ADMISSIONS

An extended sentence of 10 years, comprising a custodial term of six years and an extended licence period of four years, was appropriate in the case of the appellant following his pleas of guilty to arson and aggravated burglary.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1620

It was in the interests of justice to allow a defendant insurer permission to withdraw an admission of liability under CPR r.14.1B for a road traffic accident which had resulted in the claimant suffering serious brain injuries where it sought to raise the defence of ex turpi causa.

[2017] EWHC 1336 (QB)

Convictions for wounding with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, having an offensive weapon and criminal damage were upheld. The judge had not erred in her summing up and the appellant had not been prejudiced by an agreed admission placed before the jury.

[2017] EWCA Crim 491

In determining that it was not in the interests of justice for an offender’s case to be referred to the High Court of Justiciary on the basis of Cadder (Peter) v HM Advocate [2010] UKSC 43, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission had not erred in taking into account the fact that the offender had not disputed the truth of an admission made in his police interview, had not challenged the fairness of the interview or its use at trial, and had made use of the interview at trial.

[2017] UKSC 20

In a case where experts had recommended that an intermediary be appointed to assist the defendant, the trial judge had been entitled to conclude that the intermediary should be present only when the defendant was giving evidence.

[2017] EWCA Crim 2

Where a minor was in custody for police questioning, the law in many countries was that police interviews were to take place in the presence of an “appropriate adult”. The police should inform that person that he was not expected to act simply as an observer. The purpose of an “appropriate adult” was to advise the person being questioned, to assess whether the interview was being conducted properly and fairly, and to facilitate communication. In the instant case, a 17-year-old’s confession to murder was rendered unreliable by the fact that informal and unrecorded interviews had taken place whilst the police had been trying to locate an appropriate adult, who had then not been told his full function.

[2016] UKPC 29

Concurrent sentences of seven years’ imprisonment for five counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 and two counts of rape of the same child, committed by a young offender over a seven-year period, were not unduly lenient where he had stopped his offending as soon as the victim asked him to, and admitted his guilt as soon as the offending was disclosed. Such candour required recognition in the sentencing exercise. Consecutive sentencing would have been better so as to differentiate between the sexual assaults and the rapes.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1386

In civil contempt proceedings, the fact that three company officers, who had procured the company to make substantial payments in breach of an order appointing a provisional liquidator, had not made those payments for their own benefit was an important factor reducing what would otherwise have been a two-year starting point for a sentence of imprisonment to one of nine months. Their mitigation and admissions made six-months custodial sentence appropriate.

Although evidence from an individual familiar with psilocybin mushrooms could be accepted as expert evidence, the factors which the court might take into account when determining the reliability of expert and scientific opinion under the Criminal Practice Direction Part 33A had to be satisfied. Accordingly, an expert’s physical analysis of seized mushrooms, and his evidence about the relevant growing period, had been insufficient to support a conviction for possession of a class A drug.

[2015] EWHC 628 (Admin)

Sentences of imprisonment were imposed on two taxi drivers and their passengers who had brought fraudulent personal injury claims based on car accidents which had not taken place. The making of false statements as part of legal proceedings was so serious that only a custodial sentence was justified. Such conduct undermined public confidence in the justice system and imposed great burdens upon insurance companies, who had to devote considerable resources to identifying and resisting fraudulent claims.

[2014] EWHC 4003 (QB)

A minimum three-year term imposed for a third domestic burglary was reduced as the offence had only come to light due to admissions by the offender while serving another sentence for similar offences, and the judge had intended the original release date to remain unaffected. It was therefore unjust to impose the minimum term.

[2014] EWCA Crim 3056

There had been no breach of Ministry of Justice guidance or the Police and Criminal Evidence Codes when a claimant who was a vulnerable person had received a simple caution for being drunk and disorderly in a public place. There was undisputed evidence that he had received proper legal advice beforehand, that the defence had first suggested the caution and that he had been appropriately supported throughout the process involved.

[2014] EWHC 1857 (Admin)

An appeal against convictions on 12 counts of sexual assault by penetration, four counts of rape and a count of unlawful wounding was dismissed where a judge had been correct not to treat as evidence the offender’s admissions made in a written statement and police interview as the prosecution had only relied on them to a very limited extent.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1990

The decision in R. v Conway (David Patrick) (1980) 70 Cr. App. R. 4 was not to be regarded as binding authority on the procedure required to be adopted in applications or appeals based on evidence of alleged retractions or inconsistent statements. What constituted the best and fairest procedure had to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

[2013] EWCA Crim 159

An appeal against a conviction of rape was dismissed on the basis that trial counsel’s evidence as to the reason why he decided not to call a witness whom the defendant allegedly wished to call was preferred to the defendant’s evidence.

[2012] EWCA Crim 3122

The time limit in the Scotland Act 1998 s.100(3B) did not apply to proceedings brought by way of appeal under the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, since the latter Act had its own system of time limits for the bringing of appeals, which s.100(3B) had not been intended to override. The court also considered whether a refusal of legal representation while making an unsolicited admission following a police interview amounted to a waiver of the right of access to legal advice for the purposes of determining whether the trial had been fair.

[2011] UKSC 55

When considering a person’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6 to access to a lawyer prior to police questioning, the Supreme Court declined to extend the principle established by Salduz v Turkey (36391/02) (2009) 49 E.H.R.R. 19 to questioning which took place before a person was detained at a police station.

[2011] UKSC 43

Where an admission contained in a caution was admitted as evidence of a propensity to commit a particular offence, but the accused challenged whether the caution offence had occurred, the judge should give a full direction to the jury on bad character if they found that the caution offence had occurred, and a full direction on good character if they found that it had not occurred.

[2010] EWCA Crim 2975

The decisions in Paton (Gary Alexander) v Ritchie 2000 J.C. 271, Dickson v HM Advocate 2001 J.C. 203 and HM Advocate v McLean (Duncan) [2009] HCJAC 97, 2010 S.L.T. 73 could not survive in the light of the decision in Salduz v Turkey (36391/02) (2009) 49 E.H.R.R. 19. A person detained under the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 s.14 had to have access to a lawyer from the time of his first interview unless there were compelling reasons in the particular circumstances of the case that made the presence of a lawyer impracticable.

[2010] UKSC 43

A conviction for an offence of acquiring criminal property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.329(1) was safe where the judge had given the jury appropriate directions with regard to breaches of the PACE codes of practice Code C and the definition of “acquiring” for the purposes of s.329(1).

[2010] EWCA Crim 1779

In order for a burglary to be treated as a domestic burglary for sentencing purposes, it was important for the word “dwelling” to appear in the indictment particulars. In the instant case, the fact that the word “home” formed part of the name of the building was not sufficient to indicate that it was a residential dwelling for the purposes of the Theft Act 1968 s.9.

[2010] EWCA Crim 809

It was not open to a magistrates’ court to rely on a statement by a defendant acting in person made to the court’s legal adviser, who was assisting the defendant to put his case in a procedure approved by the Criminal Procedure Rules 2005 Pt 37, as such statements were not evidence.

[2009] EWHC 2820 (Admin)

A decision to administer a final warning to a juvenile for an alleged attempted rape had been unlawful, as he had not made a clear and reliable admission of guilt to all elements of the offence.

[2009] EWHC 3640 (Admin)

Where defendants had pleaded guilty and thereby admitted their guilt, it was a misconception for them to argue on appeal that their convictions were unsafe because of the wrongful admission of prosecution evidence at trial, since that evidence did not deprive them of a legal escape from conviction and there had therefore been no abuse of process.

[2009] EWCA Crim 462

A sentence of nine months’ imprisonment suspended for two years with a two year residence requirement imposed on an offender following his pleas of guilty to four counts of sexual activity with a child family member was unduly lenient but was not altered as there were sufficient exceptional circumstances.

[2009] EWCA Crim 289

Convictions for entering into or being concerned in a money laundering arrangement were upheld as the judge had not erred in allowing references to the victim’s age and vulnerability to be adduced in evidence, or in failing to discharge a police officer from the jury, and the summing up had not been unfair. However, the three-year sentences of imprisonment imposed on each offender were manifestly excessive and were reduced to two years as there had been no evidence that they had known the source of the money they had laundered.

[2009] EWCA Crim 543

It was appropriate to admit fresh evidence relating to an appellant’s mental capacity because it was capable of belief, a reasonable explanation had been furnished for the failure to adduce it at trial, and it could have a bearing on the safety of his conviction in several possible respects.

[2008] UKPC 16

Where a defendant admitted that she had administered a drug to her daughter, despite doctors terminating the prescription, but had done so without an intention to cause harm, there still remained an issue to be tried since the jury had to decide whether she knew that there was a risk of injury to her daughter’s health and administered the drug in any event.

[2008] EWCA Crim 272

The modification in R. v Hayter (Paul Ali) [2005] UKHL 6, [2005] 1 W.L.R. 605 to the absolute prohibition against the use of out of court admissions as evidence against co-defendants did apply in Trinidad and Tobago, but the circumstances of the instant case fell outside the ambit of the Hayter principle.

[2007] UKPC 51

A judge had been correct in his assessment that a defendant’s admission in respect of an indictment of misconduct in public office was important evidence under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(d) in respect of his separate indictment for blackmail.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2127

A judge had been correct to admit evidence of a Dutch police interview where a defendant had made admissions regarding the supply of drugs, in order to correct a false impression under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.105, where that defendant had asserted to British police that he had never been involved in drug supply.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1789

A judge had been correct not to discharge a jury, despite making an inadvertent admission of a co-defendant’s guilty plea during his summing up, as the case against the defendant was overwhelming and an appropriate direction was given to the jury to disregard the information.

[2006] EWCA Crim 2879

The overarching criterion for admission of a statement was fairness, and the major factor in determining fairness was the voluntary nature of the statement. If a statement was voluntary, that was a strong reason for admitting it, notwithstanding a breach of Practice Note (CCA: Judges’ Rules) (1964) 1 WLR 152. However, the court could still refuse to admit a statement made voluntarily if it would be unfair to admit it.

[2006] UKPC 5

Evidence of a tacit admission had been correctly admitted in evidence by the trial judge.

[2005] EWCA Crim 3082

Where there were several possible explanations as to how a situation occurred, other than that a criminal act had been undertaken, it was not necessary to eliminate those other possible explanations before the criminal standard of proof could be satisfied in circumstances where the magistrates had considered whether the alternative possible explanations raised any doubt in their minds about the admissions of guilt made by the offender and had decided that they did not.

[2005] EWHC 2694 (Admin)

Permission was not granted for a defendant to withdraw its admission in its defence in a personal injury claim, as withdrawal of the admission would, in the circumstances, represent a very serious prejudice to the claimant.

[2005] EWHC 2169 (QB)

The appellant contemnor had been deprived of the opportunity to have his factors in mitigation fully explored and explored by a judge who had not heard potentially relevant evidence in his absence. Further, when a comprehensive application for committal for contempt of court, such as the instant one, was made and a substantial sentence of imprisonment was contemplated and imposed, it would normally be wrong for the judge to leave over for possible future activation a suspended sentence and consideration of other alleged contempts.

[2005] EWCA Civ 533

In a prosecution for an offence of breaching a restraining order made under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s.5(5) it was necessary for the Crown Prosecution Service to prove the existence of the restraining order. One of the ways it could be proved was by the defendant admitting to its existence, terms and duration.

The appellant’s conviction was rendered unsafe by the exclusion of evidence which suggested that another may have committed the offence.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1388

The CPS would be ordered to pay the defendant’s costs of a successful appeal against conviction of robbery as it had not investigated the unusual circumstances of the offence or the apparent problems with the identification evidence taken from CCTV stills and had failed to assist the court and the process of justice.

[2004] EWCA Crim 2230

The defendant’s convictions of conspiring to import class A drugs and being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent prohibition on the import of class A drugs were safe as the admittance into evidence of a co-defendant’s plea of guilty to the conspiracy, which was later vacated, did not affect the safety of the verdict. There was no question that there had been a conspiracy, the only issue was whether the defendant had been involved as a conspirator.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1297

The defendants’ convictions for various sexual offences were safe as there had been no need for the judge to give a Makanjuola direction on the need for corroboration of the victim’s evidence.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1414

The appellant’s conviction for possession of Cass A drugs was safe as the judge had been right to allow a formal admission from the Crown that police had executed a search warrant as a result of information received that had not related to a co-defendant. Further, the judge had been right not to order a separate trial for the appellant.

[2004] EWCA Crim 917

It was open to a prison to refuse to grant enhanced status to a prisoner on the basis that he had failed to take part in a sex offenders treatment programme that required him to admit his guilt notwithstanding that a review of his conviction was pending at the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

[2004] EWHC 596 (Admin)

A conviction for indecent assault was safe where a jury, in answer to a question, were read an agreed admission regarding a previous conviction of the defendant. There was no obligation on the judge to give a character direction since no adverse assumptions would have been drawn given the detail of the admission.

[2004] EWCA Crim 556

A conviction was safe where a defendant admitted attempted theft to his employer and the judge allowed evidence of a subsequent confession made in a formal police interview to be adduced, as it wasn’t based on the confession made to the defendant’s employer and the jury were not told of that confession.

[2003] EWCA Crim 3627

The Inland Revenue was “charged with the duty of investigating offences” within s.67(9) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 when conducting a “Hansard interview”, so that Code C applied and the defendants should have been cautioned and a tape recording made of the interview. However, the Hansard evidence was introduced as lies told by the defendants relevant to their dishonest state of mind and its admission would not have had such an adverse effect on the fairness of the proceedings that the court ought not to have admitted it.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2256

A murder conviction was safe where it relied on the conviction of the appellant’s co-accused, which was based on evidence of an out of court admission that was not admissible against the appellant.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1048

Where a conviction for murder was referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission in light of fresh evidence, the conviction was held to have been safe where the fresh evidence would not have affected the jury’s decision to convict.

[2003] EWCA Crim 1008

Alleged admissions from a co-defendant’s girlfriend after the trial constituted hearsay evidence and were therefore inadmissible under the rule in R v Melanie Myers (1997) 3 WLR 552.

[2003] EWCA Crim 271