More Sentences at Risk of Prosecution Appeal

The prosecution, via the Attorney General, has the right to ask the Court of Appeal to consider whether sentences for certain offences are unduly lenient. How does the scheme work? Anyone can ask the Attorney General to consider whether a sentence is unduly lenient. If the Attorney agrees an appeal will be lodged within 28 … Continued

Jury Challenge

It is a common feature of American courtroom drama that a defence attorney moves to remove a juror that they do not like the look of. Many clients wonder whether the same type of challenge can take place in an English courtroom. The Jury Pool In some circumstances there can be a challenge to the … Continued

Airports, Planes and Alcohol

It has been reported in the press that 500 people have been arrested while drunk on a plane at British airports in the last three years. For many people a holiday begins once cases have been checked in, and what is the harm in that? It is clear that drunkenness has become an issue. The … Continued

Sentencing and Delay – Can it work in your favour?

There have been widespread reports in the press about spare courtroom capacity, with judicial sitting days at an all-time low. These reports correspond to our own experience. When court delay is combined with significant delays in investigating and charging defendants to court, this can mean a very long period between the commission of any crime … Continued

Ten years for a double killing – look behind the headlines

In a truly tragic case, Samantha Ford drowned her 23-month-old twins in the bath. Appearing at the Old Bailey for sentence, the Judge, Mr Justice Edis, handed down a 10-year sentence, causing widespread outrage. Longer sentences are routinely handed down for drug dealing and other crimes. To understand more about this case, we need to … Continued

Mobile Phones and Driving – The Legal Position

We all know that the use of mobile phones is banned whilst driving. Or are they? The answer, according to the High Court’s recent decision in Director of Public Prosecutions v Barreto [2019] EWHC 2044 (Admin), is that it depends what you’re doing with it. What did Mr Barreto do? Ramsey Barreto had been convicted … Continued

Length of Sentence – Not Always a Surprise

Is it possible to know the sentence you might get before you plead? In some cases, yes, and that might be enough for a defendant to plead guilty. For some, if they know they won’t go to prison, then they won’t fight a trial. In the Crown Court a sentence indication can be sought by … Continued

Road Safety Review – More New Laws?

The Government has published new plans to make the roads safer for everyone. The plans include several changes for people at every stage of life, and also for more specialised drivers like HGV drivers and motorcycle riders. Children The Department for Transport has granted funding of £225,000 to Good Egg Safety to develop a training … Continued

Dirty Money – what is Economic Crime ?

The Government has published the new Economic Crime Plan for the next three years. In it, they unveil their strategy for dealing with all types of economic crime, such as money laundering, fraud, market abuse, and bribery. What is economic crime, and why is it important? Economic crime is wider than financial crime. It includes … Continued

Data Protection – A Shifting Focus

Over the last few years, we have seen many matters that would previously have been prosecuted before the criminal courts, move into the jurisdiction of other bodies. What we see as a result is a range of specialist regulators best placed to react to perceived industry failings, and if necessary, meet out swift and condign … Continued

Proceeds of Crime – when does it all end?

We have all read newspaper articles reporting that a drug dealer or fraudster made hundreds of thousands from their offending but was ordered to pay back a much smaller amount. That is not always the end of the matter. What are the proceeds of crime? If a defendant is determined to have had a ‘criminal … Continued

New guidelines on sentencing Arson and Criminal Damage

Today the Sentencing Council published new guidelines covering arson and criminal damage of all kinds, as well as threats to destroy property. There were existing guidelines, but they were thought to be very limited and only covered the Magistrates Court, there were no guidelines for the Crown Court, which deals with the more serious offences. … Continued