A judge had been entitled to refuse severance of an indictment, meaning that an offender was tried for historic and recent counts of child sexual offences at the same time. The Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 r.3.21(4)(a) had removed the technical barriers to joinder in appropriate cases: where evidence on one count would be properly admissible on the other as evidence of bad character it was hard to argue that the offender would be prejudiced in his defence by having both counts on the same indictment. In the instant case, the recent counts would have been admissible as bad character evidence at the offender’s trial on the historic counts and vice versa.
A judge’s summing up had not been so unbalanced as to render a defendant’s conviction for buggery unsafe.
The court considered the principles governing the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6(5), which required the court to make a confiscation order where a defendant had benefited from his criminal conduct, if it would not be disproportionate to require the defendant to pay the recoverable amount. The proportionality exception did not mean that a general discretion was vested in the court. It neither called for nor permitted a general exercise of balancing various interests, including the potential hardship or injustice which might be caused to third parties by the making of an order which included a tainted gift.
The court could extend the period during which an unpaid work requirement under a community order could be completed, unless and until the offender had completed the specified number of hours work or the order had been revoked, irrespective of whether the 12-month period specified in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.200(2) had ended or the end date specified in the order had passed.
A magistrates’ court’s decision to fix a trial date at which the prosecution expert could attend but the defence expert, whose report had been served in good time, could not was unfair. It was an exceptional case where the High Court should intervene at the pre-trial stage.