CRIMINAL LAW

In imposing a 12-month period of suspension on a solicitor sentenced to a 12-month community order and a five-year notification requirement on the sex offenders register for convictions of sexual assault and racially aggravated assault, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal had erred in its failure to consider the period of suspension necessary to protect the reputation of the profession and the public confidence in the profession, and in taking into account the period for which the solicitor had not been able to practise prior to an order of the court being made.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2190 [2018] EWCA Crim 2190

The exception in the Theft Act 1968 s.4(2)(a) to the general rule that a person could not steal land except when they were authorised by power of attorney” to sell or dispose of it and they appropriated it in breach of confidence, could not be invoked where the power of attorney was invalid. There was no sufficient justification for writing in the words “is (or purportedly is) authorised” or “is (or believes himself to be) authorised”. Where no conspiracy to defraud was involved, such cases were likely on their facts to fall within the ambit of the Fraud Act 2006.

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] EWHC 2533 (Admin) [2018] EWHC 2533 (Admin)

Police officers had been acting in the execution of their duty when they arrested an individual for an imminent breach of the peace following his aggression towards them. Although they had previously told him they might arrest him for breach of the peace if he did not leave his parents’ home, that had not been the breach of the peace for which he had been arrested, so he had not been resisting an unlawful arrest.

[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.