CRIMINAL EVIDENCE

It was best practice for a judge to direct a jury before the cross-examination of a vulnerable witness that limitations had been placed on the defence counsel and to explain after the cross-examination the type of issues which the defendant would have wished to explore in further detail. Such directions should be repeated in the summing up.

A judge had been right not to leave the partial defence to murder, loss of control, to a jury where the defendant had hit the victim multiple times with a hammer leading to his death. The Court of Appeal made a number of observations regarding a trial judge’s approach to loss of control under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54(1), including that evidence was required for all three statutory components of the defence.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2083 [2018] EWCA Crim 2083

Although a judge’s summing up of identification evidence had been deficient in places, the totality of the evidence, which included cell site evidence placing the offender at the murder scene and a text message suggesting that he was with a co-defendant, meant that the conviction for murder was safe. The judge had been entitled to reject the submission of no case to answer.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2082 [2018] EWCA Crim 2082

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.

[2018] EWHC 2368 (Admin) [2018] EWHC 2368 (Admin)

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 s.2(3), under which the Serious Fraud Office could require any person to produce relevant documents for an SFO investigation, had extraterritorial application to foreign companies in respect of documents held abroad where there was a sufficient connection between the company and the UK.