The Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal against a refusal of permission to apply for judicial review; by reason of the Senior Courts Act 1981 s.18(1) it had no jurisdiction to entertain the proposed appeal because the decision under challenge was in a criminal cause or matter. The court made general observations with regard to appeals from judgments in criminal causes or matters.
A private prosecutor was not entitled to payment out of central funds of his costs relating to confiscation order enforcement proceedings, as the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.17 was not intended to apply to civil proceedings in the High Court, even if the proceedings were consequential on criminal proceedings.
The Court of Appeal reduced a nine-month sentence for the breach of two freezing orders to one of six months’ imprisonment in light of the effect the contemnor’s imprisonment was having on her 13-year-old son. However, the disruption to the relationship between mother and son did not justify the suspension of the sentence.
Where a company had a proprietary claim over proceeds of fraud because they had been obtained through the unlawful use of its property by its directors, it was entitled to assert its claim in priority to a confiscation order obtained by the CPS.
A sentence of six months’ imprisonment imposed for contempt of court following deliberate and repeated breaches of freezing injunctions did not fall outside the range of sentences which could reasonably be regarded as appropriate. The breaches had resulted in funds which should have been available to the victims of failed investment schemes being dissipated for the contemnor’s benefit.