ACQUITTALS

A prosecution costs order of £2,800 was neither just nor reasonable following an offender’s conviction for voyeurism. Although it represented only a contribution to the prosecution’s costs, it did not properly reflect the fact that the offender had been acquitted of one of two counts, or the fact that he had limited means and ability to pay. A proper order was one of £1,400.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1939

A claimant was granted permission to amend her grounds for judicial review of the secretary of state’s refusal to award her compensation following her acquittal for murder, on the limited basis of the legality of the decision not to make a discretionary ex gratia payment.

[2016] EWHC 3405 (Admin)
[2016] EWHC 1239 (Admin)

The Independent Monitor’s decision to approve the disclosure by the police on an enhanced criminal records certificate of information about an individual’s acquittal for sexual offences was unreasonable as the decision had been unsupported by the evidence at the trial for the alleged offences and the judge’s summing up.

There was nothing materially inconsistent in the approaches of the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights when determining whether the right to the presumption of innocence in ECHR art.6(2) had been breached by the reference to an acquittal in later proceedings. The inclusion in an enhanced criminal record certificate of details of a taxi driver’s acquittal on a rape charge had not undermined the correctness of the acquittal

[2016] EWCA Civ 490

Applications to discharge property freezing orders failed where the applicants had been acquitted of mortgage fraud despite putting false information on mortgage application forms. Their acquittals did not mean that the funds involved were not arguably the proceeds of unlawful conduct.

[2016] EWHC 899 (Admin)

It was justifiable for an enhanced criminal record certificate to include information regarding an individual’s acquittal for sexual assault when he was 15 years old. The seriousness and credibility of the information made it relevant, and despite the certificate’s impact on the individual, the brief passage of time since the incident meant that it was not disproportionate to disclose it.

Acquittal by a jury on a charge of fraud arising from the giving of false evidence in a civil claim was not an absolute bar to permission being granted for the bringing of committal proceedings for contempt of court. However, permission was unlikely to be granted where there was no new evidence against the alleged contemnor.

[2015] EWHC 2982 (QB)

A magistrates’ court had no jurisdiction and had acted contrary to the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.9(2) when dismissing a charge of threatening behaviour against an individual without giving the Crown an opportunity to call any evidence or to consult with the victim. It followed that there had been no lawful acquittal, and that a restraining order imposed on acquittal was also unlawful.

A suspect’s acquittal would be quashed and he would be retried for murder where the Crown relied on DNA evidence obtained by tests carried out six years after the relevant samples were taken. In deciding whether a retrial was in the interests of justice within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.79(2), it could be necessary for the court to consider whether forensic scientists had acted with due diligence and expedition. However, the scientists’ advice when the samples were taken that DNA testing was not appropriate did not demonstrate a lack of diligence.

[2015] EWCA Crim 585

A Recovery and Defence Costs Order was quashed and remitted to the Crown Court where the judge had failed to properly consider whether it had been unreasonable to make the order in respect of costs associated with a charge which had been ordered to lie on the file. While the order that the count should lie on the file might not have been as good as an acquittal, the judge had not satisfactorily dealt with the argument in relation to it.

[2015] EWHC 1327 (Admin)

On the appellant’s retrial on money-laundering charges, the judge had been correct not to admit in evidence his prior acquittal of certain counts in the first trial: there was a range of explanations for the consistency of the acquittals in the first trial and the appellant’s conviction in the retrial.

[2015] EWCA Crim 42

The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.16A had not been incompatible with the ECHR in preventing acquitted defendants in the Crown Court from recovering their private legal costs. Nor was it incompatible after it had been amended so that it limited such recovery to legal aid rates.

[2015] EWHC 130 (Admin)

Where a defendant was unfit to be tried, and was found to have committed the acts charged against him in a hearing under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964, that did not amount to a criminal conviction. It could not be regarded as an acquittal either. The court therefore had no power to impose a restraining order on the defendant under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

The court quashed a district judge’s decision to acquit a defendant on a charge of assault. The judge’s decision had been made on the basis of an erroneous belief that the complainant had not attended court, and it was in the interests of the complainant and the public for the prosecution to proceed.

[2014] NIQB 131

Permission to appeal against a restraining order following acquittal was refused where the defendant had consented to the order and the judge had been satisfied on the evidence that it was necessary. There should be a waiver of privilege in such applications to enable an investigation into why the court should set aside a restraining order where consent had freely been given.

[2014] EWCA Crim 2331

An acquittal on counts of rape and assault by penetration would be quashed and a retrial ordered where the complainant had left the country after giving an achieving best evidence interview and the Crown had offered no evidence at trial. There was new and compelling evidence in the form of the complainant’s evidence which was available when she returned to the country, and a retrial would be in the interests of justice.

[2014] EWCA Crim 1816

A judge did not have jurisdiction to order the CPS to pay an accused person’s costs under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.19 following a failed prosecution; that provision could not be used as a means of impugning the prosecutorial discretion given to the DPP and other state prosecutors by imposing costs on them. It was not the judge’s role to discipline the DPP for what he considered was an aberrant exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

[2014] EWHC 2014 (Admin)

Where a defendant suffering from an insane delusion that he was being attacked or threatened reacted violently, using force that was reasonable in the circumstances as he perceived them to be, he was not entitled to an acquittal based on self-defence. An insane person could not set the standards of reasonableness as to the degree of force used by reference to his own insanity. The court considered the meaning and effect of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 s.76.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1725

A decision to issue an enhanced criminal record certificate containing information about the claimant’s acquittal of a charge of rape did not breach his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.8 or art.6(2).

A nine-year term of imprisonment imposed on an offender for rape following a retrial in respect of allegations of rape and indecent assault of two young girls was reduced to eight years, as the sentence passed did not accurately reflect the fact that he had been acquitted of one of the rapes.

A restraining order imposed following acquittal was quashed where the judge had failed to consider whether it was necessary to protect the complainant from future harassment and had not considered the likelihood of such conduct.

[2013] EWCA Crim 939

A five-year restraining order imposed under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s.5A to prevent an offender, who had had mental health issues, from contacting his daughter, who he had stabbed, and other family members was quashed where the offender had not engaged in a relevant course of conduct as defined in s.7 of the Act which justified imposing the order.

[2013] EWCA Crim 591

The mere fact that restraining orders relating to two women convicted of assault had been quashed as counter-productive did not mean that, to abolish disparity, such orders should be quashed in the case of three men acquitted of assault relating to the same incident. If evidence in the victim’s personal statements had been available at the women’s appeal it was unlikely that their orders would have been quashed.

[2013] EWCA Crim 607

A restraining order made under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s.5A following a defendant’s acquittal was quashed because the judge had not set out the factual basis upon which the order was made. The court also criticised the pro forma used to make the order.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1164

In order for the Crown to appeal a terminating ruling made under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.58, the conditions precedent, under s.58(4) and s.58(8), had to be complied with whereby the Crown had to inform the judge immediately after the ruling of its intention to appeal and had to notify the judge of its acquittal agreement. For the purpose of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2005 r.67.2(1)(a) “immediately after the ruling” meant “there and then”.

[2012] EWCA Crim 792

The judge had been wrong to direct the acquittal of two of the four defendants in a case involving an allegation of the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl; evidence of collusion between the complainant and a witness might be used to cast doubt on their reliability and truthfulness but it should not have been used as a reason for stopping the case.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1845

Where a defendant had been acquitted in a drug-trafficking trial and the retrial of a co-defendant was ordered, and the prosecution intended to allege involvement by the acquitted defendant, the latter could not invoke the presumption of innocence in the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6(2), because he was not “charged with a criminal offence”.

[2012] EWCA Crim 6

A judge, in imposing a restraining order under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s.5A on a defendant acquitted of inflicting grievous bodily harm, had erred in following a procedure that effectively denied him any opportunity for submissions as to the propriety of the order.

[2011] EWCA Crim 2395

When imposing a restraining order under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s.5A the judge had failed to consider the procedural requirements under the Criminal Procedure Rules 2010 Pt 50. The defendant had been given no notice of the possible imposition of the order and there was no evidential basis on which to make an order.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1843

The acquittal of a man who had faced a private prosecution for his involvement in the racist killing of a teenage boy in 1993 was quashed and a new trial ordered. Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.78 there was “new and compelling evidence” and it was in the interests of justice under s.79 to make the order.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1255

The fact that a juror in a murder trial was a prison officer working in the same prison and on the same wing where the two defendants were detained pending trial did not automatically mean that there was an appearance of bias. The officer’s employment status ought preferably to have come to light at the beginning of the trial, in which case he would have been asked to stand down as a precaution. On the evidence, however, there was nothing to suggest that the officer, through his work, had come across anything prejudicial to the defendants.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1173

A decision to prosecute or not was a difficult and delicate one, and only in the clearest possible cases could a decision taken by the appropriate authority in good faith possibly justify a penalty in costs.

[2011] EWCA Crim 1130

In a retrial of several charges, evidence of an acquittal on one or more of the charges at the first trial should not be put before the second jury unless there was a clear inference that the first jury had rejected the testimony of a witness because it did not believe him, as opposed to thinking he might have been mistaken, and his credibility was directly in issue in the retrial.

[2011] EWCA Crim 916

On the basis of the decision in R. v Dyer, Lowry and Field [1964] Crim. L.R. 297, the fact that a conspirator was acquitted did not mean that in a subsequent trial of other conspirators there was a general bar to the Crown alleging that that person was a party to the conspiracy.

[2011] EWCA Crim 345

Having refused three defendants leave to apply for judicial review of a distict judge’s decision to adjourn their summary trial for a third time, the court set out the correct approach to the adjournment of summary trials.

[2010] NIQB 132

When making a restraining order on acquittal pursuant to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s.5A, a judge had to identify the factual basis for making the order. The court considered for the first time the nature of such orders, and gave guidance about the circumstances and form in which they could be made.

[2010] EWCA Crim 3016

Where a defendant had been tried and acquitted of murder, his subsequent confession made while he was intoxicated and in an agitated state required hesitant circumspection and was not sufficient to constitute new and compelling evidence to justify a retrial.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2934

An unsuccessful prosecution did not preclude the Secretary of State for the Home Department from making a control order on essentially the same material as that relied upon by the prosecution at trial.

[2010] EWHC 1860 (Admin)

For the purposes of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 10, there was new and compelling evidence against an offender who had been acquitted of murder and, in all the circumstances, it was in the interests of justice to quash the acquittal and order a retrial.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1576

A conviction for rape on a specimen count was unsafe on the instant particular facts and circumstances, where evidence rejected in relation to specific counts was therefore irrelevant to the specimen count.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1768

The provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.58 were mandatory and the prosecution’s failure to give the undertaking required by s.58(8) at the relevant time meant that it lost its right to appeal under the section.

[2010] EWCA Crim 711

The presumption of innocence did not mean that, notwithstanding an acquittal in a criminal trial, the criminal proceedings could not be relied upon in separate civil proceedings that did not raise a second criminal charge, such as one of perjury.

[2010] EWCA Civ 491

There was no jurisdiction to appeal against a terminating ruling that acquitted three defendants in circumstances where, pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.58, the prosecution did not tell the court when informing of its intention to appeal that the defendants should be acquitted if the appeal did not proceed.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2614

The Independent Police Complaints Commission had been justified in not disclosing a report of an investigation carried out by an independent police force into the death of a man who had been pulled from a vehicle by police officers.

[2009] EWHC 3706 (Admin)

An application by the Crown for an order quashing the acquittal of a defendant of dangerous and violent offences on the basis of new and compelling evidence and directing a retrial was refused, as the new evidence was from a convicted co-defendant who had a self-interest in providing evidence against the defendant for a potential reduction in his own sentence, and was not reliable.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1036

Where a man had been acquitted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, new and compelling evidence provided by the victim of a similar attack allegedly committed by the same assailant constituted evidence of sufficient compulsion to justify quashing his acquittal and ordering a retrial. A retrial would not be rendered unfair by her giving evidence although she had suffered brain damage and speech impairment as a result of the attack.

[2009] EWCA Crim 633

Magistrates had been wrong to make an order binding a person over to keep the peace where he had been acquitted of the offence with which he was charged and the magistrates’ findings of fact did not support the making of such an order; nor had there been any basis on which they could exercise their discretion to refuse him a defendant’s costs order under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.16.

[2009] EWHC 689 (Admin)

On an application for a retrial under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.76(1), the reference in s.78(1) to “new and compelling evidence ….. in relation to the qualifying offence” did not mean that the new and compelling evidence had to relate directly to the allegation for which the defendant had been acquitted. In the instant case, where the relevant offence was rape, what mattered was that the new evidence should be admissible to prove that, contrary to his evidence at trial, the defendant had raped the complainant.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2908

A sentence of 12 weeks’ imprisonment imposed for breach of bail was appropriate when the accused had left the country and failed to surrender for over two years. The fact that he was acquitted of the primary offence did not automatically reduce the seriousness of his conduct.

[2008] EWCA Crim 3159