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Crime

Offences – offensive weapons; sexual offences

When is an offensive weapon not an offensive weapon? Here, the author provides a useful update on recent rulings involving offensive weapons, and developments relating to sentencing and costs. Recent cases have considered the offence of possession of an offensive weapon and when the individual is lawfully in possession of it (but then uses it); and a belt buckle that comprises a knuckleduster and other items (which may not necessarily be an offence per se).

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Procedure – live links

The use of live video link and telephone facilities in the criminal courts has been expanded under various amendments to the CPR. Under CPR 3.2(1), the court has a duty to further the overriding objective to deal justly with criminal cases by actively managing the case. CPR provides that ‘active management’ includes making use of technology.

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Procedure – PACE

In this article, the author considers the significance of PACE in the context of inadmissible confessions – and the lengths the police can go to in pursuit of a suspect.

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Sentencing – historic sex abuse

In this case, the defendants had each (in separate cases) been sentenced for historic sex abuse offences. The Court of Appeal heard a number of appeals together as they raised related issues on sentencing.
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Sentencing – victims

Practitioners may find new and updated information for victims and witnesses useful. The Sentencing Council has added new, detailed content on some aspects of sentencing, setting out:
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Corporate crime – care homes

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has successfully prosecuted a Shropshire care home and its former manager who admitted failing to provide safe care.
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Sentencing – violent offending

The Court of Appeal has provided useful analysis of the legal principles applicable to violent offending so as to trigger para 4 of Sch 21 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The CA considers the material provisions of the Act and the relevant case law.
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Procedure – Court of Appeal

HM Courts Service has published new guidance for solicitor advocates and counsel on preparing and commencing criminal appeal proceedings in the Court of Appeal. The guidance reflects, in part, the fact that the court’s jurisdiction has increased: it hears appeals not only against conviction and sentence, but also against various interlocutory rulings, and other appeals and applications.
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Sentencing – corporate manslaughter

A construction company has been fined £550,000 in the first sentencing of a corporate manslaughter conviction since a new definitive guideline came into effect in February 2016. It was also ordered to pay £23,653 in prosecution costs. The level of fine illustrates the hefty penalties companies face under the new guideline, which focuses on a firm’s turnover. In this case, the company’s turnover was less than £2m and therefore fell within the micro turnover bracket (attracting the lowest sentencing ranges and starting points).
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Corporate crime – SFO guidance

The SFO has issued revised internal guidance on the conduct of lawyers attending interviews under s2 Criminal Justice Act. The guidance emphasises how the use of powers granted under s2 is a serious step and is therefore carefully controlled and monitored by the SFO. Note that only a practising solicitor or barrister or chartered legal executive will be allowed to attend as the legal representative of an interviewee.
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Most-read articles

Trustees – duty to beneficiaries
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Trustees cannot simply ignore beneficiaries’ request for information about a trust, the High Court has held. In this case, the trust property was a farm outside Cardiff. Read more...
Conveyancing searches – disbursements?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Should electronic property searches be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes? Alternatively, are they part of the legal service provided, and so subject to VAT? Read more...
Professional – update
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
From December 2018 there will be new rules requiring firms to publish prices for conveyancing, probate, motoring offences and immigration, as well as the price for bringing ET claims.  Read more...
Service mistake – discretion?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
To what extent do you have a duty to point out the other side’s procedural errors (as part of your obligation to comply with the ‘overriding objective’)? Read more...
Exiting the Portal – reasonable
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Insurers should be very careful about making allegations (for instance, at Stage 2 of the EL/PL Protocol), especially if they could be interpreted as allegations of ‘dishonesty’. Read more...
Airbnb – breach of lease
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
It now seems clear that an Airbnb short let will be in breach of a typical long lease. Read more...
GDPR – data rooms
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
If L is planning to sell a property subject to leases, then almost certainly a data room will be set up containing all relevant documents. Read more...
Rights of way – public
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
There are four categories of public rights of way: Read more...
Financial remedies – company assets
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
A recent ruling illustrates when a court can treat a company-owned asset as as a matrimonial asset. Read more...
GDPR – references
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
GDPR impacts on the giving of references: Read more...

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