Archives: Crime

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Youth offenders – sentencing

July/August 2020 | Crime

The pandemic is exacerbating the backlog of cases in the criminal justice system and thousands of young offenders are set to turn 18 before their case reaches the court. The charity Just for Kids Law has released a report calling for ‘timely justice’ for them. For that reason, practitioners who advise and represent children and …

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Sentencing – Covid-19

July/August 2020 | Crime

The chair of the Sentencing Council has published a statement clarifying the appropriate application of sentencing principles during the coronavirus pandemic. Holroyde LJ said the Council understands people’s concerns about the effect of the pandemic, including the potentially heavier impact of custodial sentences on offenders and their families. But the statement says existing principles ‘are …

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Conviction – appeals; exceptional circumstances

July/August 2020 | Crime

A was sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to a drugs offence under s4 Misuse of Drugs Act. He appealed his conviction out of time on grounds of fresh evidence relating to his status as a victim of human trafficking. The evidence included that A may well not have fully appreciated that …

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Offences – sex offence

July/August 2020 | Crime

A recent case is a salutary example of the problems which can arise when the CrimPR rules are not complied with. A’s conviction for historical indecent assault under s14(1) SOA 1956 was quashed on the basis of a series of procedural failings. There was also unchallenged evidence on a critical matter, which Irwin LJ said …

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Under investigation – privacy

July/August 2020 | Crime

The CA has given judgment in an important case in relation to privacy rights. The HC held that Bloomberg, an international media outlet, had breached the claimant’s privacy rights by publishing articles concerning C’s involvement in an investigation by what the CA described as a ‘UK legal enforcement body’. The HC found for the claimant …

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Sentencing – diminished responsibility

June 2020 | Crime

A pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility following his mother’s death, but appealed his sentence – an extended prison sentence of 21 years – arguing that it was manifestly excessive. A suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and autism. The sentence comprised a custodial term of 16 years and an extension period of five …

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Interviews – Covid-19 guidance

June 2020 | Crime

The Law Society has produced a Covid-19 interview protocol in conjunction with the CPS and the National Police Chiefs’ Council. It is important for deciding whether suspects should be interviewed as part of a police investigation during the pandemic. The guidance acknowledges that government guidance on social distancing will affect police interviews with suspects whether …

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Sentencing – firearms; exceptional circumstances

June 2020 | Crime

Strong deterrent sentences may be imposed for firearms offences even in the case of a guilty plea, the CA stated. In this case, A pleaded guilty to seven counts under the Firearms Act, having been in possession of four converted blank firing pistols (prohibited weapons), a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition. A admitted early on the …

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Offences – stalking

June 2020 | Crime

The CPS has clarified its approach to stalking cases during the Covid-19 lockdown. It makes clear that stalking and domestic abuse continue to be treated as high-priority offences under the interim CPS and NPCC coronavirus charging protocol. The CPS reiterated the existence of a joint protocol developed with police improving how it deals with stalking …

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