A magistrates’ court had not properly exercised its discretion in finding that it was in the interests of justice to allow a complainant’s written statement to be admitted under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.114(1)(d) where the appellant had failed to adequately particularise the areas of dispute for the trial, the appellant had required the complainant’s attendance at trial, the court had allowed time for the evidence and the complainant had attended to give evidence.

[2018] EWCA Crim 739 [2018] EWCA Crim 739

The court upheld an offender’s convictions for murder and attempted murder following the fatal shooting of a member of a rival gang.

[2018] EWCA Crim 690 [2018] EWCA Crim 690

A trial judge’s decision to withdraw a murder charge from the jury was overturned where it was found that the victim’s death by euthanasia was a direct response to his injuries and the unbearable suffering resulting from them for which the defendant was responsible. It was open to the jury to conclude that neither the victim’s suffering nor his decision to end his life could be described as “voluntary” in the sense of being the product of free and unfettered volition presupposed by the novus actus interveniens rule.

[2018] EWCA Crim 538 [2018] EWCA Crim 538

Evidence of a step-father’s controlling behaviour towards his wife and step-son had been relevant evidence at his trial for 16 sexual offences against his step-daughter, as his defence was that his step-daughter was lying and exaggerating his controlling behaviour and the evidence was relevant to the issue of her credibility. A total sentence of 22 years’ imprisonment was not manifestly excessive.

[2018] UKPC 5 [2018] UKPC 5

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.