A confiscation order in the sum of £14,763 imposed on an offender following his guilty plea to an offence of burglary was not disproportionate.
When making a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, there had to be clear, complete and unassailable evidence that a tainted gift given to a third party could not be recovered before the order could be found to be disproportionate under s.6(5). That was a more limited restriction than the general duty to avoid a serious risk of injustice under s.10(6).
The court considered the correct approach when making a confiscation order to calculating the benefit arising from fraudulently obtained remortgage transactions, where the property had originally been acquired legitimately using untainted funds and the offender had either repaid, or had undertaken to repay, the sum due under the remortgage. The approach was the same as for mortgage transactions, namely a proportionate calculation based on the equity increase achieved in the property.
The power of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) to order a venire de novo did not include a power to declare a summary trial a nullity, or quash a conviction recorded in such proceedings and remit the matter for retrial. Venire de novo was concerned only with trial on indictment, and with fundamental irregularities rendering such a trial a nullity.
The court made a certificate of inadequacy where a defendant’s realisable property was inadequate to meet a confiscation order made against him. The confiscation order amount had been calculated by reference to the value of a number of properties, and the evidence showed that for various reasons they were not going to realise what had initially been estimated.