The court upheld a defendant’s conviction for conspiracy to possess prohibited weapons. The judge had been entitled to admit evidence of the defendant’s previous convictions under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(f) after concluding that he had given a false impression about his history of drug dealing. However, a further conviction for conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life was unsafe because there was no evidence upon which a properly directed jury could have concluded that such a conspiracy existed between the defendant and any other person.
In the context of a continuing offence, the speciality rule did not preclude the Serious Fraud Office from adducing evidence of conduct which fell outside the relevant time period to prove the commission of an offence which fell within it. The rule was concerned with offences, not evidence.
Professional criminals who persisted in dealing with Class A drugs, after having been previously convicted and punished by a substantial term of imprisonment, required appreciably longer terms of imprisonment than others when they were subsequently convicted again. Accordingly, a judge was entitled to move into the category 1 range, and specifically, to the top of that range, in relation to an offender with previous convictions for drug offences who had pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug.
A confiscation order for £2.34 million, representing the benefit from an offender’s part in a large-scale drugs conspiracy, was proportionate. The offender had failed to demonstrate that the available amount was less than his benefit from criminal conduct. His argument that the judge should have considered how much of the proceeds he had retained when calculating the available amount was rejected, as the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 was directed to the proceeds of crime, not the net profits.
A judge had not erred when sentencing an offender to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 10 years, as a sentence of “last resort” for extreme child sex offences committed over a number of years against his own children. The sentence was also not unduly lenient, despite the minimum term not being increased when the offender was sentenced for further offences which involved the same children being offered to other men for sexual purposes.