The Practical Lawyer


Joint enterprise – intent

The Supreme Court has considered, in two cases, the mental element of intent which should be proved when a defendant is accused of being a secondary party to a crime (joint enterprise). 
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Evidence – LPP and technology

To what extent can legal professional privilege (LPP) be invoked when withholding documents from public bodies, or when electronic devices are seized using statutory powers? 
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Evidence – bad character

When will previous convictions suggest a propensity to commit murder? The appellant (A) was convicted of murder and arson with intent to endanger life. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 30 years and with a concurrent determinate sentence for the offence of arson. His co-defendant was acquitted.

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Offences – fraud; LPAs

The Court of Appeal has clarified when an attorney under a lasting power of Attorney (LPA) could face criminal prosecution. Attorneys under an LPA must only use such of the donor’s funds as are reasonably required for their needs.

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Sexual offences – anonymity

Complainants of sexual abuse increasingly have public support. We now have measures to assist those who find themselves affected by sexual offences. In this article, the commentator explores the current climate together with important issues relating to anonymity of an alleged abuser.

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Procedure – human trafficking

Criminal practitioners likely to be involved in any case where a suspect or defendant could be a victim of human trafficking should note the Law Society’s recent practice note, Criminal prosecutions of victims of trafficking.

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Offences – fresh evidence

An appeal against convictions of indecent assault, rape and indecency with a child on the grounds of fresh medical evidence has been dismissed. A had been convicted of numerous counts in 2002 and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. The Crown’s case had been that A had abused the claimant during conduct moving from inappropriate touching to rape. Medical evidence was consistent with the allegations. A denied all charges and claimed that another man, G, had been the guilty party.

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Sentencing – corporate manslaughter

   A definitive sentencing guideline, Corporate Manslaughter & Health and Safety Offences Causing Death, has been published by the Sentencing Council. It replaces earlier, limited guidance in relation to corporate manslaughter, H&S, food safety and hygiene offences. Higher fines will now be imposed on companies.

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Procedure – interpreters

   A useful practice note on the Use of interpreters in criminal cases has been published by the Law Society. This PN provides practitioners with detailed advice on the use of interpreters pre-trial in the police station and in court.

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Offences – expert witnesses

   An appeal against conviction for making indecent images of children has been allowed where a key issue for the Court of Appeal was inconsistencies regarding conviction and acquittal of various counts.

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Page 10 of 62

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