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Crime

Sentencing – manslaughter

Some manslaughter cases are much closer to murder than others, and must be sentenced accordingly, says the Court of Appeal. Sentences for manslaughter in a recent case were unduly lenient and the defendants were handed down higher sentences.

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Sentencing – drug driving

The Sentencing Council has published guidance for sentencing cases involving ‘drug driving’ following increasing calls for sentencing guidance. The guidance will help those sentencing offences of driving, attempting to drive, or being in charge of a motor vehicle with specified controlled drugs in the body above the limit imposed under s5A Road Traffic Act 1988.

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Procedure – mentally disordered offenders

Guidance has been issued in relation to ‘restricted’ patients. Restricted patients are mentally disordered offenders who are detained in hospital for treatment, and subject to special controls by the Justice Secretary because of the level of risk they pose.

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Procedure – CPR Rule 8 addition

The Criminal Procedure Rule Committee has approved an addition to CPR Rule 8 which relates to the initial details of the prosecution’s case. The new Rule 8.4 is in the following terms:

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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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