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Crime

Sentencing – new guidelines

The Sentencing Council has published a new definitive guideline on bladed articles and offensive weapons offences; as well as a separate and similar sentencing guideline for the possession of weapons and threats to use them.

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Procedure – offences

The court should try to avoid interpreting a statute in a way which would produce an absurd result.

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Conviction – summing up

The Recorder significantly failed to give the extremely important direction as to standard of proof, and the Court of Appeal found the sentencing to be unduly lenient. 
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Sentence – rape

Two defendants were convicted of rape, sexual assault and other offences following a violent sexual attack on the victim on her narrowboat home.
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Confiscation orders – tainted gifts

The prosecution successfully appealed a confiscation order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, in a case that required consideration of the tainted gifts regime.
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Procedure – trial and evidence

Changes relating to trial and evidential procedure under the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2018 are now in force (as of 2 April 2018).
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Sentencing – dangerous driving

A pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving (s1A RTA 1988). 
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Practice – disclosure

The high-profile collapse of a number of rape cases following disclosure failings by the police has thrown rape prosecutions into the spotlight. Against this background, the author discusses the reasons behind disclosure failings in criminal proceedings.

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Procedure – legal aid

Practitioners should note that the Criminal Legal Aid (Amendment) Regulations 2017 are in force from this month (21 February 2018). Under these regulations, various amendments are made to criminal legal aid legislation to expand the scope of criminal legal aid to include:

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Evidence – circumstantial evidence

There was strong circumstantial evidence and A’s robbery conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal. A appealed his robbery conviction for which he was sentenced to a term of five years’ imprisonment. He denied being involved in the robbery.

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