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Crime

Sentencing guidelines – manslaughter

The judge was wrong in approaching sentencing on the basis that it was a Category B case (to be adjusted for Category D elements), taking into account the use of a knife. The CA said this was contrary to the express warning in the guideline – to count the use of the knife as an aggravating factor.
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Defences – Refugee Convention

 A successfully appealed his conviction of possessing an identity document with improper intention under s4 Identity Documents Act 2010, in view of a defence under the Refugee Convention.
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Sentencing – rape

Prison sentences of 11 years on each of six counts of rape and sexual assault were unduly lenient. This case involved an extremely dangerous individual who had targeted a lone woman and subjected her to a prolonged sexual assault. He already had convictions for sexual offences and had breached an SHPO.
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Sentencing – mitigation

 A sentence of detention in a young offender institution should have been suspended because of D’s guilty plea and mitigating factors, for example, he had been exploited and set up by others, and his personal circumstances.
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Confiscation – restraint order

An appeal in relation to an application under s22 POCA succeeded. This is the first time the CA has approved a percentage reduction in a confiscation order on appeal under s22.
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Procedure – unfit to plead

An applicant unfit to plead under ss4 and 4A of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 would not be competent to lodge an appeal against a jury decision – they can only appeal with legal representatives.
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Sentencing – arson; criminal damage

New definitive sentencing guidelines have been published for arson and criminal damage offences and came into effect on 1 October 2019. There is guidance for both the magistrates’ court and the Crown Court. 
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POCA – restraint order

Following a money laundering investigation, an all assets restraint order was made in August 2018 against R and others connected with him. In July 2019, it was discharged under s42(7) POCA on the basis that proceedings for the alleged offence had not been started within a reasonable time. The judge stayed the discharge pending an appeal.
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Sentencing – general guideline

 A new general guideline for sentencing offences not covered by any of the 130-plus specific sentencing guidelines is now in force as of 1 October 2019. Expanded explanations of sentencing guidelines have also been published which, for instance, add additional information relating to aggravating and mitigating factors. 
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Terrorism – notice of detention

A revised notice of detention which examining officers must provide to someone detained under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 has been published by the government. The notice gives information to a detained person about their rights and obligations under Schedules 7 and 8 of the Act and particularly clarifies the conditions under which their fingerprints and non-intimate samples can be taken.
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Civil partnerships – heterosexual couples
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Beneficial ownership – reminder of key points
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Practitioners who advise co-owners on the acquisition of property will find a recent article reviewing the case law on beneficial ownership very useful. The key points are: Read more...
Sanctions – vexatious litigant
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In long-running divorce and financial remedy proceedings, R was found to be an ‘exceptionally vexatious litigant’ throughout. Mostyn J made a general civil restraint order and a protection from... Read more...
Disciplinary process – external bodies
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