Witness Independence – too much of a coincidence?

    Very often in criminal cases, several witnesses give similar and sometimes almost identical evidence. At first blush, if all the witnesses were at the same place, at the same time and witnessing the same event, surely that is to be expected? But if we pause for a moment and consider a group of … Continued

Custody Time Limits & Young Defendants

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government introduced changes to the custody time limit regulations that extended the custody time limits in the Crown Court by two months to address ongoing delays in the criminal justice system worsened during the pandemic. In September, Just for Kids Law, along with The Howard League for Penal … Continued

Air Weapons – The Law & Proposed Reforms

The licensing of air weapons is different across the UK: In England and Wales there is no need to acquire a licence to hold an air weapon. In Scotland air weapons owners need a specific air weapons licence. In Northern Ireland air weapons owners need a firearms licence. It an offence to sell or gift … Continued

Rape myths and stereotypes

The Crown Prosecution Service recently produced new guidance for prosecutors considering rape charges. The new guidance was said to help tackle rape myths and stereotypes, several of which were referenced. How much of an issue are rape myths? According to the media there are were issues with rape trials and jurors do not like to … Continued

Firearms – New sentencing guidelines

  Eight new guidelines have been published for Firearms offences following an earlier consultation. The guidelines will come into force on 1 January 2021. What are sentencing guidelines? These are guidelines that must be followed by sentencers. The guidelines must be followed unless the Judge or Magistrates’ consider it is not in the interests of … Continued

Custody time limits & Covid19

Whenever a person is remanded in custody in criminal proceedings, a time limit is set within which the trial must be concluded. The Covid lockdown meant that trials were temporarily suspended leading to issues with custody time limits, if a trial cannot take place within the specified timeframe an application can be made for the … Continued

Misconduct in Public Office

There are typically less than 100 prosecutions each year for this offence but given that the defendants are public servants such as police officers, prison officers and the like, the consequences of a conviction on careers, pensions and even liberty can be very severe. This week the Law Commission, which is the statutory body responsible … Continued

E-scooters for Christmas, fines in January .

 E-scooters Did you know that e-scooters fall within the definition of a motor vehicle? You would not be alone if you said no. BSB solicitors commissioned a survey of the general public last year which found that only 25% were aware that it was illegal to ride e-scooters anywhere except for private land. Due to … Continued

Plying for hire

It is an offence to “ply for hire” without a licence. The offence comes from the Town and Police Clauses Act 1847, section 45 states it is an offence for a person to allow a vehicle (referred to as a carriage) to be used as a hackney carriage plying for hire without having obtained a … Continued

Reviewing a sentence

  If the Attorney General believes that a sentence is “unduly lenient”, or too soft as the newspapers may say, she can ask for the case to be referred back to court to be reconsidered. This is what happened to Taha Amin. He pleaded guilty to several robberies and thefts and was sentenced to 23 … Continued

Transfer of Sentence to the UK

Transfer of sentence to the UK If you have been convicted in a foreign jurisdiction and want to serve your custodial sentence in the UK we can assist with transferring your sentence. You may be living in the UK or already in prison subject to extradition proceedings. The UK and the relevant foreign jurisdiction will … Continued