The court upheld an offender’s convictions for murder and attempted murder following the fatal shooting of a member of a rival gang.
A prisoner facing the death penalty following his conviction for the murder of a fellow inmate was not permitted to admit fresh medical evidence in his appeal against conviction and sentence. He had wanted to rely on new evidence relating to his mental state at the time of the offence, with a view to supporting a case of diminished responsibility, but that evidence was directly contrary to the case advanced at trial, and there was nothing to explain the change of position. The Privy Council also rejected his renewed appeal against a judicial direction in respect of evidence of propensity.
A minimum term of 30 years imposed in connection with a life sentence for murder was justified where the offender had been convicted on the basis of a joint enterprise. A case would normally fall within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5 if it was a murder involving the use of a firearm, and the wording of that provision was not confined to the person who had pulled the trigger.
The court considered the extent to which a mental disorder could be relevant to an assessment of “the circumstances of the defendant” when considering the partial defence of loss of control under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 s.54(1).
A judge’s failure to direct the jury in a murder trial as to the utility and limits of hearsay evidence relating to the offender’s reprehensible conduct prior to the offence had not undermined the safety of the conviction. The jury had been in a good position to assess the offender’s character and disposition from the way he presented in the witness box.