A 78-year-old man whose extradition to the Falkland Islands was sought in order to prosecute him for 12 alleged historic sexual abuse offences from the mid-1980s was bailed. The unusual features of the case, including the individual’s ill-health and his caring responsibilities, and the fact that he had not offended since completing a sex offenders’ treatment programme in 2002, meant that the risks of him absconding or committing further offences were minimal.
A requested person’s application for bail was refused where there were substantial grounds for believing that he would fail to appear, as he was facing extremely serious charges carrying a possible sentence of 25 years’ imprisonment in the US, and where his alleged involvement in organised crime meant that he might have access to travel documents in alternative names to enable him to leave the UK.
A decision ordering the forfeiture in full of bail security money which a claimant had deposited as security for the release of her son-in-law, where he had since absconded, was procedurally unfair. The judge had failed to invite the claimant to address any possible distinction in the treatment of sureties and securities when an individual absconded. Furthermore, he had relied upon first instance decisions that were never made available to her.
Offenders could not avoid confiscation proceedings brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6 by leaving the country after the proceedings were initiated and claiming to be an absconder within s.6(8) when determination of the issues began. Confiscation proceedings under s.6 commenced from the time that the court agreed with the CPS that it was appropriate to proceed under that section, not when the court embarked on a determinative hearing.
A judge had been entitled to increase an offender’s sentence for conspiracy to supply a class A drug to reflect the fact that he had absconded from Spain to avoid a sentence for a similar offence. A sentence of 10 years-and-eight months’ imprisonment for a conspiracy involving 3kg of cocaine at over 65% purity was appropriate.