Sentencing as you turn 18 – Beware the Cliff Edge

Ellis Thomas pleaded guilty to a relatively minor public order offence and was sentenced to a community penalty. This penalty becomes the subject of Court of Appeal proceedings due to the following set of facts: “It was imposed on the appellant in the Crown Court not long after his 18th birthday for an offence committed … Continued

E Scooters – new rules enabling use

At the end of last year we published the findings of the survey findings on e-scooters which showed that the majority of our sample were unaware of the rules that prevented the growing motorised phenomenon from being used both on public roads and pavements. The Department for Transport are relaxing the rules on the use … Continued

Digital Evidence & Disclosure – obstacles are created for the defence

The capacity of digital devices to store vast amounts of information presents issues for law enforcement and prosecutors. Over the last few years we have seen many instances of non-disclosure of key evidence, and at the same time victim advocates have complained that police investigations are overly intrusive and act as a deterrent to people … Continued

Has Covid19 spelt the end of Jury Trials as we knew them ?

In a startling announcement, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland admitted that the right to a jury trial is in his sights and might be curtailed in a few weeks time. Before the Coronavirus pandemic, the Crown Court case backlog was approximately 39,000 cases. Since lockdown, that number has grown considerably as only a trickle of cases … Continued

Publishing Hate Material – what sentences are the courts passing ?

The recent case of Jay Davison acts as a stark reminder of the consequences that can flow if hate material is published. Davison was convicted of three offences of publishing material with intent to stir up racial hatred, for which he was subsequently sentenced to a period of four years’ imprisonment to run concurrently on … Continued

A Summer of Protest?

As we slowly exit the Covid19 ‘lockdown’ we have seen several protests in major cities. As life moves toward a more ‘normal’ footing, whatever that may be, and as we enter the Summer months, protest action may likely increase. In this article, we explore some of the legal powers that regulate processions and assemblies, found … Continued

When Will I Be Sentenced?

In cases where there is more than one defendant, it is a common scenario that one of more pleads guilty, perhaps at an early stage, but others continue their case to trial. A question then arises as to whether those who have pleaded guilty earlier should be sentenced immediately, or at some other point. The … Continued

Damage of Statues – Sentencing Implications

On Sunday 7 June protesters in Bristol tore down the statue of Edward Colston and swiftly deposited it in the local harbour.   The statute had been in situ for 125 years and had previously attracted a petition of over 10,000 names calling for its removal, due to Colston’s close connection to the slave trade. The … Continued

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