 2227
CA (Crim Div) (Judge LJ, Butterfield J, McCombe J)
17 October 2002

The appellant's conviction for the murder of his mother in 1927 was safe.

[2002] UKPC 53
[2002] UKPC 53
PC (Jam) (Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Millett, Lord Hutton, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Steyn)
15 October 2002

A successful appeal against a decision of the Court of Appeal of Jamaica to dismiss an application to adduce fresh evidence in a murder case where the evidence was possibly capable of belief and the Court of Appeal had not heard oral evidence from the witness in question.

[2002] UKPC 52
[2002] UKPC 52
PC (Trin) (Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Rodger, Sir Philip Otton)
14 October 2002

Where counsel for the appellants had failed to raise good character at trial, and although it appeared probable that the jury would still have convicted had a good character direction been given, it could not be said that that outcome would have been inevitable and therefore the appeal was allowed.

[2002] EWCA Crim 1945
[2002] EWCA Crim 1945
CA (Crim Div) (May LJ, Cresswell J, Sir Richard Rougier)
1 August 2002

Directions given to a jury, although correct at the time, had to be judged by reference to a significant subsequent change in the common law and present standards of fairness had to be applied. Although a judge had not given a direction in line with R v Nedrick (1986) 1 WLR 1025 on intention in a murder case, the facts were such that a jury would have found that at least really serious bodily injury was a virtual certainty.

[2002] EWCA Crim 1942
[2002] EWCA Crim 1942
CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Holman J, Gibbs J)
31 July 2002

Where the integrity of police interviews was central to the Crown's case and there was fresh evidence that might have caused the jury to think that records of one interview had been fabricated, it was at least likely that the jury would have doubted the integrity of all the interviews and that the convictions were unsafe.

[2002] EWCA Crim 1881
[2002] EWCA Crim 1881
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Colman J, Roderick Evans J)
31 July 2002

Where leading counsel had been suffering from a terminal illness during the course of a murder trial, the issue on appeal was not the state of counsel's health but whether the conduct of the defendant's case, for whatever reason, fell below the proper standard so that the defendant did not receive a fair trial.

[2002] EWCA Crim 1923
[2002] EWCA Crim 1923
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Curtis J, Henriques J)
29 July 2002

When a witness to a crime had failed to make a positive identification on an identification parade the witness could nevertheless be called into the witness box to describe the offender and what occurred on the identification parade. A failure to make a positive identification was no bar to describing either the event or the offender. * Application for leave to appeal to the House of Lords pending.

[2002] EWCA Crim 1736
[2002] EWCA Crim 1736
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Holland J, Andrew Smith J)
10 July 2002

Once a defendant had given evidence against a co-defendant a judge had no discretion to prevent the cross-examination of the defendant regarding his bad character. Foresight that death might result or foresight that serious injury might be inflicted was sufficient for a conviction of murder where the accused was party to a joint enterprise.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
3 July 2002

A ten-year tariff imposed on a young offender, who was sentenced to detention at Her Majesty's pleasure after being convicted of the murder of a one year-old child, would not be altered on review despite his progress in addressing his offending behaviour.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
3 July 2002

The minimum tariff for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for killing his mother and her cohabitee with a crossbow at close range was set at 17 years.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
25 June 2002

Taking into account his marked progress in custody, a tariff of 15 years was recommended for a young offender convicted of murder and sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure.

[2002] EWCA Crim 1464
[2002] EWCA Crim 1464
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Nelson J, McCombe J)
24 May 2002

The judge had not erred by leaving it to the jury to decide whether identification evidence was truthful or deliberately false.

[2002] UKPC 23
[2002] UKPC 23
PC (Bah) (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Steyn, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Rodger)
20 May 2002

A verdict for murder was quashed and substituted with a verdict of manslaughter where the trial judge's direction on murder risked confusing the jury over the ingredients of murder and manslaughter. The trial judge had been entitled to take the view that a Lucas direction was not required where the prosecution had not adduced any evidence of the truth or otherwise of the appellant's version of events and the appellant had not given evidence at trial.

[2002] EWHC 967 (Admin)
[2002] EWHC 967 (Admin)
DC (Kennedy LJ, Rafferty J)
16 May 2002

The Crown Court did not have the jurisdiction to issue a practice direction requiring criminal defendants to sign their defence statements.

[2002] EWCA Crim 1141
[2002] EWCA Crim 1141
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Mantell LJ, Leveson J)
10 May 2002

The conviction of James Hanratty for capital murder in 1962 was not unsafe and fresh prosecution DNA evidence linking him to the offence was admissible. * Application for leave to appeal to the House of Lords pending.

[2002] EWCA Crim 941
[2002] EWCA Crim 941
CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Newman J, Roderick Evans J)
26 April 2002

The Criminal Cases Review Commission could, in exceptional circumstances, make a reference to the Court of Appeal where there was no new argument or evidence. In the absence of new argument or evidence the proper exercise of the Court of Appeal's power to depart from its previous reasoning or conclusions should equally be confined to exceptional circumstances.

[2002] EWCA Crim 1069
[2002] EWCA Crim 1069
CA (Crim Div) (Judge LJ, Garland J, Nelson J)
24 April 2002

A conviction for manslaughter was not safe where the compartmentalisation of the appellant's defences of provocation and diminished responsibility meant that medical evidence was confined to the latter defence and by current standards the former was not adequately canvassed before the jury.

[2002] EWCA Crim 699
[2002] EWCA Crim 699
CA (Crim Div) (Clarke LJ, Leveson J, Cooke J)
22 March 2002

A life sentence, where the sentence was not obligatory, should only be passed in the most exceptional circumstances. There had to be good grounds for believing that the offender might remain a serious danger to the public for a period that could not be reliably estimated at the time of sentencing.

[2002] UKPC 14
[2002] UKPC 14
PC (Jam) (Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Sir Andrew Leggatt, Lord Cameron)
18 March 2002

A judge's decision on a voir dire to determine the admissibility of a confession should not be revealed to the jury.

HCJ Appeal (Lord Cullen LJG, Lord Kirkwood, Lord Osborne, Lord Macfadyen, Lord Nimmo Smith)
14 March 2002

An unsuccessful appeal against conviction for murder by the Libyan man found guilty of planting an explosive device on Pan Am flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie killing 259 passengers and crew and 11 residents of Lockerbie.

[2002] UKPC 11
[2002] UKPC 11
PC (Bze) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
11 March 2002

Belize's mandatory death sentence for murder was unconstitutional because it excluded from sentencing any judicial consideration of the humanity of condemning the defendant to death. It infringed the right to be protected from inhuman or degrading punishment.

[2002] UKPC 12
[2002] UKPC 12
PC (StL) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
11 March 2002

The mandatory death sentence for murder imposed by s.178 Criminal Code of Saint Lucia was inconsistent with the prohibition against inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment contained in s.5 Constitution of Saint Lucia. The exercise of the prerogative of mercy did not provide the necessary individuation of the death sentence.

[2002] UKPC 13
[2002] UKPC 13
PC (StC) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)
11 March 2002

The requirement to impose a death penalty for murder was incompatible with the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment under s.7 Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
6 March 2002

A tariff of ten years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the murder of a frail man in the street was upheld on review.

[2002] EWCA Crim 464
[2002] EWCA Crim 464
CA (Crim Div) (Longmore LJ, Gibbs J, Recorder of Leeds)
15 February 2002

An identification parade did not breach Code of Practice D where the witness's first description of the suspect did not reveal that the witnesses had only seen the suspect from the back. Where the investigating officer had good reason to think the parade would be useful, there was no unfairness in not disclosing the view or angle from which the witness had observed the suspect. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.

[2002] EWCA Crim 632
[2002] EWCA Crim 632
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Aikens J, Pitchford J)
15 February 2002

As a general rule the Crown was entitled to adduce evidence that was sufficiently relevant to an issue in the case as advanced by the Crown, but all that was irrelevant or not sufficiently relevant to the case as put should, generally speaking, be excluded, especially if it was likely to prejudice a defendant.

[2002] EWCA Crim 293
[2002] EWCA Crim 293
CA (Crim Div) (Potter LJ, Wright J, Penry-Davey J)
13 February 2002

An unsuccessful appeal against a conviction for murder in June 1973.

[2002] EWCA Crim 1
[2002] EWCA Crim 1
CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Douglas Brown J, Astill J)
30 January 2002

There were no fixed and immutable rules to be followed before a witness could refresh his memory by a document prepared by him when his memory was clearer.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
29 January 2002

A tariff of 18 years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the murder of a 16-year-old girl by pouring petrol over her and setting her alight was reduced to 16 years on review to reflect the offender's significant progress in custody.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
29 January 2002

A tariff period of 12 years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the murder of a tramp was brought to an end on review after the offender had served more than 11 years and in the light of improvements in his behaviour.

Crown Ct (Nottingham) (Newman J)
29 January 2002

A murder trial was stayed after the deliberate interception of privileged conversations by police officers, even though the tapes were not used by the actual investigating officers, because such actions rendered a fair trial impossible.

[2002] EWCA Crim 120
[2002] EWCA Crim 120
CA (Crim Div) (Keene LJ, Forbes J, Gross J)
25 January 2002

Non-disclosure at trial of evidence concerning a material issue had led the judge and jury to be misled.

[2002] EWCA Crim 85
[2002] EWCA Crim 85
CA (Crim Div) (May LJ, Goldring J, Gross J)
23 January 2002

Where s.10(1) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 applied to an expert's opinion obtained at the request of solicitors to a party to litigation, and where that opinion was based on privileged information and could not be separated from that privileged information, the opinion was itself privileged.

[2002] EWCA Crim 84
[2002] EWCA Crim 84
CA (Crim Div) (May LJ, Goldring J, Crane J)
23 January 2002

In an unsuccessful appeal against conviction for murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, the trial judge had correctly declined to sever the charges against the appellant and his co-accused, had been entitled to refuse to discharge the jury when the co-accused was acquitted and had been right to conclude that there was a case for the appellant to answer.

[2002] EWCA Crim 263
[2002] EWCA Crim 263
CA (Crim Div) (Pill LJ, Hallett J, Davis J)
15 January 2002

A conviction based on a confession to murder obtained after a long interrogation of a low-intelligence 17-year-old was unsafe where the admissibility or reliability of that confession had not been challenged at trial.

[2001] EWHC Admin 1153
[2001] EWHC Admin 1153
DC (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Ouseley J)
20 December 2001

A decision of the Criminal Cases Review Commission not to refer a case to the Court of Appeal was not wrong where the matters sought to be relied on had, in essence, already been considered by the Court of Appeal and the commission had come to its conclusion having properly directed itself. However, the court expressed the view that the Court of Appeal now could have a doubt about the safety of the convictions and it was entirely a matter for the commission to decide what if any weight to attach to that view.

[2001] EWCA Crim 2808
[2001] EWCA Crim 2808
CA (Crim Div) (Mance LJ, Penry-Davey J, Leveson J)
18 December 2001

Witnesses who had come forward subsequent to trial and conviction were not credible and therefore could not render the jury's verdict as unsafe.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
14 December 2001

Tariff review of a youth sentenced to detention at Her Majesty's pleasure after being convicted of murder. The particular relationship between the deceased and the offender amounted to an exceptional feature contributing to a reduction in the tariff.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
14 December 2001

Tariff review of a youth sentenced to detention at Her Majesty's pleasure after pleading guilty to murder.

[2001] UKHL 66
[2001] UKHL 66
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough)
13 December 2001

The question for the Court of Appeal on an appeal against conviction was whether the conviction was safe and not whether the accused was guilty. When assessing fresh evidence in a case of any difficulty it would usually be wise for the Court of Appeal to test its own provisional view by asking whether the evidence, if given at trial, might reasonably have affected the decision of the trial jury to convict. If so, the conviction would be unsafe.

[2001] EWCA Crim 2834
[2001] EWCA Crim 2834
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Hughes J, Penry-Davey J)
11 December 2001

Cohabitees were not afforded the same concessions as a husband and wife in giving evidence against each other, that of being competent but not compellable witnesses. When directing the jury on the issue of provocation, an accused's alcoholism was not a characteristic to be taken into account when the accused had not called evidence to show that his alcohol abuse was relevant to the issue of provocation.

[2001] EWCA Crim 2788
[2001] EWCA Crim 2788
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Buckley J, Grigson J)
7 December 2001

An appeal against a murder conviction was dismissed.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
4 December 2001

A tariff of 13 years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the murder of a youth outside a nightclub following a fight between two groups was reduced to 12 years on review in view of the need for consistency with other cases.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
4 December 2001

A tariff of 12 years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for his part in the murder of another youth in a car park was upheld on review.

[2001] EWCA Crim 2611
[2001] EWCA Crim 2611
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Richards J, Pitchford J)
22 November 2001

Defences of provocation and lack of intent could not be considered by a jury under s.4A Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 where a person had been found unfit to stand trial. Concern was expressed that the condition for detention under Art.5(1)(e) European Convention on Human Rights, whether it could be reliably shown that a person was suffering from a mental disorder sufficiently serious to warrant detention, was not specifically addressed under the 1964 Act. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
21 November 2001

A young offender's tariff of 13 years for the horrific murder of an elderly woman was reduced to 12 years on review in view of that offender's marked improvement in custody. However, her co-defendant's tariff of 13 years was upheld on review.

[2001] EWCA Civ 1698
[2001] EWCA Civ 1698
CA (Civ Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Simon Brown LJ, Buxton LJ)
13 November 2001

The Secretary of State for the Home Department was entitled, as a member of the executive, to fix the tariff element of a mandatory life sentence for murder. A decision on the same point by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of R v Home Secretary, ex parte Stafford (1999) 2 AC 38 would be heard in about a year's time. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords granted.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
1 November 2001

Tariffs of 12 years for two young offenders sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the revenge murder of a member of a rival Triad gang were upheld on review.

CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
1 November 2001

A tariff of 12 years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the murder of a headmaster who had intervened in a gang fight outside his school was upheld.

[2001] EWCA Crim 2245
[2001] EWCA Crim 2245
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Wright J, Grigson J)
30 October 2001

Where there was medical evidence that the appellant, who had shot at two burglars in his home and killed one of them, suffered from diminished responsibility, the conviction for murder was substituted with a conviction for manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
26 October 2001

A tariff of 12 years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the murder of a caretaker was upheld on review.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
26 October 2001

A tariff of 12 years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the murder of a shopkeeper was exceptionally reduced to nine years on review because the offender appeared to have made amends for the crime.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
26 October 2001

A tariff of 13 years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the murder of an elderly man in his home was reduced to 12 years on review in view of the progress the offender had made in custody.

[2001] EWHC Admin 850
[2001] EWHC Admin 850
QBD (Admin) (Stanley Burnton J)
5 October 2001

The imposition of an exclusion zone as a condition of the applicant's release on licence from prison in order to minimise the risk of accidental contact between him and his victim's family was not unlawful because it was justified under Art.8(2) European Convention on Human Rights and it was proportionate.

[2001] UKPC 41
[2001] UKPC 41
PC (UK) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Mackay, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Clyde, Lord Scott)
2 October 2001

St Christopher and Nevis had not enacted s.3 Homicide Act 1957 and the prevailing common law allowed a judge to withdraw from a jury the element of the defence of provocation requiring that a reasonable man would have acted in the same way as the accused. For the Privy Council to interpret the common law in St Christopher in a way consistent to s.3 of the Act would be nothing short of judicial legislation.

[2001] EWCA Crim 2051
[2001] EWCA Crim 2051
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Morland J, Silber J)
28 September 2001

When considering intent to kill, a jury had to be sure that lies told by the defendant were inconsistent with his case. It was difficult to see the probative value of lies regarding provocation.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
28 September 2001

A recommended tariff of 14 years for a young offender convicted of murder was reduced to 12 years in view of his development in custody and to avoid his becoming institutionalised, despite the wishes of the victim's family.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
28 September 2001

A tariff of ten years for a young offender sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for a murder committed with a knife during a robbery was upheld on review.

HCJ (Lord Osborne)
26 September 2001

The contents of a statement made by a deceased man could be adduced in evidence in the trial of the alleged murderer of the deceased.

[2001] UKPC 38
[2001] UKPC 38
PC (Ant) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Mackay, Lord Nicholls, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Clyde)
14 August 2001

Where there was evidence sufficient to establish provocation, the proviso to s.39(1) West Indies Associated States Supreme Court Act 1969 could not be applied. The defendant's murder conviction was quashed and substituted with a conviction of manslaughter because provocation had not been left to the jury.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
7 August 2001

A tariff of 12 years for a 16-year-old autistic boy who had been sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for the murder of a 9-year-old boy was upheld on review.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
7 August 2001

A recommended tariff of 12 years for a young offender convicted of murder was upheld on review.

CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
7 August 2001

A tariff of 12 years imposed after a young offender was sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure for murder was reduced to nine years in view of his exemplary conduct in custody.

[2001] EWCA Crim 1806
[2001] EWCA Crim 1806
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Bell J, Stanley Burnton J)
31 July 2001

Save in relation to bail cases where there was a statutory requirement, it was no longer necessary in murder cases for the court to require a psychiatric report before trial.

[2001] EWCA Crim 2031
[2001] EWCA Crim 2031
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Potts J, Hallett J)
31 July 2001

A verdict of manslaughter was substituted for a murder conviction where there was inconclusive evidence of the time of injury to a baby who died of shaken baby syndrome and there was insufficient evidence of intent to do really serious harm.

[2001] EWCA Crim 1891
[2001] EWCA Crim 1891
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Bell J, Stanley Burnton J)
30 July 2001

Judicial recommendations made before the coming into force of s.82A Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 about the minimum tariff to be served when young persons were detained indefinitely should continue to serve as guidance for appropriate tariffs under the 2000 Act.

CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Potts J, Grigson J)
27 July 2001

A sentence of six years' detention for offences of attempted murder and aggravated burglary where the offender had attacked the elderly victim in her home was unduly lenient.

PC (Gren) (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope, Lord Hutton)
17 July 2001

Confession statements by the defendants had been given involuntarily and should not have been admitted in evidence at their trial. Having so concluded the Court of Appeal of Grenada had been wrong to apply the proviso in the case of one of the defendants but in the case of the other defendant a retrial was appropriate.

[2001] UKPC 35
[2001] UKPC 35
PC (StV) (Lord Hoffmann, Sir Patrick Russell, Sir Christopher Staughton, Sir Andrew Leggatt, Sir Philip Otton)
16 July 2001

Under the current law in St Vincent and the Grenadines a judge had no discretion to discharge a member of a serving jury unless the juror in question died, became incapable of serving or absented himself. Where it had not been suggested in evidence that the immediate cause of death had been medical treatment, negligent or otherwise, then a jury was entitled to regard a gunshot wound as the immediate cause of death.

[2001] UKHL 37
[2001] UKHL 37
HL (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton)
5 July 2001

The imposition of a legal, rather than an evidential, burden on a defendant by s.28(2) Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 violated Art.6(2) European Convention on Human Rights. However, the appellant could not rely on Convention rights in respect of a conviction before the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force.

[2001] EWCA Crim 1556
[2001] EWCA Crim 1556
CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Connell J, Sir Richard Tucker)
2 July 2001

A defendant's conviction for the murder of her baby son was unsafe where there was fresh evidence that a defect in the baby's skull was a fissure rather than a fracture.

PC (Gren) (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton)
26 June 2001

The judge had misdirected the jury on the burden of proof for the defence of provocation. The onus of proving that a killing was unprovoked lay on the prosecution.

[2001] EWCA Crim 1594
[2001] EWCA Crim 1594
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Sir Oliver Popplewell, Judge Goddard QC)
22 June 2001

The convictions of the defendants, in relation to a murder, were safe.

[2001] EWCA Crim 1367
[2001] EWCA Crim 1367
CA (Crim Div) (Judge LJ, Hooper J, Hallett J)
7 June 2001

Where the appellant, who had fired a single shot at two police officers, was convicted on two counts of attempted murder and the judge had failed to direct the jury that the appellant had intended to harm one or other of the police officers, the conviction relating to the officer least at risk of harm was quashed.

[2001] UKPC 26
[2001] UKPC 26
PC (Bze) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Scott, Sir Patrick Russell)
24 May 2001

The defendant's appeal against his double convictions for murder in Belize was successful because the jury had not been properly directed in respect his defence, namely self-defence, and as to the issue of provocation.

[2001] UKPC 27
[2001] UKPC 27
PC (Bze) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Scott, Sir Patrick Russell)
24 May 2001

The defendant's appeal against his conviction in Belize for murder was allowed because the jury had not been directed as to the issue of provocation in the terms of s.116(b) Belize Criminal Code, and accordingly the conviction was reduced to manslaughter.

CA (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
4 May 2001

A decision in accordance with Practice Direction : (Life Sentences for Murder) Times, August 09, 2000 on the tariff to be set for a youth who had pleaded guilty to murder.

[2001] EWCA Crim 1075
[2001] EWCA Crim 1075
CA (Crim Div) (Longmore LJ, Douglas Brown J, Eady J)
3 May 2001

The Court of Appeal formulated a three-stage test on the approach to applications to restrict media coverage of court proceedings.

[2001] EWHC Admin 298
[2001] EWHC Admin 298
DC (Garland J, Kennedy LJ)
2 May 2001

Persons accused of being party to a conspiracy to bomb American embassies could be extradited on the strength of anonymous witness statements. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords granted.

[2001] EWCA Crim 1261
[2001] EWCA Crim 1261
CA (Crim Div) (Kay LJ, Sachs J, Sir Swinton Thomas)
27 April 2001

There was no breach of Code D of the Codes of Practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 where a witness made a positive identification to an officer involved in the investigation after the parade had been dispersed.

[2001] EWCA Crim 906
[2001] EWCA Crim 906
CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Rougier J, McCombe J)
11 April 2001

A conviction was unsafe where a ruling that there was no case to answer for the co-accused because of the absence of evidence of joint enterprise had significantly altered the case that the appellant had to meet, and had deprived the jury from hearing information about the co-accused that could have been elicited from prosecution witnesses had the appellant faced trial alone from the outset.

[2001] UKPC 21
[2001] UKPC 21
PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse)
10 April 2001

A miscarriage of justice would occur where the judge had misdirected the jury in a fundamental respect which resulted in important questions relevant to the jury's verdict not being considered. A defendant was ordinarily entitled to the jury being properly directed on the facts and a Lacuna in the jury's factual consideration could not be filled by findings of an appellate court, unless inevitable.

[2001] UKPC 19
[2001] UKPC 19
PC (Bah) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope, Lord Scott)
10 April 2001

The defendant's appeal against his murder conviction was dismissed as the judge had been right to direct the jury that they were entitled to rely on identification evidence alone and as there was no absolute prohibition in law against holding second retrials.

[2001] UKPC 20
[2001] UKPC 20
PC (Trin) (Lord Steyn, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton, Lord Millett)
10 April 2001

An appellate court had to approach complaints about counsel's incompetence and its effect with a healthy scepticism. However, where the breaches of duty were fundamental the conclusion had to be that the defendant was deprived of due process.

DC (Kennedy LJ, Garland J)
9 April 2001

The Secretary of State for the Home Department's decision to transmit evidence to the Attorney-General of Pakistan pursuant to s.4 and Sch.1 para.5 Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act 1990 was a reasonable exercise of his discretion.

[2001] EWHC Admin 252
[2001] EWHC Admin 252
QBD (Admin) (Stanley Burnton J)
5 April 2001

Arts.5 and 6 European Convention on Human Rights did not apply to decisions as to the categorisation of a prisoner serving a mandatory life sentence.

[2001] EWCA Civ 472
[2001] EWCA Civ 472
CA (Civ Div) (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers MR, Peter Gibson LJ, Latham LJ)
4 April 2001

A serving prisoner did not have the right to facilities that would enable the artificial insemination of his wife. The deprivation of such facilities was a justifiable interference with the prisoner's rights under Art.8 and Art.12 European Convention on Human Rights. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.

[2001] EWCA Crim 696
[2001] EWCA Crim 696
CA (Crim Div) (Waller LJ, Garland J, Sachs J)
22 March 2001

In deciding whether to admit fresh psychiatric evidence on appeal the following should be considered: whether the new evidence demonstrated something well outside the norm; whether there was something in the appellant's history to support the evidence; and whether an examination of the admissions in the light of the new evidence led to the view that they could have been false or that they were false so as to render the verdict of the jury unsafe. The appellant's confessions in this case were false and the decision by the police not to allow him a solicitor was reprehensible.

[2001] EWCA Civ 730
[2001] EWCA Civ 730
CA (Crim Div) (Waller LJ, Garland J, Sachs J)
22 March 2001

Fairness could demand that, even though a witness was not adverse, a defendant was entitled to bring out previous consistent statements to enhance that witness' evidence for the defendant's benefit. Where witnesses had been truly interfered with to the point that they had given evidence against the defence, when without the interference they would have given evidence for the defence, the judge had the power to stop the trial.

PC (Jam) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hope, Lord Hutton, Lord Millett, Sir Patrick Russell)
20 March 2001

The Privy Council invited the Court of Appeal of Jamaica to consider receiving fresh evidence of a defendant's brain damage but rejected his defence of provocation to a conviction on three counts of murder for each of which the defendant had been sentenced to death.

[2001] UKHL 12
[2001] UKHL 12
HL (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Nicholls, Lord Hope, Lord Clyde, Lord Scott)
8 March 2001

When a new charge had been laid in the magistrates' court on the last day of the custody time limit of the original charge, the true question was whether the new charge had been brought solely for the purpose of avoiding a custody time limit and the prosecutor was required to demonstrate why the bringing of the new charge was necessary. Murder and manslaughter were distinct in law and were separate offences attracting separate custody time limits.

[2001] EWCA Crim 297
[2001] EWCA Crim 297
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett J, Maurice Kay J, Kennedy LJ)
14 February 2001

Public interest required a jury verdict where a defendant had been accused of a grave matter, provided that that could be achieved without any unfairness to, or oppression of, the defendant.

HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton)
5 February 2001

The House of Lords had no power to extend the 14-day time limit for a prosecutor to lodge his application for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision to quash a conviction.

HCJ (Lord Sutherland, Lord Coulsfield, Lord MacLean)
31 January 2001

Verdicts on the two Libyans accused of planting an explosive device on Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie.

[2001] UKPC 4
[2001] UKPC 4
PC (Trin) (Lord Nicholls, Lord Hope, Lord Clyde, Lord Scott, Sir Murray Stuart-Smith)
29 January 2001

Under the McNaughten Rules it was clear that a defendant may be insane even if he intended to kill, if he did not know that what he was doing was wrong. An appeal against conviction was allowed where a judge had failed to make it plain that the defences of diminished responsibility and insanity could also apply where there was intention to kill or cause serious harm.

[2001] EWCA Crim 72
[2001] EWCA Crim 72
CA (Crim Div) (Potter LJ, Bennett J, Rafferty J)
25 January 2001

Where the evidence against two co-defendants was markedly different it was appropriate that a conventional direction relating to separate considerations of the case against each should be given to the jury.

[2001] UKPC 2
[2001] UKPC 2
PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Clyde)
24 January 2001

Both the defendants and the prosecution successfully appealed against the Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeal's order that the defendants be retried for murder because the appeal court had failed to consider the safety of the convictions and the issue of a retrial as two distinct issues.

[2001] EWHC Admin 14
[2001] EWHC Admin 14
DC (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Newman J)
23 January 2001

It was unnecessary to comply with the formal rules of evidence and disclosure when applying for an extension of custody time limits so long as a defendant's interests were properly protected.

[2001] EWCA Crim 120
[2001] EWCA Crim 120
CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Henriques J, Owen J)
19 January 2001

An appeal against conviction was dismissed on the basis that a third trial was not an abuse of process. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.

[2001] EWCA Crim 3
[2001] EWCA Crim 3
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Alliott J, Judge David Clarke QC)
15 January 2001

In a successful appeal against a murder conviction where two distinct alternative cases had been put to the jury, the judge should have directed that unanimity was required as to the case on which the jury based its finding of guilt.

[2001] EWCA Crim 1
[2001] EWCA Crim 1
CA (Crim Div) (Laws LJ, Holman J, Judge David Clarke QC)
15 January 2001

Legal privilege as to the substance of communications between a solicitor and a client was not waived by a defendant saying in evidence that he had been advised by his solicitor to give a no-comment interview. Where a defendant made an assertion, the truth of which was critical to his defence, there was no need for a Lucas direction.

DC (Rose LJ, Newman J)
21 December 2000

The applicant was granted the writ of habeas corpus because the criminal accusations against him had been made in bad faith by the extraditing authorities, because he had been committed for extradition on inadmissible evidence and because the principal prosecution witness's evidence was worthless. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.

PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Hutton, Sir Anthony Evans)
20 December 2000

In an unsuccessful appeal against conviction for murder, the defendant was unable to demonstrate that the delay in bringing his case to trial, the loss of evidence in a fire, and the conduct of his trial counsel had caused serious prejudice to his trial so that it was not fair.

CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Hallett J, Crane J)
20 December 2000

In an unsuccessful appeal against conviction for murder, new pathological evidence indicating that suicide was equally as likely as homicide was neutral. The cause of the victim's death depended on the other evidence which plainly proved that the appellant had killed his wife.

CA (Crim Div) (Potter LJ, Poole J, Sir Brian Smedley)
19 December 2000

Where there was a cut-throat defence and similar questions arose in respect of each defendant, it was desirable to assist the jury by relating those questions specifically to the case advanced by each defendant. However, where the ingredients of the defence and matters on which the jury had to be satisfied were made clear, and the evidence of each defendant was fully re-canvassed before the jury, a failure to relate the questions specifically to each defendant would not necessarily render a conviction unsafe.

HL (Lord Steyn, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough)
14 December 2000

The House of Lords overruled the decision of the Court of Appeal that DNA samples that should have been destroyed under s.61 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 were not admissible in a trial for a separate matter. DNA evidence obtained as a result of the prohibited investigation was admissible, but s.64(3B)(b) of the Act had to be read in conjunction with s.78 of the Act, and under s.78 there was a discretionary power to exclude that evidence if it was unfair to admit it.

PC (StV) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse)
13 December 2000

Successful appeal against conviction for murder in Saint Vincent because the judge's summing up was unfair and biased.

CA (Crim Div) (Otton LJ, Hidden J, Sir Richard Tucker)
4 December 2000

In an appeal against a conviction for attempted murder, whilst fresh evidence was adduced to show that the appellant was unbalanced at the time of the offence, it was concluded by the Court of Appeal that even if the jury had been made aware of two additional factors relating to circumstances surrounding the offence, their conclusions would have been no different. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.

CA (Crim Div) (Potter LJ, Holman J, Sir Harry Ognall)
1 December 2000

The defendant's appeal against his murder conviction was dismissed because his fresh evidence, that the deceased had a propensity to carry a knife, was not direct evidence as to the incident in question, in which it was plain that the deceased had not carried a knife.

QBD (Admin) (Buxton LJ, Elias J)
30 November 2000

In an unsuccessful application for habeas corpus, it was held that the extradition of the applicant could proceed because the prima facie case against him was sufficient for a committal, it showed the applicant's involvement in crimes within the USA and it was not defective by reason of reliance on anonymous witness statements. * Application for leave to appeal to the House of Lords pending.

CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Hooper J, Goldring J)
29 November 2000

A direction as to circumstances where manslaughter could be found in a murder trial, given well after the jury retired and just as they were about to present their verdict, did not render a conviction for murder unsafe.

CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Poole J, Sir Brian Smedley)
24 November 2000

Where a guilty plea had been entered unequivocally after consideration of legal advice and where there was no suggestion of any mental deficit, suggestibility, pressure or inducement, a judge was correct in not exercising his discretion to allow that plea to be vacated and plea of not guilty entered.

PC (Jam) (Lord Hoffmann, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse, Lord Millett)
30 October 2000

Issues of delay should not be raised for the first time before the Privy Council because the national courts were best placed to decide if delay in a particular case had infringed a defendant's right.

CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
26 October 2000

When reviewing a tariff in the case of children, the court was required to take into account the progress they had made since detention.

CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Steel J, Richards J)
17 October 2000

In ordering the exhumation of the body of a convicted murderer who had been executed in 1962, the court had to take into account the very great public concern over the possibility that the defendant had been executed for a crime that he might not have committed. It was in the interests of justice that every step be taken to establish whether the jury's findings had been correct.

CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Astill J, Richards J)
5 October 2000

Attorney-General's application for leave to refer a term of five years' imprisonment (plus three years' extended licence) for attempted murder as unduly lenient. Leave refused because sentence was not unduly lenient and because of the principle of double jeopardy.

CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Bracewell J, Richards J)
2 October 2000

In an appeal against two convictions for the murder of the appellant's children, although the trial judge had erroneously followed the Crown's approach to the statistical rarity of such double deaths, the convictions were safe in the face of overwhelming evidence.

CA (Civ Div) (Ward LJ, Brooke LJ, Robert Walker LJ)
22 September 2000

An operation to separate Siamese twins which would inevitably lead to the death of one of the twins was in the best interests of the other twin under the principles of family law, and was justified under the criminal law by the doctrine of necessity.

PC (Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hutton, Blanchard J)
11 September 2000

Following an order that a co-accused person be retried because he was inadequately represented at trial, justice required that his fellow co-accused also be retried.

CA (Crim Div) (Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Rougier J, Bell J)
31 July 2000

Where the trial judge failed to direct the jury that no adverse inference should be drawn from the appellants' silence in interview, the misdirection should be taken in context and the safety of the conviction should be considered in the same way the European Court of Human Rights considered fairness.

QBD (Mance LJ, Newman J)
28 July 2000

In a challenge to a magistrate's ruling on the admissibility of evidence in extradition proceedings, the issue was whether the magistrate's decision had been within the range of views a reasonable magistrate, directing himself properly and in accordance with the law, could reach. It was for the trial judge in the country of return to consider issues of fairness and admissibility of evidence at trial. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.

HL (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Clyde, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett)
27 July 2000

For the purpose of s.3 Homicide Act 1957 the "reasonable man" could share the defendant's severe depression along with his age and sex.

DC (Rose LJ, Rafferty J)
24 July 2000

At the conclusion of a trial the judge had been entitled to discharge an order under s.39 Children and Young Persons Act 1933 which had prevented the identification of three juvenile defendants who had been convicted of murder and attempted murder.

CA (Crim Div) (Mantell LJ, Blofeld J, Rafferty J)
17 July 2000

Whilst the evidence against all three appellants was formidable, the Court of Appeal was bound by authority in considering whether a reasonable jury would have returned guilty verdicts had the material irregularities, of non-disclosure and a juror's unapproved visit to a crime scene, not occurred.

PC (StV) (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Nicholls, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Clyde, Lord Millett)
10 July 2000

Appeal against murder conviction allowed: the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal was ordered to examine fresh psychiatric evidence which, if accepted, suggested that the appellant suffered from diminished responsibility at the time of the killing.

CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Holman J, Moses J)
7 July 2000

Radio immuno assays of postmortem urine samples were a valid and reliable method of establishing that insulin present in the body of the deceased could not have occurred naturally, and was the result of injection by the appellant.

PC (Trin) (Blanchard J)
14 June 2000

Where the credibility of a witness to a confession was in serious issue and there was no other probative prosecution evidence then the conviction would be set aside.

PC (Trin) (Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett)
8 June 2000

It was particularly important in a case where a defendant was being tried for a capital offence that his rights were fully observed and that the significance of any infringement was considered by the judge.

CA (Crim Div) (Swinton Thomas LJ, Butterfield J, Rafferty J)
26 May 2000

Where DNA profile evidence from earlier, unrelated and discontinued proceedings had been retained in breach of s.64 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, a conviction based on subsequent DNA evidence obtained only as a result of that breach was unsafe and would be quashed. Overruled in Attorney-General's Reference No.3 of 1999 (2000) LTL 14/12/2000.

CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Alliott J, Henriques J)
25 May 2000

Appeals against convictions for murder were dismissed because the evidence against the appellants had been overwhelming.

PC (Ant) (Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough)
25 May 2000

An appeal against a conviction for murder was dismissed because there had been no error of law by the trial judge in summing up and no fresh evidence had come to light.

CA (Crim Div) (Penry-Davey J, Judge Fabyan Evans)
23 May 2000

In an appeal against a sentence of 14 years' imprisonment for offences of attempted murder, wounding with intent and affray, in the absence of any substantial mitigating features, the Court of Appeal was of the opinion that the sentence could not be regarded as manifestly excessive, particularly in view of the fact that one of the appellant's victims was fortunate not to have died.

CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Ian Kennedy J, Hallett J)
18 May 2000

It was only in a rare case that the Court of Appeal would (i) consider that a conviction was unsafe because an appellant who had pleaded guilty was now claiming that he did not do the act relied upon, (ii) receive fresh evidence that was completely different from the defence given at trial, and (iii) receive evidence from an appellant who had chosen not to give evidence before the jury.

PC (Trin) (Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Clyde, Sir Patrick Russell)
15 May 2000

A defendant's appeal against a murder conviction was allowed because the trial judge had failed to give a good character direction to the jury and, furthermore, had misdirected them by confusing intention with foresight.

CA (Crim Div) (Otton LJ, Douglas Brown J, Hooper J)
9 May 2000

The non-disclosure of 201 unused witness statements by the prosecution, together with the fact that defence counsel did not seek a retrial when a co-accused pleaded guilty at a crucial point in a trial, rendered a murder and robbery conviction unsafe.

CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Hidden J, Astill J)
19 April 2000

There must be a proper factual basis before a direction under R v Sheehan & Anor(1960) 60 Cr App R 308, in respect of drunken intent, was required.

CA (Crim Div) (Beldam LJ, Silber J, Judge Brian Walsh QC, Recorder of Leeds)
5 April 2000

Where a jury had sought assistance from the judge, it was relevant to consider whether, in the light of the directions already given and the additional directions, they could have been in any doubt as to the conclusion they were required to reach to find the offence proved.

HL (Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Nolan, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton)
30 March 2000

Where a defendant had been found unfit to plead by reason of mental disability, the defence of diminished responsibility (under s.2 Homicide Act 1957) could not apply to a hearing under s.4A(2) Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 to determine whether he committed the act charged against him.

HL (Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough)
30 March 2000

It was lawful for a secretary of state to impose or uphold a "whole-life" tariff on someone sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. There was no reason, in principle why a crime or crimes, if sufficiently heinous, should not be regarded as deserving life-long incarceration for the purposes of pure punishment.

CA (Crim Div) (Henry LJ, Hidden J, Astill J)
27 March 2000

Where circumstances of manslaughter by stabbing arose whilst the appellant was suffering from many of the features of Battered Woman Syndrome and had, since the incident, demonstrated remarkable progress in rehabilitation, the court was able to take the wholly exceptional course of passing a community service order.

CA (Crim Div) (Mance LJ, Douglas Brown J, Sachs J)
23 March 2000

Where a jury had been told on a number of occasions of the inadmissibility and irrelevance regarding anything said by one defendant that might have appeared to have implicated a co-defendant, the jury must have appreciated that the warning applied directly to a third party's statements regarding a defendant's admissions as they did to that defendant's interviews.

PC (Jam) (Lord Hoffmann)
23 March 2000

Where it was disputed as to whether the victim knew the accused, an identification parade would have helped resolve the dispute. However, it did not follow that the absence of a parade resulted in a serious failure of justice.

PC (Ber) (Lord Steyn, Lord Hope, Lord Clyde, Lord Hutton, Lord Millett)
23 March 2000

An offence of murder in Bermuda was governed by the Criminal Code Act 1907 and not by the rules of common law. Section 287(1)(c) of the Code provided for an offence which could be termed as constructive murder. Under the Code, whether an act "is of such a nature as to be likely to endanger human life" was a purely objective test.

PC (Trin) (Lord Hutton)
23 March 2000

A decision on whether an appellant was entitled to a second appeal against conviction to the Privy Council was adjourned in order that it could be heard by the full Board.

CA (Crim Div) (Swinton Thomas LJ, Douglas Brown J, Sachs J)
2 March 2000

In a murder trial where uncontradicted medical evidence found that responsibility for an accused's actions was substantially diminished and there was no evidence which could possibly justify a jury in coming to any other conclusion then the judge should direct the jury to that effect.

PC (Jam) (Lord Clyde)
28 February 2000

A trial judge had a responsibility to put before the jury all the possible conclusions which may be open to them on the evidence presented at trial whether or not those conclusions had been canvassed by counsel for either party.

PC (Ber) (Lord Steyn)
28 February 2000

Where there was simply an assessment of the strength of the evidence, then a decision on a submission of no case to answer was arrived at on matters of fact and degree and did not involve a question of law alone.

CA (Crim Div) (Swinton Thomas LJ, Sachs J, Sir Ronald Waterhouse)
25 February 2000

A defence of diminished responsibility would not succeed where there was no medical evidence supporting the conclusion that the appellant's responsibility was substantially impaired at the time of a killing.

CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Brian Smedley J, Goldring J)
24 February 2000

In deciding whether it was necessary or in the interests of justice to receive fresh evidence, in the event that there was no reasonable explanation for why the evidence was not made available at trial, the Court of Appeal would consider the effect of the evidence in the event that it was received.

CA (Crim Div) (Rose LJ, Potts J, Curtis J)
10 February 2000

If an accused's faculties were significantly affected by mental disorder then it may be unjust to treat him as bound by his election not to advance diminished responsibility as a defence at trial.

CA (Crim Div) (Roch LJ, Keene J, Astill J)
25 January 2000

Expert evidence on appeal was admissible under s.23(2) Criminal Appeal Act 1968 if it demonstrated some form of abnormality relevant to the reliability of a defendant's confession or evidence, and there was a very significant deviation from the norm shown, and a history which pointed to or explained the abnormality or abnormalities.

PC (Trin) (Sir Patrick Russell)
16 December 1999

The decision on the admissibility of a confession after a voir dire was the sole responsibility of the judge and the jury should not be informed of that decision. It was only in the most exceptional circumstances that any form of dock identification was permissible.

CA (Crim Div) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill LCJ, Morison J, Nelson J)
10 December 1999

A conviction for murder in 1986, which rested entirely on a confession which the defendant later retracted, was quashed on appeal because fresh evidence showed that the defendant was on the borderline of being mentally handicapped and was abnormally compliant to suggestions.

CA (Crim Div) (Waller LJ, Johnson J, Latham J)
22 November 1999

Leave to appeal was granted in a case where it could have been perceived that every effort was not made to protect the applicant's fundamental rights in the seizure by police of privileged material, and where some of that material had been shown to leading counsel for the prosecution.

CA (Crim Div) (Roch LJ, Sullivan J, Jackson J)
19 November 1999

No impropriety was found in counsel's conduct of the case. However, a retrial would have been ordered if the court had found a reasonable possibility that the appellant had been given negligent advice by counsel and been subjected to improper pressure not to present the defence that he wanted to run.

CA (Rose LJ, Scott Baker J, Collins J)
15 April 1999

Leave granted to appeal against murder convictions which partially rested on evidence from witnesses who had criminal records. In this case the Criminal Cases Review Commission had assessed the veracity of new evidence and had not usurped the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.

QBD (Forbes J)
23 November 1998

A successful application for leave to apply for judicial review where it was not clear how the Criminal Cases Review Commission had reached a decision that the evidence before it was insufficient to refer a conviction to the Court of Appeal.

CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Butterfield J, Richards J)
30 April 1998

An appellant who had been convicted of murder after maintaining her innocence was not permitted to adduce fresh medical evidence to support an appeal based on diminished responsibility where the evidence was not capable of belief and where, given her history of dishonesty, it was not possible to conclude that she had put forward a reasonable explanation for failing to adduce the evidence at trial. Although the court might permit a defendant who had lied in his defence at trial to put forward a different defence if persuasive supporting evidence were available on appeal, there was little room for that in a case of murder where the defendant had freely chosen to deny responsibility for acts causing the death.

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