How long can seized cash be detained for ?

HMRC seized £35,000 cash in plastic carrier bags from a Mr Mann as it was suspected he was fraudulently evading excise duty. Boxes of vodka worth around £220,000 had also been found on the premises. Once cash is seized, it can be held for up to 48 hours, after which time an application must be … Continued

Burglary guidelines – more flexibility needed ?

    New proposed sentencing guidelines – burglary The Sentencing Council has announced a consultation on the revision of sentencing guidelines for domestic, non-domestic and aggravated burglary offences. The existing burglary definitive guideline was the second to be developed by the Sentencing Council and came into force in 2012. The proposed guidelines have been developed … Continued

Child sexual offences

  Draft revised sentencing guidelines have been produced to reflect recent Court of Appeal judgments. The guidelines clarify sentencing guidance for cases where no sexual activity occurs or where the targeted child does not exist. The revised guidelines are subject to consultation, which will close on 13th August 2021. The main revisions apply to offences … Continued

A very painful process

“Jake” was sixteen and a half when he was arrested for an offence which took place in October 2017 . Today two months after his 20th birthday, the prosecution have finally accepted that there is no prospect of conviction. In the mean streets of the M1 corridor there was a fight between a group of … Continued

Women on short term sentences

  An evidence-based practice team from HM Prison and Probation Services have produced a report entitled “An evaluation of a brief intervention to reduce re-offending among women serving short sentences.” Over 12 months, a study was made of 255 women who were in the last 6-8 weeks of their sentence where that sentence had been … Continued

Facebook and fraud

The Competition and Markets Authority intervened with Facebook to combat fake and misleading reviews on the site. At the beginning of last year, Facebook agreed to “better identify, investigate and respond to fake and misleading reviews”. As a result of the agreement, 188 groups were removed, and 24 user accounts were disabled. Facebook pledged to … Continued

Prison categorisation

  Every prisoner is given a security category. For female prisoners, there are only two options, closed or open condition. For male prisoners, there are four categories, A to D. What do the categories mean? Female prisoners: Closed conditions are for female prisoners who present too high a risk for open conditions; these are for … Continued

Sexual abuse in schools

  Ofsted has announced a review into sexual abuse in schools. The review will consider the processes that schools, and colleges have in place regarding whether they are good enough to allow pupils to report abuse freely. Why conduct a review? A website, “Everyone’s Invited”, published anonymised accounts of sexual abuse – many of the … Continued

Non-disclosure and prejudice

  The Criminal Cases Review Commission referred several cases to the Court of Appeal, which involved allegations of public order related to trade union activity. They included the case of the actor Ricky Tomlinson who had been convicted in 1973 of conspiracy to intimidate, unlawful assembly and affray and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. There … Continued

Criminal entry ? Priti’s vacant proposals

  The government recently announced a range of proposals regarding immigration, but how does this affect criminal law? Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, said it was the introduction of the most significant overhaul of the system in decades. The aim appears to be to prevent illegal entry into the UK, especially when people smugglers or … Continued

Line of Duty – What do all the acronyms mean ?

This week saw the new series of the BBC’s Line of Duty hit our screens, with another battle ahead for the police against serious organised crime. For those new to this drama, the first episode may well have been very confusing. The episode was clouded in layers of acronyms that a person not well versed … Continued

Good character as mitigation

What is good character?  As far as the criminal courts are concerned, a person of good character is usually someone without convictions or cautions recorded against them. It is of particular relevance in a trial situation as the court will consider good character in assessing the likelihood of you committing the offence and also your … Continued