Firearms – Doing Nothing is Not an Option

On 20 October 2018 police on uniformed patrol identified a vehicle of interest to them. They followed it for a short distance before causing it to stop. A Mr Jenkins was the driver and a female, Ms Price, was in the front passenger seat. On searching the vehicle, a stun gun was found in the … Continued

Police Investigations – Are They Now Secret?

It is quite common to read in a newspaper that someone has been arrested. Local papers will cover almost any story of interest, and national media if the case involves a high-profile person. For the person being investigated, such publicity can be devastating, as many people will conclude that there is ‘no smoke without fire’. … Continued

Is Trial by Jury Going to be Abolished?

For the last few weeks, since the Coronavirus ‘lockdown’, all jury trials in England and Wales have been stopped. This is not at all surprising given the scale of the pandemic and the requirement for social distancing. However, with a rising backlog of cases, and the evident necessity to resume trials as soon as possible, … Continued

The Far Right & Terrorism

When people hear reference to the far-right many would think of racism rather than terrorism. Alice Cutter and Mark Jones were members of the banned far-right group National Action along with Garry Jack, Daniel Ward and Connor Scothern. The members were the subject of a counter-terrorism investigation, and when Ward was told he was being … Continued

Intermediaries

The use of intermediaries during criminal trials is becoming increasingly commonplace. An intermediary may be used to assist any witness, including a defendant, give evidence. The functions of an intermediary “Intermediaries are communication specialists (not supporters or expert witnesses) whose role is to facilitate communication between the witness and the court, including the advocates. Intermediaries … Continued

Circumstantial Evidence

Circumstantial evidence is widely misunderstood, and many people cannot understand how a case can be advanced without primary evidence of wrongdoing.   To illustrate this, we can use two examples relating to burglary. Burglary can be committed in quite a few different ways, but the most common allegation is that a person entered a building as … Continued

Tougher approach to assaults on NHS staff

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has written to NHS staff voicing his concern in relation to the use of violence against emergency workers. Hancock’s approach mirrors that taken last year by police chiefs worried about the rise in violence used towards police officers. Last year’s NHS Staff Survey revealed that … Continued

Prosecuting Without A ‘Victim’

We often get asked how prosecutions can proceed in the absence of cooperation from the victim or chief witness. The starting point is that no prosecution can go ahead unless there is a realistic prospect of conviction, but how the prosecution case is formulated remains a matter for the Crown Prosecution to decide. These are … Continued

Speeding and GPS – Does the camera lie?

Peter Marrable was summonsed to court for speeding. The allegation was that he had driven at 72mph in a temporary 50mph zone. The police produced evidence of the speed from a ‘Trucam’ device that was approved, calibrated and operating correctly. Mr Marrable produced evidence from a GPS tracker that was fitted to his company vehicle … Continued

“Blackmail” – “…attempted murder of the soul.”

A new series on Netflix, ‘The Stranger’, is receiving rave reviews, with viewers keen to discover the secret being kept from lawyer Adam Price, as the search continues for his missing wife. There are many sub-plots along the way, including the blackmail of several individuals keen to suppress unsavoury stories making their way into the … Continued

Driving disqualifications

The Sentencing Council is responsible for issuing guidelines on sentencing for the courts to follow. Guidelines must be followed unless it is in the interests of justice not to do so. New guidelines are now being proposed in respect of disqualifications from driving. What is being proposed? The guidance mainly relates to cases dealt with … Continued