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Crime

Evidence – good character

In this useful article, the author examines issues relating to good character following the Court of Appeal ruling in R v Green [2017]. In that case, the judge drew attention to the complainant’s good character in his summing up, telling the jury that there was a level playing field as far as character was concerned. The author says this diminished the effect of D’s good character.

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Defences – general defences

The author provides a useful summary of general defences available to defendants in light of recent case law. For instance, self-defence can potentially be a defence to allegations of both dangerous and careless driving, recognising that there may be a need for responsive force in particular circumstances.

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Sentencing – modern slavery

Practitioners defending or prosecuting sexual offences in the modern slavery context will welcome new guidance on sentencing.

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Offences – public order

What is a ‘dwelling’ for the purposes of the Public Order Act 1986 (POA)? The author of this article analyses two issues concerning public order offences in detail: the extent of the meaning of ’dwelling’; and public order offences generally.

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Procedure – hearsay

D successfully appealed his conviction on two counts of kidnapping, for which he was sentenced to four years in prison. Despite being married, D had had a relationship with a woman which had ended some time before the incident in question. On the relevant date, the woman (his ex-partner) was in her flat and a male friend was staying over that night on the sofa.

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Manslaughter – foreseeability

In assessing reasonable foreseeability of serious and obvious risk of death in cases of gross negligence manslaughter, it was not appropriate to take into account what a reasonable person in D’s position would have known but for theirbreach of duty.  

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Corporate crime – privilege

The appellant unsuccessfully appealed a conviction for failing in his duty to take reasonable care of the health and safety of employees, under s7 Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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Procedure – corporate crime

Criminal practitioners need to ensure that they are prepared for key changes in force from 2 April 2018.

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Offences – new corporate offence

Now that the corporate offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 has come into force (on 30 September 2017), practitioners will welcome Law Society guidance on this new offence.  

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Sentencing – sexual assault

An outstanding doctor of just 26 years old pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual assault and was sentenced to a total of 28 months in prison. The offences were clearly out of character and caused ‘utter bewilderment’ to those who knew him. D was very remorseful and had been battling with various difficulties in his personal life, and was working extremely long hours.  

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