The conviction of the owner of a food takeaway business for gross negligence manslaughter, following the death of a customer who suffered from a peanut allergy, was quashed as unsafe. When directing the jury, the judge had conflated the general duty owed by the owner to ensure that appropriate safety systems were in place to protect customers with declared allergies and the duties of those responsible for ensuring that appropriate steps had been taken.
The court considered the safety of the convictions of two victims of human trafficking, for cultivation of cannabis and controlling prostitution for gain respectively, and whether it had been in the public interest to prosecute them.
A young offender’s conviction for murder was not unsafe, as he had not shown that a change in the law regarding joint enterprise following his conviction would have affected the jury’s verdict.
A couple had pursued a course of conduct that went beyond what was unattractive and unreasonable and amounted to harassment of a judge where they had, inter alia, emailed her private email address, commented in court on details of the judge’s private life, and sent the judge a birthday card to her home address. The couple had intended to intimidate her and to prejudice the administration of justice.
A judge’s failure to reduce to writing, and notify counsel of, a message he had received from a juror half way through his summing up in a murder trial offended against the principle of open justice and amounted to a material irregularity. However, it did not affect the safety of the conviction: the content of the message did not disclose any jury irregularity and did not suggest that the jurors were unable to remain faithful to their oaths.