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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

Disputed will – guidance; procedure
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
What should you do if asked for correspondence and other documents in relation to a will you prepared for a client who has since died?  Read more...
MoJ – IT meltdown
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Many litigators are no doubt all too aware of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) January 2019 IT failures that hit the delivery of frontline legal services in some courts.  Read more...
Statutory notices – service
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The SC has widened the scope of the service of statutory notices. Read more...
Part 36 offers – appropriate
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Part 36 of the CPR allows a claimant or defendant to make an offer of settlement before trial. If the offer is not accepted and the opposing party does not meet the offer at trial, the court may... Read more...
Noise nuisance – liability?
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
A recent High Court decision has confirmed that L is not liable for nuisance caused by its T merely because L does not take steps available to prevent the cause of the nuisance, even when L knows... Read more...
RICS – service charges
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
We noted the RICS Code of Practice on service charges in our October 2018 issue, p19; the ‘Service Charges in Commercial Property (1st edition)’ comes into force on 1 April 2019. Read more...
Notice of severance – rectification?
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
A recent case reminds practitioners of the importance of ensuring that a notice of severance accurately records all of the titles intended to be severed. Read more...
Children – parental responsibility; removal of
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
In what circumstances might the court order the removal of PR from the father? The author comments on a recent case which involved a unique set of circumstances justifying the removal of PR.  Read more...
Incompetence – not discrimination
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The CA has held that an incompetent process does not amount to discrimination. Read more...
Sentencing – contempt of court
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial in relation to a claimant remanded to prison overnight for discussing evidence in a civil case.  Read more...

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