A maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment for dangerous driving and six months concurrent for assault by beating was not excessive. The offender had used his car as a weapon, deliberately driving at and hitting the victim.
The bar in the Criminal Justice Act 1982 s.72 on defendants making unsworn statements did not preclude a defendant’s account of events being given by way of hearsay evidence under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.114 and s.116.
The court set out the correct law in relation to the application of the slip rule under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.155. After imposing a sentence on the basis of a factual error, a judge had been entitled to increase the sentence under the slip rule despite initially indicating that he would not do so. An indication by the Attorney General that he intended to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient was a relevant consideration.
There had been sufficient evidence of joint enterprise on a count of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered. Witnesses had given evidence that the defendant and his co-accused had left the scene together arguing and were arrested together shortly afterwards. Whether the evidence established an agreement between them was a matter for the jury.
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.