ABSCONDING

Offenders could not avoid confiscation proceedings brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6 by leaving the country after the proceedings were initiated and claiming to be an absconder within s.6(8) when determination of the issues began. Confiscation proceedings under s.6 commenced from the time that the court agreed with the CPS that it was appropriate to proceed under that section, not when the court embarked on a determinative hearing.

[2017] EWCA Crim 933

A judge had been entitled to increase an offender’s sentence for conspiracy to supply a class A drug to reflect the fact that he had absconded from Spain to avoid a sentence for a similar offence. A sentence of 10 years-and-eight months’ imprisonment for a conspiracy involving 3kg of cocaine at over 65% purity was appropriate.

[2016] EWCA Crim 195

A policy of the secretary of state, restricting the circumstances in which prisoners who absconded while on release on temporary licence would be eligible to progress to placement in open conditions, was lawful.

[2015] EWCA Civ 802

The secretary of state’s “absconder policy”, which excluded from transfer to open conditions any prisoner with a history of absconding, escaping, or serious failure relating to release on temporary licence was inconsistent with his directions to the parole board issued under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 12 s.239(6) and set out in Prison Service Instruction 36/2012 Annex D. While the directions remained in force, the absconder policy was unlawful.

[2015] EWHC 927 (QB)

Refusing bail on the ground of prevention of crime to an applicant with no previous convictions did not necessarily breach the ECHR art.6(2). The court had to make a tailor-made assessment and evaluation of future risks based on the concrete circumstances of the individual case and was not forming a view on the applicant’s guilt.

[2012] NIQB 110

The Crown Court had the power under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6, as applied by s.28, to make a confiscation order against a person who had absconded before his conviction.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1173

A sentence of five years’ imprisonment imposed on a persistent offender following his guilty plea to burglary of a dwelling house was reduced to four years’ imprisonment. The offence was committed while the offender was absent without leave from prison and although the judge’s desire to protect the public against a determined and incorrigible burglar was understandable, the original sentence was manifestly excessive.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2466

An offender was not entitled to the full number of days credit for time served on bail under a qualifying curfew condition, as required under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.240A(2), as he had treated his bail conditions with a significant measure of contempt. He had only allowed his liberty to be restricted when it suited him and, applying s.240A(4), it would be unjust to give him full credit.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1064

The delay in a prosecution for attempted murder was not an abuse of process where it was caused by the defendant absconding. The materials of his rejected asylum application were admissible evidence as they were lawfully obtained in accordance with international conventions applicable at the time, and there was no evidence he was under pressure or would have declined to answer questions put had he been cautioned.

[2013] NICA 22

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission had jurisdiction to determine the question of the lawfulness of immigration detention pending deportation. The power to determine that question was implicit in the statutory power to grant or refuse bail. If that was wrong, the commission was undoubtedly entitled to consider the issue when deciding whether or not to grant bail.

[2012] EWHC 2349 (Admin)

A district judge had not erred in granting conditional bail to an individual facing extradition to Belgium for sentencing for drugs offences. The judge had been sufficiently concerned by the danger of absconding to impose a security way above that suggested by the offender.

[2011] EWHC 1263 (Admin)

It was appropriate to grant an individual facing extradition conditional bail where there were no substantial grounds for believing that he would abscond because he faced extradition and it was apparent that he had an incentive to clear his name.

[2010] EWHC 3473 (Admin)

While a judgment on an application for bail was not an obstacle course in which the judge had to surmount every point or else his decision would be vulnerable to judicial review, a judge considering an application for bail had to demonstrate that he had properly considered any safeguards proffered on behalf of the applicant against the risk of absconding.

[2010] EWHC 667 (Admin)

A decision of a Crown Court judge in confiscation proceedings had implicitly been made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6, which carried a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal, and not under s.27 of the Act, which carried no right of appeal, and so there was no jurisdiction for the Administrative Court to consider the correctness of that decision in judicial review proceedings.

[2010] EWHC 663 (Admin)

Where reasonable steps had been taken to contact defendants who had absconded and it was unlikely that anyone would attend court and make representations for them, confiscation orders in relation to drug trafficking could be made against them in their absence.

[2009] EWHC 421 (Admin)

In considering the imposition of a confiscation order in respect of the proceeds of an offender’s drug trafficking offences, the court determined that it was inconceivable that a note found on his premises referring to a sale of 154 packets for a certain sum related to anything other than the sale of cannabis, and substantial cash deposits into overseas bank accounts were also found to represent proceeds of his crimes.

[2008] EWHC 3682 (Admin)

Generally, the date from which the lawfulness of immigration detention fell to be considered was the date on which appeal rights were exhausted, and refusal by a person subject to a deportation order to provide necessary identity information or co-operate with the deportation system itself was a highly significant factor in determining whether continued detention was lawful.

[2008] EWHC 142 (Admin)

The phrase “unlawfully at large from a prison” in the Extradition Act 2003 s.63 was applicable to individuals who absconded before serving a sentence of imprisonment and was not limited to prisoners who escaped from a prison.

[2006] EWHC 1978 (Admin)

Where the defendant was facing trial for various sexual and assault offences, the judge was wrong to exclude as collateral evidence, evidence from a defence witness that she had been offered money in return for evidence detrimental to the defendant. That evidence went to the issue of whether the victims were offered financial inducements to give evidence. Whilst the judge had erred the resulting convictions could not be considered unsafe.

[2004] EWCA Crim 2085

If a prisoner was detained under s.3 Mental Health Act 1983 during his release on licence, once his licence was revoked, he was “unlawfully at large” for the purposes of s.49 Prison Act 1952 and s.39 Criminal Justice Act 1991.

[2003] EWCA Civ 426

Dismissal of a challenge to the Home Secretary’s decision that the next review of the case of a discretionary life sentence prisoner should take place 15 months after his transfer to open conditions. The decision was within the Home Secretary’s power, it was reasonable and it did not infringe the prisoner’s right of access to a court.

[2003] EWHC 597 (Admin)

The Crown Court had a discretion to commence a trial in the absence of a defendant. That discretion was not inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.

[2002] UKHL 5

A defendant who had absconded was capable of having expressly or implicitly instructed his solicitors to appeal his convictions in his absence.

[2001] EWCA Crim 129

Where defendants had absconded between conviction and sentence and were subsequently arrested abroad, they were entitled to some credit for the time spent in custody abroad.

The expression “a… history of absconding” in s.23(5) Children and Young Persons Act 1969 (as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1991) was satisfied when a young person was absent for a period of two days and two nights from the foster home at which he had been placed after his earlier remand to local authority accommodation.