The Parole Board Rules 2016 r.25(1), which prohibited making information public about Parole Board proceedings, was too broad and was ultra vires the rule-making power set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 12 s.239(5). The Board’s decision directing the release of a Category A prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence was irrational, as the Board should have undertaken further inquiry into the circumstances of his offending, and in particular the fact that he had admitted only to the 12 sexual offences of which he had been convicted, when there were references in the dossier to “80+ potential victims” and a key issue leading to the release decision was his openness and honesty. The further inquiry would have allowed the Board to test his account.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
A 12-month custodial sentence was imposed on an individual who had deliberately caused a road traffic accident in order to defraud an insurance company, and who had lied in documents supported by statements of truth. A nine-month suspended sentence was imposed on his wife for her participation in the fraud. The court reiterated the importance of deterrent sentences for those bringing fraudulent claims against insurance companies.
The Crown Prosecution Service’s Victims’ Right to Review Guidance, under which the CPS would not consider a victim’s request for a review of the decision to offer no evidence against an accused until after the prosecution had concluded, was an inflexible policy but was not unlawful. It struck a necessary and proportionate balance between the rights of the victim, the accused, and the CPS’s prosecutorial independence.
An individual who pleaded guilty to numerous contempts of court, which included deliberately erasing data from his electronic devices and transferring them to another person, was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment.
Magistrates’ courts did not have a discretion to extend the time to state a case after expiration of the 21 days specified in the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.111(2).