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Crime

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 – searches

Revisions to Code A came into effect at the start of the year, relating to searches where reasonable grounds for suspicion is required (Paras 2.2 and 2.3).

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Burglars – tougher sentencing

New guidance has been issued by the CA on the sentencing of adult domestic burglars, designed to place greater emphasis on the consequences for the victims.

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Foreign criminals – special immigration status

CJIA 2008, Part 10 creates a new special immigration status for certain designated foreign criminals and their families whom the Home Secretary does not want in the UK but who cannot be removed for human rights reasons.

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Transfer of prisoner – mental hospital

If a decision was taken at the end of a prisoner’s sentence to transfer him to a mental hospital under s47 Mental Health Act 1983, the decision by the Secretary of State to direct the transfer could not be taken only on the ground that the prisoner would be a danger to the public if released.

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Bad character – take care

The CA warns that considerable caution must be taken before a court will allow admission, as bad character, of reprehensible behaviour other than previous convictions.

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Hearsay – update

Two cases of interest on hearsay evidence:

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ID – earprints

Earprints are admissible in evidence but the facts of each case must be examined carefully. In a recent case the police had recovered an earprint from a window pane and the expert giving evidence at trial contended that the earprint found on the window pane matched earprints subsequently taken from the defendant.

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Evidence – voice recognition

The CA has given welcome guidance in relation to voice recognition evidence.

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Assisted suicide – human rights

An individual’s human rights under Article 8(1) were not engaged in relation to assisted suicide.

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Sentencing – death by dangerous driving

p>Sentencing guidelines have been reconsidered in the case of R v Barnes [2008]. The defendant was driving his truck along a dual carriageway when an unsecured sofa in the rear fell onto the inside lane.
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