Archives: Crime

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Drugs – classification

June 2024 | Crime

The war on drugs-related crime continues with six new synthetic opioids being classified as Class A – adding to the 15 synthetic opioids already made subject to the strictest level of controls earlier this year. The six new drugs include acyl piperazine opioids and derivatives, including 2-methyl-AP-237; and (importantly) any new nitazenes detected in the …

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Proceeds of crime – crypto assets

June 2024 | Crime

Criminals are increasingly bold in their use of crypto assets for money laundering and related crime. New rules have been introduced, giving powers to the police and NCA to seize a suspect’s crypto assets without any arrest having been made. Related items, such as flash drives, memory sticks and written passwords, can also be seized. …

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Sentencing – driving disqualification

June 2024 | Crime

D was disqualified from driving for two years but, around 18 months later, breached that disqualification by driving a rented Audi Q7 car. He pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified (and to two further offences of possessing an offensive weapon and affray). The judge sentenced him to four months’ imprisonment for the driving offence and …

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Sentencing – historic sex offences; early release provisions

June 2024 | Crime

When an adult is sentenced for sex offences committed as a child, the starting point is the sentence likely to have been imposed if sentenced shortly after the offence – a principle established in R v Ahmed [2023] EWCA Crim 281. At issue in this case was whether the sentencing court should also take account …

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Sentencing – manslaughter

June 2024 | Crime

The judge’s legal directions contained fundamental and material misdirections of law and D’s conviction for manslaughter was unsafe and was quashed. D was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison. In summary, D was 46 and she suffered from cerebral palsy. At the time of the incident, D was walking along part …

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Confiscation order – property ownership

May 2024 | Crime

The Court of Appeal quashed a confiscation order given the serious risk of injustice to the interested party. The decision followed the 2020 conviction of Ronan Hughes (the applicant) for playing the leading role in the smuggling of illegal immigrants in an airtight container from France to Essex, which tragically killed them all. Confiscation proceedings …

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Sentencing guidelines – important amendments in force

May 2024 | Crime

Changes to several sentencing guidelines came into effect on 1 April 2024 following a Sentencing Council consultation exercise last year. These apply to both Magistrates Court and Crown Court guidelines. Among the key changes are: Mitigating factors, including expanded explanations, eg replacing the existing reference to pregnancy in the ‘Sole or primary carer’ factor with …

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