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

Will Coronavirus Be a ‘Get out of Jail’ Card?

Before a pprosecution is commenced, the Crown Prosecution Service must apply two distinct tests. The first is whether there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction; If not, the case does not proceed further. If there is sufficient evidence, the second question must be answered, namely whether a prosecution is in the … Continued

Lockdown boredom could lead to a knock at the door

At the time of posting this, we are still in the early stages of social isolation and moderate lockdown. We are still finding ways to occupy our time through the various social media platforms and communication but that will soon lead to boredom. With extra time on their hands and confined to their homes, many … Continued

Covid 19 Lockdown – the law

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 imposes several restrictions. Over the last week, the police have been keen to enforce compliance, even calling out the MP Stephen Kinnock over social media for visiting his father on his birthday. Given the importance of protecting the NHS, it is likely that the police may take … Continued

Emergency Laws Now in Force

On Wednesday 25th March 2020 the Coronavirus Bill completed all its parliamentary stages, and Royal Assent was signified, bringing in to force an unprecedented piece of emergency legislation. The purpose of the Coronavirus Act is to enable the Government to respond to an emergency situation and manage the effects of a covid-19 pandemic. A severe … Continued

Trial Delays

A defendant has the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time. In exceptional cases, a delay will lead to a stay of proceedings as an abuse of process. A stay of proceedings is an extremely rare outcome, with the Court of Appeal making the following observation in R v PS [2013] EWCA Crim … Continued

Client consultations via video and telephone

Many people are having to change the way they do things in view of The Coronavirus Pandemic. Whilst face to face meetings are the ideal way to discuss your case confidentially and in confidence, many clients may not wish to or be able to travel or attend meetings at this current time. Using the technology … 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

Criminal Justice and Coronavirus

As the UK prepares to move into the ‘delay phase’, changes are expected to criminal justice procedure. So, what might be expected to change? Criminal Investigations In the event of any public disorder, work on low priority criminal investigations may slow or stall entirely as police resources are diverted elsewhere. Most police custody suites hold … Continued