Archives: Crime

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Defence – murder; loss of control

February 2024 | Crime

A was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of the murder of his wife. He appealed on two grounds, including that the judge was wrong to withdrew the partial defence of loss of control from the jury. (The second ground was that the judge was wrong not to give any form of good character …

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Sentencing – gravity of offence

February 2024 | Crime

A was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 28 years for murder, and nine years’ detention in a young offender institution for robbery (to be served concurrently). He was almost 19 when the robbery and gang-related ‘revenge’ killing took place. He appealed on the basis that the sentence was manifestly excessive for …

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Sentencing – unduly lenient

February 2024 | Crime

When is a sentence lenient, but not ‘unduly lenient’? In this case, A pleaded guilty to various offences under the OAPA, intentional strangulation and a threat to kill. For each offence, he was sentenced to an 18-month community order (plus an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement for 30 days, a rehabilitation activity requirement for 30 …

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Legal aid – refusing work

December 2023/January 2024 | Crime

The reduction in legal aid funding means many solicitors are increasingly required to undertake work that is unremunerated or loss-making. If you undertake publicly funded criminal work, you can refuse to take a case, but it can carry a regulatory risk if you’re not careful. A new Law Society practice note has been published setting …

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Sentencing – informers

December 2023/January 2024 | Crime

There is a long-established practice of reducing the sentence which would otherwise have been imposed on an offender, to reflect that they have provided information and assistance to the police. The justification for doing so is purely pragmatic; the public interest in rewarding such assistance to the authorities and protecting sources has long been recognised. …

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Sentencing – dangerous offenders

December 2023/January 2024 | Crime

The fact that there will always be some risk of harm to the public is not enough to impose an extended sentence, the CA ruled. A was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment and an extended licence period of three years after pleading guilty to rape of his former partner. He argued that the sentence was …

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Sentencing – offender with mental illness

December 2023/January 2024 | Crime

Important procedural errors were made in sentencing an offender who suffered from severe schizophrenia. An eight-week prison term suspended for 12 months was imposed, together with a restraining order, after pleading guilty to harassment of a previous partner. At issue was whether the sentencing judge failed to give appropriate consideration to the effects a prison …

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Offences – negative identification procedure

December 2023/January 2024 | Crime

The prosecution’s failure to disclose that a negative identification procedure had taken place was a material error, but this did not undermine D’s conviction for robbery, for which he was sentenced to seven years in prison. At trial, the prosecution relied heavily on identification evidence from the victim and the arresting officer, and on available …

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