MURDER

A life sentence with a minimum term of 11 years and 68 days was unduly lenient where an offender had killed his partner using two knives while under the influence of drugs, and was increased to a minimum term of 14 years and 190 days. However, it was not treated as a domestic violence case as there had been no history of domestic violence in the relationship.

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.

The court quashed an 18-year minimum term attached to a life sentence imposed on an offender following his conviction for murder and replaced it with one of 21 years. Notwithstanding that the offender had taken a sword only a short distance outside the premises into the garden, he had taken a weapon to the scene and used it to kill within the meaning of para.5A of Sch 21 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 such that a starting point of 25 years was appropriate.

[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 Civ 1587 [2018] EWCA Civ 1587

A senior investigating police officer had maliciously prosecuted three men for murder when presenting a case to the CPS based on the evidence of a witness he had prompted to implicate them. They were entitled to damages for the loss caused by that malicious prosecution and the officer’s misfeasance in public office.