New Criminal Justice Initiatives

New Criminal Justice Initiatives

It has been a busy week for new policy announcements, with these coming from the Ministry of Justice in the last few days. Prison leavers tagged to cut alcohol-fuelled crime Prison leavers will be ordered to wear a sobriety tag, which monitors alcohol levels in sweat,...
Corporate Criminal Liability

Corporate Criminal Liability

The problem The general rule for attributing liability to companies in English and Welsh criminal law is the ‘identification principle’. This states that where a particular mental state is required, only the acts of a senior person representing the company’s...
QC Misconduct & Its broader Impact

QC Misconduct & Its broader Impact

This week the disciplinary body for barristers suspended a barrister, Tim Raggatt QC, for 12 months. This means that he will be prevented from practising law during that period unless he succeeds in appealing the decision. The conduct arose in a criminal case where Mr...
Violent Crime

Violent Crime

The Home Office has reported that their ‘whole-system’ approach to violent crime is working while also announcing further funding to tackle serious violence. The press release states that Violence Reduction Units and ‘hotspot policing’...
Domestic homicide

Domestic homicide

The Home Office has published a report that summarises information from domestic homicide reviews (DHR) from October 2019 to 2020. The reviews are multi-agency reviews that are commissioned by community safety partnerships. They look into the deaths of adults that may...
Parole Reform

Parole Reform

The Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, has announced a reform package for the parole system. A “Root and Branch” review focussed on the following areas: • An evaluation of the parole reforms to date – looking at overall performance, the response to the...
Facial Recognition

Facial Recognition

The College of Policing has published a guide to the use of live facial recognition technology. The guide is intended to ensure a consistent approach across forces with a clear legal and ethical framework. The College sets out five aims for the guidance: • live facial...
Preventing a move to Open Prison

Preventing a move to Open Prison

For the first time, the Justice Secretary has intervened and overruled a decision of the Parole Board to move a prisoner to an open prison. In 1998 Stephen Ling was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Joanne Tulip on Christmas Day 1997. Ling had met Ms...
Smacking Children

Smacking Children

The common law has long had a concept of “reasonable chastisement” when it comes to disciplining children. A parent or person in loco parentis may administer reasonable corporal punishment, although concepts of “reasonableness” have narrowed....
Prison Leavers Project

Prison Leavers Project

The government has announced further projects as part of the Prison Leavers Project, which is a cross-government initiative helping offenders released from prison. Statistics demonstrate that offenders who are released from prison without an address are approximately...
Technology and the justice system

Technology and the justice system

The Justice and Home Affairs Committee has published a report, “Technology Rules? The advent of new technologies in the justice system”. The development of artificial intelligence or AI has impacted most parts of our lives. We started with the use of...
Crackdown on Waste Crime

Crackdown on Waste Crime

The Environment Agency Chief Executive, Sir James Bevan, has made a speech on waste crime at an event with Let’s Recycle and the Environmental Services Association. The Executive said that he called waste crime the “new narcotics” six years ago. In...
Criminal Charges and Protests

Criminal Charges and Protests

The Attorney General has referred questions of law to the Court Appeal, acting in her role as the Guardian of the Public Interest. The questions concern the proper scope of defences to criminal charges that arise from protests and what directions should be given to...
Drug driving crackdown

Drug driving crackdown

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced a consultation on the issue of whether those convicted of drug driving should have to undergo rehabilitation. Those convicted of drink driving, as opposed to drug driving, are usually offered the drink driver...
The Forfeiture Rule

The Forfeiture Rule

An unusual case recently came before the Upper Tribunal, considering an issue under the Forfeiture Act 1982. The forfeiture rule says that a person cannot benefit from their own wrongdoing, especially if that wrongdoing results in the death of another person. The rule...
Counterfeit and pirated goods 

Counterfeit and pirated goods 

Europol has issued a report on the way criminal networks have adapted to new opportunities and demand for products generated by the pandemic. The Intellectual Property Crime Theft Assessment 2022 was produced by Europol and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)....
Reducing the backlog in criminal courts

Reducing the backlog in criminal courts

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts has published a report on reducing the backlog in criminal courts. The committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the accounts “showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet...
Divorce Law is Changing

Divorce Law is Changing

As you may have read in the news, no-fault divorce is set to come into law following the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill receiving Royal Assent last year. From 6th April 2022, spouses will be able to end their marriage without having to provide a reason for...
Economic Crime

Economic Crime

A Bill is progressing through Parliament to set up a register of overseas entities and their beneficial owners and require overseas entities who own land to register in certain circumstances. It also makes provisions about unexplained wealth orders and sanctions. The...
News 07/03/2022 – No Case to Answer

News 07/03/2022 – No Case to Answer

Sam Nundy, litigation manager at Levy & Co in which our client was charged causing death by careless driving.  Barry Gilbert, of 2 Bedford Row Chambers was instructed Counsel. The allegation was that our client was undertaking a manoeuvre in her vehicle during...
Revenge Porn

Revenge Porn

A new criminal law to tackle Revenge Porn was introduced in 2015 in England & Wales as part of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. Section 33 covers the sharing of private sexual materials in either images or films of another person without their consent with...
Bounce back loans

Bounce back loans

When the Minister responsible for Whitehall efficiency and counter-fraud resigned in January, he mentioned lax oversight of the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme BBLS. Much has also been said in the press about frauds surrounding the scheme and losses from similar schemes being...
Tinder Fraud

Tinder Fraud

A number of cases have hit the news recently relating to scams or frauds carried out using Tinder. The Tinder app is available in nearly two hundred countries, with an average of 1.6 billion “swipes” per day. With 50 million users, there is a wide audience...
Use of a mobile phone or hand-held device

Use of a mobile phone or hand-held device

New regulations come into force on 25th March 2022, called the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2022. These regulations amend the definition of hand-held devices; these are the definitions that will be used to govern the use of...
Fraud, scams and economic crime

Fraud, scams and economic crime

The Treasury Committee has published a report on fraud scams and economic crime. The Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, HMRC and associated public bodies such as the Bank of England and...
Automated vehicles

Automated vehicles

A joint report from the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission has been published. The topic is automated vehicles and makes recommendations for the safe and responsible introduction of self-driving vehicles. The Law Commission is the...
School Absence

School Absence

The government has announced new proposals to address the way schools deal with avoidable absences. They refer to the current system as a postcode lottery with different approaches to sanctions across the country. Some local authorities did not issue any fines at all...
Court Backlog

Court Backlog

The backlog in the criminal courts has been an issue for some time. Although the number of outstanding cases grew during the pandemic, there was already a backlog. The government has considered various ways of dealing with the issue, including temporary courts. The...
Community payback

Community payback

The government has announced the recruitment of more than 500 staff to work in Community Payback. The aim is to be able to enable offenders to serve an extra 3 million hours of payback each year. The announcement isn’t clear on the reasoning behind the...
Cyber Laws

Cyber Laws

The government has introduced a “new world-leading law” to ensure consumers are better protected from hackers on their phones, smart TVs, fitness trackers, tablets and other devices that connect to the internet. Why? Research has shown that as many as four...
Police funding

Police funding

The government has announced a 7% increase in policing funding, bringing the total to £1.1 billion. This amounts to a total of £16.9 billion for the financial year 2022/23. The increase is supposed to aid in the implementation of the government’s Beating Crime...
Parole Reform

Rape prosecutions

The Law Commission has announced a project to examine how evidence is used in rape proceedings in order to dispel rape myths. The Law Commission is the statutory independent organisation established by the Law Commissions Act of 1965 to evaluate the law and provide...
No case to answer

No case to answer

Eleanor Lucas, under the instruction of our very own Mary Buxton recently represented a young man charged with robbery and possessing a bladed article. In this particular case, the defendant allegedly approached the two complainants, ages 14 and 15, in a park,...
Prison and Rehabilitation

Prison and Rehabilitation

The government has released a new plan titled “The Prisons Strategy White Paper,” with the goal of providing a prison construction programme that will allow for the reform and rehabilitation of offenders. Modern jails, it appears, will reduce reoffending...
Victims’ Law

Victims’ Law

A public consultation on a new ‘Victims’ Law has begun, according to the Justice Secretary, which would ensure increased victim input during the criminal justice process. The Crown Prosecution Service, the police, and the courts would all have to account...
The Policing and Crime Act 2017

The Policing and Crime Act 2017

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 gained Royal Assent on January 31. By setting time restrictions for police bail, the Act makes major modifications to present pre-charge bail regulations. The act enacts a number of changes to existing rules involving PCCs, complaints...
Terrorism offences sentencing guidelines

Terrorism offences sentencing guidelines

The Sentencing Council is responsible for producing guidelines on sentencing for the judiciary and criminal justice professionals. The Council keeps the guidelines under review and publishes new ones where appropriate. A new consultation has been published looking at...
Sentencing repeat offenders

Sentencing repeat offenders

Fasail Hussain was sentenced earlier this year for drugs offences. The sentencing judge imposed a total term of 2293 days imprisonment. Hussain had been released from prison on licence at the time that he committed the offences. When an offence is committed on...
Natasha’s Law

Natasha’s Law

In 2016 Natasha Ednan-Laperouse bought a baguette from Pret a Manger; unbeknownst to Natasha, the bread contained sesame seeds. That ingredient was not listed on the packaging, and Natasha suffered a fatal allergic reaction. At the time, fresh food that was made and...
Civil Nuclear Constabulary 

Civil Nuclear Constabulary 

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary is a specialist armed police force that protects civil nuclear sites and nuclear materials in England, Scotland and Wales. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) recently sought views on potential legislation...
Prison Leavers Project

Prison and rehabilitation

There has always been a great deal of debate surrounding the issues of punishment and rehabilitation and the role of prison sentences in the justice system. Although some people can favour punishment and others rehabilitation, most people would suggest a mix of both....
Secondary liability

Secondary liability

Did you know that you do not have to enter a house to be guilty of burgling it? How? Burglary is defined as entering as a trespasser with either the intent to steal or actually stealing. It can also be committed by entering with the intent to cause grievous bodily...
Racial discrimination – UN report

Racial discrimination – UN report

George Floyd dying in the USA in 2020 resulted in mass protests worldwide and marked a watershed in the fight against racism. In the aftermath of his death, the United Nations has produced a report analysing racial justice. The report found that the police use of...
Independent Review of Drugs

Independent Review of Drugs

The government has announced the set-up of a new drugs unit to help end illegal drug-related illnesses and deaths. To be known as the Joint Combating Drugs Unit, it will bring together multiple government departments to tackle drug misuse across society. Drug misuse...
The Thin Blue Line

The Thin Blue Line

The thin blue line refers to the concept of the police being the line that prevents society from descending into chaos, the blue referring to the colour of the uniform. The origin of the term came from 1854 when a red uniformed regiment in the Battle of Balaclava...
Live Facial Recognition 

Live Facial Recognition 

Facial recognition technology is the process by which a person can be identified from a digital facial image. A camera captures an image and produces a biometric template. A system is then used to compare the degree of similarity between two facial templates. Such...
Parole Reform

Sentencing and ethnicity

The Sentencing Academy has produced a report reviewing ethnicity and custodial sentencing trends from 2009 to 2019. Over the years, several official reports have addressed the role of race and ethnicity in sentencing decisions. The current report looked at sentencing...
Illegal entry via small boats

Illegal entry via small boats

The Crown Prosecution Service and law enforcement agencies have agreed a consistent approach to the handling of illegal entry cases via small boats and lorries. Their guidance has been updated in the sections regarding small boats and larger vessels, passengers and...
When consent isn’t consent

When consent isn’t consent

An unusual case was dealt with at the Court of Appeal recently concerning offences of rape. The victim, referred to as X, was the partner of Smith, who was the leader of a large-scale drugs conspiracy. Smith enjoyed watching X have sex with his friends; he was much...
The Thin Blue Line

A policeman, a taser and manslaughter

Benjamin Monk, a police officer, has been sentenced for the manslaughter of Dalian Atkinson, who died in 2016. Dalian Atkinson was an ex-footballer who had played for several clubs, including Manchester City and Aston Villa, before retiring from the game in 2001. In...
No case to answer

Modern slavery – new sentencing guidelines

The Sentencing Council has the responsibility of developing and monitoring sentencing guidelines. The aim is to promote consistency in sentencing while maintaining the independence of the judiciary. Following a consultation period, the Council has published sentencing...
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was introduced in the House of Lords in early July and awaits a second reading. The Bill is formed of thirteen parts, including provisions to: introduce measures for the protection of the police; introduce legislation for...
Mentally disordered offenders

Mentally disordered offenders

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has published a report on mentally disordered offenders in the criminal justice system. They provided a position statement on customising community sentencing for offenders with mental disorder/s. The report states that there are...
DVLA and roadside checks

DVLA and roadside checks

Technology has been developed by the DVLA and the Home Office for police officers to use at the roadside to confirm the identity of a driver. The technology allows instant access to a photograph of the driver. The picture is held on the DVLA driver’s database,...
Natural England prosecutions

Natural England prosecutions

Natural England (and Natural Resources Wales) is the government’s advisor for the natural environment in England and Wales. Established in 2006, its purpose is to help conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment. It enforces the laws that protect...
Threats to share intimate images

Threats to share intimate images

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 introduced a new offence which came into effect on 29th June 2021. Section 69 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 creates a new offence of threatening to disclose a private sexual photograph or film in which another individual appears, and by...
The Forfeiture Rule

Renationalised Probation Service

In 2015 reforms were passed to allow some of the National Probation Service responsibilities to be dealt with by private companies. Known as Community Rehabilitation Companies, or CRCs, the companies were responsible for low to medium risk offenders while probation...
Knife Crime Prevention Orders

Knife Crime Prevention Orders

On the 5th July 2021, certain provisions of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 come into force in specific areas for a period of 14 months. The area in question is the “metropolitan police district”, which consists of Greater London, excluding the City of...
Who is Daniel Morgan?

Who is Daniel Morgan?

You may have heard the name Daniel Morgan being mentioned in the media recently. Daniel was a private investigator who would carry out extensive work for the News of the World. He was found murdered in 1987 in a car park with an axe embedded in his head, with no...
Preventing a move to Open Prison

Rape review

The Government’s End to End Review of the Criminal Justice System Response began in 2019. The purpose was to look at evidence across the system, from reporting rape to the police through to court outcomes, to understand what was happening in cases of adult rape....
Parole Reform

Corporate criminal liability

The Law Commission is seeking views on corporate criminal liability. The Commission is an independent statutory body that keeps the law in England and Wales under review. The Commission recommends reform where it is needed to ensure the law is fair, modern, simple and...
Preventing a move to Open Prison

Stalking and Stalking Protection Orders

A former premier league footballer, Shayne Bradley, pleaded guilty to stalking a former girlfriend. It was said he followed her, watched her house, sent mails and made abusive phone calls. He hid in hedges near her home and set up a fake dating profile to make...
Covid 19 – Fixed Penalty Notices

Covid 19 – Fixed Penalty Notices

More than 85,000 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) have been issued for breaches of the Covid restrictions in England since March 2020. What is a fixed penalty notice? An FPN allows a penalty to be paid instead of being prosecuted and risking a criminal conviction. Fast...
Threats to share intimate images

Coercive and controlling behaviour

The offence of controlling and coercive behaviour has been on the statute books for a few years now but has recently hit the headlines. Ruth Dodsworth is an ITV Wales presenter who met her ex-husband, Jonathan Wignall, in 2001. She became the primary income earner...
Reducing the backlog in criminal courts

Child Sexual Offences

Draft revised sentencing guidelines have been produced to reflect recent Court of Appeal judgments. The guidelines clarify sentencing guidance for cases where no sexual activity occurs or where the targeted child does not exist. The revised guidelines are subject to...
Deletion of police records

Deletion of police records

In 2006 the Association of Chief Police Officers, known as ACPO, founded a Criminal Records Office, now known as ACRO. The intention was for ACRO to organise the management of criminal record information and improve links between the records and biometric information....
Women on short term sentences

Women on short term sentences

An evidence-based practice team from HM Prison and Probation Services have produced a report entitled “An evaluation of a brief intervention to reduce re-offending among women serving short sentences.” Over 12 months, a study was made of 255 women who were...
Facebook and Fraud

Facebook and Fraud

The Competition and Markets Authority intervened with Facebook to combat fake and misleading reviews on the site. At the beginning of last year, Facebook agreed to “better identify, investigate and respond to fake and misleading reviews”. As a result of...
Prison Categorisation

Prison Categorisation

Every prisoner is given a security category. For female prisoners, there are only two options, closed or open condition. For male prisoners, there are four categories, A to D. What do the categories mean? Female prisoners: Closed conditions are for female prisoners...
Prison Visits

Prison Visits

During the Covid pandemic, there have been significant limits and halts to prison visits. Once we are out of lockdown, there should be a gradual return to standard visits, so what happens and what are the rules? The Prison Rules, in particular Rule 35, set out the...
Sexual Abuse in Schools

Sexual Abuse in Schools

Ofsted has announced a review into sexual abuse in schools. The review will consider the processes that schools, and colleges have in place regarding whether they are good enough to allow pupils to report abuse freely. Why conduct a review? A website,...
Preventing a move to Open Prison

Non-disclosure and Prejudice

The Criminal Cases Review Commission referred several cases to the Court of Appeal, which involved allegations of public order related to trade union activity. They included the case of the actor Ricky Tomlinson who had been convicted in 1973 of conspiracy to...
Bite Mark Evidence

Bite Mark Evidence

What is bite mark evidence? A bite mark is a pattern produced by the indentations of the teeth into any substance capable of being marked. It is argued that a bite mark can be thought of as a tool mark and that they are unique to the individual, like a fingerprint....
Line of Duty – The Acronym

Line of Duty – The Acronym

This week saw the new series of the BBC’s Line of Duty hit our screens, with another battle ahead for the police against serious organised crime. For those new to this drama, the first episode may well have been very confusing. The episode was clouded in layers...
Parole Reform

Good character as mitigation

What is good character? As far as the criminal courts are concerned, a person of good character is usually someone without convictions or cautions recorded against them. It is of particular relevance in a trial situation as the court will consider good character in...
Mentally disordered offenders

GPS tags

The government has announced what it has called a “world-first scheme” to track certain offenders as they are released from prison. The proposal will make those convicted of burglary, theft or robbery wear a GPS tag on release from prison. The scheme...
Police funding

Police Stop & Search – Time to Rethink?

Police forces must explain the disproportionate use of police powers such as stop and search and use of force on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people or risk losing the trust of the communities they serve, a report published today has found. The Police Service...
Domestic homicide

Parole Board Hearings – Public Scrutiny

Currently, all parole hearings are held in private – this is set out in legislation in the Parole Board Rules. Following a consultation exercise, the government has now committed to opening up the hearings and allowing public access. Legislative change is expected in...
Encrochat

Encrochat

A vast number of cases are awaiting a criminal trial that will rely, to a greater or lesser extent, on the admissibility of communications made via the supposedly highly encrypted Encrochat service. The Court of Appeal has now issued a ruling following preliminary...
Reducing the backlog in criminal courts

BBC in the Dock

The British Broadcasting Corporation (‘BBC’) found itself in the embarrassing position of being fined £28,000 this week after admitting being in contempt of Court. Why was the BBC in trouble? On the morning of 17 November 2020, the BBC made a video and...
Sexual Abuse in Schools

Interpretation of Ano-Genital Findings

Ano-genital findings, namely signs of injury or other non-natural interference, often form part of child abuse prosecutions. In recent years new research has cast doubt on some old beliefs, and it may be the case that some convictions are unsafe. The most recent...
Sentencing for Drugs Offences

Sentencing for Drugs Offences

New sentencing guidelines for some drugs offences will come in to force on 1 April 2021 and will apply to all cases sentenced on or after that date. The update is to reflect modern drug offending and new guidelines for offences created by the Psychoactive Substances...
Judge as Referee

Judge as Referee

It is often said that the function of a Judge during a jury trial, is to act as referee as between prosecution and defence. Whilst a Judge is not entirely side-lined the expectation is that no bias will be displayed against any one party. When a Judge steps over the...
Covid 19 – Fixed Penalty Notices

Custody Time Limits & Young Defendants

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government introduced changes to the custody time limit regulations that extended the custody time limits in the Crown Court by two months to address ongoing delays in the criminal justice system worsened during the...
Air Weapons – The Law & Proposed Reforms

Air Weapons – The Law & Proposed Reforms

The licensing of air weapons is different across the UK: In England and Wales there is no need to acquire a licence to hold an air weapon. In Scotland air weapons owners need a specific air weapons licence. In Northern Ireland air weapons owners need a firearms...
Sexual Assault and Intent

Sexual Assault and Intent

In a recent case, a defendant was acquitted of sexual assault, the Attorney General referred the case to Court to look at a point of law. The question asked was: “Is it necessary for the prosecution to prove, as an element of the offence of sexual assault, not...
Prison Leavers Project

Release under Investigation

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 introduced the power for police to release suspects while under investigation rather than placing them on police bail. Before the Act, a suspect would be released on police bail, with or without conditions, with a date and time to...
Autism And Crime

Autism And Crime

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a broad range of conditions which are characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and non-verbal communications. Autism is generally a hidden disability, and it may not be immediately apparent...
Intentionally Assisting Offences

Intentionally Assisting Offences

There is a criminal offence of intentionally assisting offences believing one or more will be committed. Jordan Atkinson was charged with this offence and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. The offence he assisted was wounding with intent to cause grievous...
Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery There is a defence under section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 for a person who is compelled to do an act, where that compulsion is as a result of slavery or exploitation, and a reasonable person in the same position with the same characteristics...
Justice Secretary Getting Tough on Prisoner Release

Manslaughter and the ‘PC Harper Case’

Manslaughter and the ‘PC Harper Case’ The death of PC Harper has been in the news again recently. He died after he was dragged behind a car that was fleeing from the scene of a theft. Unusually, at the same time that the Attorney General applied for leave to refer all...
Sexual Abuse in Schools

Rape Myths

Rape Myths The Crown Prosecution Service recently produced new guidance for prosecutors considering rape charges. The new guidance was said to help tackle rape myths and stereotypes, several of which were referenced. How much of an issue are rape myths? According to...
Unlawful Importation of Firearms Offences

Firearms – New sentencing guidelines

Firearms – New sentencing guidelines Eight new guidelines have been published for Firearms offences following an earlier consultation. The guidelines will come into force on 1 January 2021. What are sentencing guidelines? These are guidelines that must be...
Custody time limits & Covid19

Custody time limits & Covid19

Custody time limits & Covid19 Whenever a person is remanded in custody in criminal proceedings, a time limit is set within which the trial must be concluded. The Covid lockdown meant that trials were temporarily suspended leading to issues with custody time...
E-scooters

E-scooters

[Image credit: fullstoppr/13256567] E-scooters Did you know that e-scooters fall within the definition of a motor vehicle? You would not be alone if you said no. Due to the growing popularity of e-scooters and general ignorance in respect of the laws governing them,...
Firearms

Firearms

Firearms A firearms consultation has been launched this week to seek views on enhanced security for powerful rifles, introducing licensing controls on miniature rifle ranges, and tougher controls on ammunition. Why is a consultation taking place? There have already...
Reducing the backlog in criminal courts

Reviewing a sentence

Reviewing a sentence If the Attorney General believes that a sentence is “unduly lenient”, or too soft as the newspapers may say, she can ask for the case to be referred back to court to be reconsidered. This is what happened to Taha Amin. He pleaded...
It wasn’t me!

It wasn’t me!

It wasn’t me! It is often the case that a defendant does not dispute that a crime has been committed but denies any participation. In such cases, it will be not only essential to challenge any evidence that points to the defendant as being guilty but also look...
The Forfeiture Rule

Having the Last Word – Closing Speeches

Having the Last Word – Closing Speeches The closing speech is a significant opportunity for the defence to make a plea to the jury as to why a not guilty verdict ought to be returned. The speech, which will follow any prosecution closing, allows the defence to...
Sexual Abuse in Schools

Human trafficking as a defence 

Human trafficking as a defence In a recent case an appellant, referred to only as “V” pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and was sentenced to 26 months’ detention. He appealed against his conviction. The first issue you may think of is that he pleaded guilty,...
Planning Law – An Expensive Business

Planning Law – An Expensive Business

Planning Law – An Expensive Business It can be quite tempting to ignore planning laws in the hope that changes you make to buildings and environment will not be noticed. In our experience, it is quite surprising just how often these breaches come to the attention of...
Rape Prosecutions

Rape Prosecutions

Rape Prosecutions Newspapers regularly report that the number of rape prosecutions are low or falling. The Crown Prosecution Service has now published new draft legal guidance for prosecutors on “rape myths and stereotypes” as part of the revision of...
Covert Human Intelligence Sources

Covert Human Intelligence Sources

Covert Human Intelligence Sources The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons. The MP who is Minister for Security, James Brokenshire, set out the purposes of the Bill during the Second Reading...
Counterfeit and pirated goods 

Search Warrants

Search Warrants The Law Commission has recommended reforms that it says will reduce the number of unlawful search warrants being issued, and to assist in the collection of evidence and investigation of crime. Currently, a police officer or other investigator applies...
Covid, Self-Isolation and Employer Duties

Covid, Self-Isolation and Employer Duties

Covid, Self-Isolation and Employer Duties The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into effect on 28 September 2020. The regulations: prohibits an employer from allowing a worker to attend any place (except the...
Preventing a move to Open Prison

Memory Fallibility

Memory Fallibility In the criminal courts, we are seeing an ever-increasing number of cases where the court hears evidence from witnesses recounting what apparently happened some years earlier. Of course, in many cases, some of that evidence would have been recorded...
Hate crime – a change of emphasis

Hate crime – a change of emphasis

Hate crime – a change of emphasis The Law Commission is considering proposals to reform hate crime laws. Hate crime is where a victim is targeted, perhaps for an assault, criminal damage or harassment, based on a protected characteristic. What are protected...
A Smarter Approach to Sentencing?

A Smarter Approach to Sentencing?

A Smarter Approach to Sentencing? This is the name of the paper presented to Parliament that proposes changes to the sentencing and release frameworks in the criminal justice system. The paper sets out the “problems” they have identified in the system as...
Recovery plan for the criminal courts

Recovery plan for the criminal courts

Recovery plan for the criminal courts In March, nearly 50% of courts were closed, and jury trials were halted to reduce interaction between court users dramatically. Although 90% of courts have re-opened there is a backlog of cases. The government has announced a...
Indictments – The Basics

Indictments – The Basics

Indictments – The Basics An analysis of criminal appeals reveals that indictment errors, often undetected at the trial stage, can lead to significant injustice. However, the Court of Appeal will not quash a conviction merely because there was some unfairness in...
Secrets and Spies

Secrets and Spies

Secrets and Spies The Official Secrets Act protects the United Kingdom from spying and leaks. The legislation dates back to 1911, 1920, 1939 and was last updated in 1989. Since then, there have been many advances in data technology and communications affecting the...
Reducing the backlog in criminal courts

‘Lurking Doubt’ as a Ground of Appeal

‘Lurking Doubt’ as a Ground of Appeal The idea of lurking doubt as a ground of appeal was first identified in the case of Cooper [1969] 1 QB 267 when the Court held: ‘…we are indeed charged to allow an appeal against conviction if we think that...
Knives – Cash for Surrender

Knives – Cash for Surrender

Knives – Cash for Surrender The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 makes provision for the surrender of certain weapons. Sections 44, 46, 54 and 55 of the Act amend various pieces of legislation with the effect that it becomes an offence to possess certain dangerous...
Covid 19 – Fixed Penalty Notices

Pandemics, Covid and Fraud

Pandemics, Covid and Fraud Legal experts are warning that an onslaught of new cases is inevitable for the Serious Fraud Office amid the coronavirus-prompted recession. “I envisage that much more serious fraud will be uncovered in the next six to 12 months. The...
Prison and Rehabilitation

Fighting for a Suspended Prison Sentence

Fighting for a Suspended Prison Sentence In many cases, despite the fact an offence is serious enough for a custodial sentence to be imposed, this can be avoided if the court can be persuaded to suspend the prison sentence. Which length of sentence can be suspended?...
Rape Prosecutions

Jurors – When They Misbehave

Jurors – When They Misbehave Jurors take an oath to try a case solely on the evidence heard in court, to do otherwise risks a significant miscarriage of justice. At the outset of every criminal trial, and often at frequent points during it, a Judge will remind...
Reducing the backlog in criminal courts

Court Clarifies Release Provisions

Court Clarifies Release Provisions The High Court this week confirmed that the new release provisions, applying to some offenders, operate retrospectively. The court was hearing a challenge to the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Act 2020, which...
Sexual Abuse in Schools

Sexual Offences and the Issue of Consent

Sexual Offences and the Issue of Consent A vast number of sexual offence cases revolve around the issue of consent. In everyday terms, the ‘consent issue’ should be straightforward, either someone did, or did not, consent to sexual intimacy. In real life,...
No Free Ride for Private Prosecutors

No Free Ride for Private Prosecutors

No Free Ride for Private Prosecutors A peculiar aspect of the criminal costs regime is that a private prosecutor can apply for their costs to be paid by the State, regardless of whether they win or lose the case. This situation allows persons to pursue prosecutions...
Sentencing – Beware the Cliff Edge

Sentencing – Beware the Cliff Edge

Sentencing – Beware the Cliff Edge Ellis Thomas pleaded guilty to a relatively minor public order offence and was sentenced to a community penalty. This penalty becomes the subject of Court of Appeal proceedings due to the following set of facts: “It was...
Jury Trials and Covid 19

Jury Trials and Covid 19

Jury Trials and Covid 19 In a startling announcement, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland admitted that the right to a jury trial is in his sights and might be curtailed in a few weeks time. Before the Coronavirus pandemic, the Crown Court case backlog was approximately...
A Summer of Protest?

A Summer of Protest?

A Summer of Protest? As we slowly exit the Covid19 ‘lockdown’ we have seen several protests in major cities. As life moves toward a more ‘normal’ footing, whatever that may be, and as we enter the Summer months, protest action may likely...
Reducing the backlog in criminal courts

When Will I Be Sentenced?

When Will I Be Sentenced? In cases where there is more than one defendant, it is a common scenario that one of more pleads guilty, perhaps at an early stage, but others continue their case to trial. A question then arises as to whether those who have pleaded guilty...
Damage of Statues – Sentencing Implications

Damage of Statues – Sentencing Implications

Damage of Statues – Sentencing Implications On Sunday 7 June protesters in Bristol tore down the statue of Edward Colston and swiftly deposited it in the local harbour. The statute had been in situ for 125 years and had previously attracted a petition of over...
Community payback

Reporting restrictions

Reporting restrictions Although there is a general principle of open justice, that those who appear in court can be reported on, there are some exceptions. It is a contempt of court to publish anything to the public which creates a substantial risk that the course of...
Postal Offences

Postal Offences

Postal Offences As the Coronavirus crisis has forced almost everyone to spend more time at home, home deliveries have rocketed as people have been forced to shop online. While this means that many people will be at home to receive deliveries, there have been reports...
Firearms

Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill

Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill Following on from the terror attacks at Fishmongers Hall on 29 November 2019 and in Streatham on 2 February 2020 the government has announced the next phase of its tougher approach to terrorism offences. What are the aims of this...
Penalty Points – Avoiding Double Counting

Penalty Points – Avoiding Double Counting

Penalty Points – Avoiding Double Counting For some new drivers, six penalty points mean resitting a driving test, for other drivers twelve points may mean disqualification. It is therefore vital to ensure that a single piece of driving is not unduly punished...
Local Authority Prosecutions

Local Authority Prosecutions

Local Authority Prosecutions The local authority has the power to prosecute in respect of a number of types of crime. This could be certain types of benefit fraud, fly-tipping, fraudulent use of a blue badge, health and safety offences, noise nuisance, irregular...
Justice Secretary Getting Tough on Prisoner Release

Terminating Rulings

Terminating Rulings When a judge makes a ruling at a crown court trial relating to one or more of the offences faced, the prosecution may have a right to appeal against that ruling. The right to appeal against a terminating ruling is strictly conditional upon certain...
The Far Right & Terrorism

The Far Right & Terrorism

The Far Right & Terrorism When people hear reference to the far-right many would think of racism rather than terrorism. Alice Cutter and Mark Jones were members of the banned far-right group National Action along with Garry Jack, Daniel Ward and Connor Scothern....
Is Trial by Jury Going to be Abolished?

Is Trial by Jury Going to be Abolished?

Is Trial by Jury Going to be Abolished? For the last few weeks, since the Coronavirus ‘lockdown’, all jury trials in England and Wales have been stopped. This is not at all surprising given the scale of the pandemic and the requirement for social...
Mitigation

Mitigation

Mitigation The dictionary definition of “to mitigate” is to lessen in force or intensity, to make less severe. Mitigation is the act of reducing how harmful, unpleasant or bad something is, something that causes the court to judge a crime to be less...
Emergency Laws Now in Force

Emergency Laws Now in Force

Emergency Laws Now in Force On Wednesday 25th March 2020 the Coronavirus Bill completed all its parliamentary stages, and Royal Assent was signified, bringing in to force an unprecedented piece of emergency legislation. The purpose of the Coronavirus Act is to enable...
How We Are Handling COVID-19

How We Are Handling COVID-19

How We Are Handling COVID-19 With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, we understand the necessity of taking precautions to ensure personal health and safety. We know that legal matters continue to be important and are working round the clock to ensure that you will...
Intermediaries

Intermediaries

Intermediaries The use of intermediaries during criminal trials is becoming increasingly commonplace. An intermediary may be used to assist any witness, including a defendant, give evidence. The functions of an intermediary “Intermediaries are communication...
Criminal Justice and Coronavirus

Criminal Justice and Coronavirus

Criminal Justice and Coronavirus As the UK prepares to move into the ‘delay phase’, changes are expected to criminal justice procedure. So, what might be expected to change? Criminal Investigations In the event of any public disorder, work on low priority...
Forensic Evidence

Forensic Evidence

Forensic Evidence The Forensic Science Regulator regulates forensic scientists in England and Wales. The Regulator ensures that the provision of forensic science evidence across the criminal justice system is subject to appropriate standards. The Regulator has...
Tougher approach to assaults on NHS staff

Tougher approach to assaults on NHS staff

Tougher approach to assaults on NHS staff Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has written to NHS staff voicing his concern in relation to the use of violence against emergency workers. Hancock’s approach mirrors that taken last year by police...
Prosecuting Without A ‘Victim’

Prosecuting Without A ‘Victim’

Prosecuting Without A ‘Victim’ We often get asked how prosecutions can proceed in the absence of cooperation from the victim or chief witness. The starting point is that no prosecution can go ahead unless there is a realistic prospect of conviction, but...
Speeding and GPS – Does the camera lie?

Speeding and GPS – Does the camera lie?

Speeding and GPS – Does the camera lie? Peter Marrable was summonsed to court for speeding. The allegation was that he had driven at 72mph in a temporary 50mph zone. The police produced evidence of the speed from a ‘Trucam’ device that was approved,...
Prison Contraband

Prison Contraband

Prison Contraband The government has announced further funding to strengthen security measures at several prisons. The funding will go towards advanced body scan technology, aimed at preventing drugs, weapons, mobile telephones and other prohibited items from entering...
Driving Disqualifications

Driving Disqualifications

Driving Disqualifications The Sentencing Council is responsible for issuing guidelines on sentencing for the courts to follow. Guidelines must be followed unless it is in the interests of justice not to do so. New guidelines are now being proposed in respect of...
Recording and Broadcasting in Court

Recording and Broadcasting in Court

Recording and Broadcasting in Court It has long been a criminal offence to take photographs or make recordings in court; even sketch artists have to sketch from memory rather than while in court. In 2011 an 85-year-old man was sent to prison for recording court...
Date rape drugs and the law

Date rape drugs and the law

Date rape drugs and the law Reynhard Sinaga was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape and sexual assault of 48 victims. The student is believed to have laced drinks with GHB to make his victims lose consciousness and have no recollection of what happened. He...
Prisoners Abroad – Help is Available

Prisoners Abroad – Help is Available

Prisoners Abroad – Help is Available The plight of a 19-year-old British lady hit the news last week, culminating in reports of her being sentenced by a Cypriot court for making what was said to be a false rape allegation. There are many features of this...
Notification Requirements – Removal

Notification Requirements – Removal

Notification Requirements – Removal A large number of people are subject to notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, many for an indeterminate period. The notification framework is often referred to as the ‘sex offender...
Interpreters

Interpreters

Interpreters Many people face court proceedings who do not necessarily have a detailed grasp of the English language. A defendant mustn’t be a mere observer of legal proceedings and that they, as fully as anyone not legally qualified can, participate fully. It...
Giving False Information to the Police

Giving False Information to the Police

Giving False Information to the Police It is an offence to give false information to the police. Section 5(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 provides: ‘Where a person causes any wasteful employment of the police by knowingly making to any person a false report...
Playing Politics with Crime?

Playing Politics with Crime?

Playing Politics with Crime? We are in the midst of a general election, so it is perhaps not surprising that ‘law and order’ are featuring in the news as the main political parties fight for the popular vote. While as a firm, we do not offer any...
The Pizza Alibi

The Pizza Alibi

The Pizza Alibi On 10th March 2001, HRH Prince Andrew is alleged to have met and been photographed with a lady who has accused the Prince of sexual misconduct. In a BBC interview, Prince Andrew throws ridicule on that suggestion and throws up two interesting...
Lies and Easy Money

Lies and Easy Money

Lies and Easy Money In a case this week involving Jet2 Holidays, Karl and Laura Hughes claimed that they had suffered sickness while on a package holiday. They said they had food poisoning as a result of eating contaminated food or drink or swimming in the hotel’s...
Tracking Violent Offenders

Tracking Violent Offenders

Tracking Violent Offenders A pilot is being carried out into electronic monitoring global positioning system. The aim of the pilot is to gain information to look at how existing and new electronic monitoring technologies could be used more effectively. A specific...
General Election 2019 – Don’t Get Caught Out

General Election 2019 – Don’t Get Caught Out

General Election 2019 – Don’t Get Caught Out The parliamentary session has come to an end, and we will go to the polls on 12th December 2019 to decide the political makeup of the next parliament. The Representation of the People Act 1983 creates a number...
Investigating Death

Investigating Death

Investigating Death Cases involving the death of a person can have a devastating impact on all concerned. From our perspective, we often deal with people facing the gravest charges after an incident causing loss of life. The gravity of the proceedings can have a...
Unduly Lenient Sentences – Scheme to Be Extended

Unduly Lenient Sentences – Scheme to Be Extended

Unduly Lenient Sentences – Scheme to Be Extended The government has announced changes to the Unduly Lenient Sentence (‘ULS’) Scheme. There are certain offences where the prosecution (via the Attorney General) can ask the Court of Appeal to review a...
Getting Tough on Health and Safety

Getting Tough on Health and Safety

Getting Tough on Health and Safety A number of recent cases indicate an increasingly robust approach to health and safety law breaches. Company Director Robert Harvey was imprisoned for ten months following an accident where a fellow worker was crushed to death by an...
Terrorism Offences – Tougher Sentences on the Way

Terrorism Offences – Tougher Sentences on the Way

Terrorism Offences – Tougher Sentences on the Way The Sentencing Council is consulting on revised sentencing guidelines for several terrorism offences. This is on the face of it a surprising move given that a definitive guideline was only recently implemented....
Ban on knives, firearms and offensive weapons

Stop and Search

Stop and Search The police, with the support of the Home Office, are making more extensive use of stop and search powers. This new approach is partly due to rising public and political concern about knife crime. A hitherto little-used power to extend the use of stop...
Public Order – New Sentencing Guidelines

Public Order – New Sentencing Guidelines

Public Order – New Sentencing Guidelines New sentencing guidelines for public order offences come in to force for adults sentenced on or after 1 January 2020. In August 2008, the Sentencing Guidelines Council published Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines...
Drink or Drug Driving – The Second Sample

Drink or Drug Driving – The Second Sample

Drink or Drug Driving – The Second Sample In some cases, the police need to take either a blood or urine sample from a driver suspected of driving under the influence of drink or drugs. In almost all instances, the police opt for a blood sample. Part of the...
Firearms

Firearms – Sentencing Reform

Firearms – Sentencing Reform The Sentencing Council is consulting on a new guideline for some of the most commonly prosecuted firearms offences. At the moment, guidance is to be found only in case law, and this can lead to a challenging sentencing exercise. The...
Diplomatic Immunity

Diplomatic Immunity

Diplomatic Immunity The somewhat arcane topic of diplomatic Immunity has hit the news headlines following the tragic death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn, as a result of a road traffic collision. It has been confirmed that the wife of an American diplomat has returned to...
Prison Visits

Conservatives Signal Tougher Sentencing Regime

Conservatives Signal Tougher Sentencing Regime At the Conservative Party Conference this week, the government indicated that it was to get tough on offenders who commit some of the most serious offences, with automatic release at the half-way point being removed in...
Are Your Rights An Illusion?

Are Your Rights An Illusion?

Are Your Rights An Illusion? Rights – A Mere Illusion? The EU has published a report, ‘Rights in practice: access to a lawyer and procedural rights in criminal and European arrest warrant proceedings’, that details the extent to which fundamental...
Delayed Justice

Delayed Justice

Delayed Justice Janet Commins was born on 9 June 1960. On 7 January 1976, shortly after 7.00 pm, she left her home in Flint to meet friends at the local swimming baths. She left a note for her parents, as she often did, to say that she would be back at around 8.30 pm....
The Absent Witness

The Absent Witness

The Absent Witness In some instances, it is not convenient for a witness to be present in court to give evidence, generally because they live or work some distance away from the court, or some other good reason. There are legal provisions that cater for this scenario,...
More Sentences at Risk of Prosecution Appeal

More Sentences at Risk of Prosecution Appeal

More Sentences at Risk of Prosecution Appeal The prosecution, via the Attorney General, has the right to ask the Court of Appeal to consider whether sentences for certain offences are unduly lenient. How does the scheme work? Anyone can ask the Attorney General to...
Record Environmental Agency Prosecution

Gait Analysis

Gait Analysis What is gait? Gait, quite simply, is how a person walks, the movement of limbs. How does this relate to criminal law? With the ever-increasing use of CCTV, the identification of offenders from footage is also increasing. Sometimes a face cannot clearly...
Jury Challenge

Jury Challenge

Jury Challenge It is a common feature of American courtroom drama that a defence attorney moves to remove a juror that they do not like the look of. Many clients wonder whether the same type of challenge can take place in an English courtroom. The Jury Pool In some...
The Cut-Throat Defence

The Cut-Throat Defence

The Cut-Throat Defence A cut-throat defence is where one defendant gives evidence that is damaging to a co-defendant’s case, sometimes going as far as directly accusing the other person of the crime, while typically seeking to exonerate themselves. Such evidence...
Drugs, Prisons and Sentencing

Drugs, Prisons and Sentencing

Drugs, Prisons and Sentencing With many offences, the punishment may vary according to the context of the criminality. By way of example, violence in a domestic context will generally be treated more harshly than the same level of harm against a stranger (absent other...
Natural England prosecutions

A Bad Day in Court?

A Bad Day in Court? Several newspapers recently pondered why ‘one woman is jailed after stealing just £3,000 but another who took £22,000 walks free.” The story was sparked by a tale of two defendants who appeared at the same court centre, on the same day,...
A Smarter Approach to Sentencing?

Solicitors, Charlatans and the Internet

Solicitors, Charlatans and the Internet We interchangeably use many terms to describe legal professionals: lawyers, solicitors, legal advisers, attorneys (an Americanism), a ‘brief’. There are countless others in common usage. Regrettably, this flexibility...
Airports, Planes and Alcohol

Airports, Planes and Alcohol

Airports, Planes and Alcohol It has been reported in the press that 500 people have been arrested while drunk on a plane at British airports in the last three years. For many people a holiday begins once cases have been checked in, and what is the harm in that? It is...
Custody time limits & Covid19

The Parole Board

The Parole Board The Parole Board is an independent body that carries out risk assessments on prisoners serving certain sentences to determine whether they can be safely released into the community. When a person is considered to be fit for release it means that their...
Length of Sentence – Not Always a Surprise

Length of Sentence – Not Always a Surprise

Length of Sentence – Not Always a Surprise The Government has published new plans to make the roads safer for everyone. The plans include several changes for people at every stage of life, and also for more specialised drivers like HGV drivers and motorcycle riders....
Road Safety Review – More New Laws?

Road Safety Review – More New Laws?

Road Safety Review – More New Laws? The Government has published new plans to make the roads safer for everyone. The plans include several changes for people at every stage of life, and also for more specialised drivers like HGV drivers and motorcycle riders. Children...
Criminal Compensation Order

Criminal Compensation Order

Criminal Compensation Order The press has recently reported that children who were victims of serious sexual abuse have received paltry sums, £20 for example, as compensation from the courts. So, what exactly is a criminal compensation order? The court has a duty to...
Counterfeit and pirated goods 

Dirty money

Dirty money The Government has published the new Economic Crime Plan for the next three years. In it, they unveil their strategy for dealing with all types of economic crime, such as money laundering, fraud, market abuse, and bribery. What is economic crime, and why...
Prison rehabilitation and employment

Prison rehabilitation and employment

Prison rehabilitation and employment Recently the government announced incentives for prisoners in custody focussing on positive reinforcements. In doing so, the longer-term aim is to assist rehabilitation and prevent re-offending. A further announcement has been made...
Disqualified Directors

Disqualified Directors

Disqualified Directors Recently, three men from Halifax were convicted after one of them was found to have run a company whilst disqualified. The other two were convicted of assisting him. If you’re thinking of trying to evade a director’s ban, be aware that it can...
Prisoner Benefits and Incentives

Prisoner Benefits and Incentives

Prisoner Benefits and Incentives Over the next six months, benefits and incentives for prisoners are undergoing a change. New rules place emphasis on positive reinforcements – praising prisoners for behaving well – rather than punishment. The new Policy sets out the...
Why hasn’t Michael Gove been arrested?

Why hasn’t Michael Gove been arrested?

Why hasn’t Michael Gove been arrested? A question on many people’s lips since the former Justice Secretary admitted to using cocaine several times earlier in his career. So, could he face the legal consequences of this? Cocaine is a Class A drug, the most serious...
Data Protection – A Shifting Focus

Data Protection – A Shifting Focus

Data Protection – A Shifting Focus Over the last few years, we have seen many matters that would previously have been prosecuted before the criminal courts, move into the jurisdiction of other bodies. What we see as a result is a range of specialist regulators best...
Mentally disordered offenders

Prison is supposed to be hard

Prison is supposed to be hard Prison is supposed to be hard. It is, after all, a punishment. But it’s also designed to help people address their behaviour and stop them re-offending. When imprisonment leads to more offending, it isn’t working. The specific problems...
Finn’s Law – What It Means

Finn’s Law – What It Means

Finn’s Law – What It Means Finn’s Law – What It Means With much fanfare, ‘Finn’s Law’ came in to force on 8th June 2019, following the implementation of the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019. The 2019 Act makes a straightforward amendment to section 4 of the...
Driving Bans – Not Just for Traffic Offences

Driving Bans – Not Just for Traffic Offences

Driving Bans – Not Just for Traffic Offences Most people know that a driving ban may follow for serious road traffic offences or a series of lower-level traffic crimes as a result of ‘totting up’. Few of our client’s know that disqualifications can follow in other...
X-Factor, Coming to a Motorway Near You Soon

X-Factor, Coming to a Motorway Near You Soon

X-Factor, Coming to a Motorway Near You Soon The government has passed legislation which permits for the first time a new traffic camera which will assist in catching those motorists using closed lanes on the motorway network. The Secretary of State grants type...
Speeding – How Fast is Too Fast?

Speeding – How Fast is Too Fast?

Speeding – How Fast is Too Fast? The idea of speed limits causes immense confusion, with many people believing that the speed limit is at least the minimum speed you should ordinarily drive at. Most of us have experienced the rage of a motorist behind us if we adhere...
Focus On Forensics

Focus On Forensics

Focus On Forensics Forensic evidence has dominated some of the news agenda this week, with outrage over the interrogation of complainant’s phones in sexual offence and other cases. In reality of course, if a police officer is to investigate a criminal offence fairly,...
What To Do If You Are Too Unwell To Attend Court

What To Do If You Are Too Unwell To Attend Court

What To Do If You Are Too Unwell To Attend Court Many people face very lengthy court proceedings, and it is therefore hardly unusual that on occasion a person may not be well enough to attend court. Despite this fact, courts are sceptical of alleged illness and unless...
Mental Health and Criminal Law

Mental Health and Criminal Law

Mental Health and Criminal Law Mental Health is a complicated business. Conditions are not easy to diagnose, doctors can disagree on which disorder a person is suffering from, or even if they have a mental health condition at all. Those with mental disorders might...
Terrorism offences sentencing guidelines

Government Tightens Terrorism Laws

Government Tightens Terrorism Laws The Manchester Arena bombing, the London Bridge attack, Shamima Begum. These are some examples of terrorism headlines in the past few years. The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 is the Government’s latest answer to...
Appeals from Beyond the Grave

Appeals from Beyond the Grave

Appeals from Beyond the Grave The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in the case of R v Max Clifford, the disgraced celebrity PR guru who was convicted in 2014 of a number of sexual offences and sentenced to 8 years imprisonment. Clifford died in 2017, so why...
‘Hung Jury’ – Not as Bad as it Sounds

‘Hung Jury’ – Not as Bad as it Sounds

‘Hung Jury’ – Not as Bad as it Sounds Last week the Hillsborough trial involving ex-police officer David Duckenfield ended without reaching a conclusion; a number of papers reported that there was a ‘hung jury’ – so, what does that mean? In an ideal world, a jury will...
Bankruptcy – Time to Stop Digging

Bankruptcy – Time to Stop Digging

Bankruptcy – Time to Stop Digging For many people being declared bankrupt represents either personal and/or business failure, bringing with it feelings of embarrassment, shame and anxiety.   From a legal perspective, the story may not be over, as the law requires...
It wasn’t me!

What You can Expect as a Witness

What You can Expect as a Witness If you have provided a statement for the prosecution or for the defence you may be called to court to give evidence at the defendant’s trial. Is there help available for me? The Witness Service provide assistance for any witness who...
Review of the Parole Board

Review of the Parole Board

Review of the Parole Board The Parole Board is an independent body that carries out risk assessments on prisoners serving certain sentences to determine whether they can be safely released into the community. When a person is considered to be fit for release it means...
Sleepwalking – Is It A Defence?

Sleepwalking – Is It A Defence?

Sleepwalking – Is It A Defence? You wake up one morning and the horror of the night before quickly unfolds. Blue lights and uniformed police officers greet you, search your house and find your girlfriend dead in the bathroom. You have no memory of anything happening...
Plead in Haste, Regret at Leisure

Plead in Haste, Regret at Leisure

Plead in Haste, Regret at Leisure It should go without saying that no plea ought to be entered in any criminal case unless and until the case has been appropriately considered. Regrettably, we see an increasing number of people, who have attended court alone, being...
Modern Slavery

Soubry and the Nazi Slur – An Offence?

Soubry and the Nazi Slur – An Offence? Was it an offence to accuse Anna Soubry of being a Nazi whilst she was broadcasting on Sky News? Potentially, is the answer. The Public Order Act 1986 contains the most likely candidates for any prosecution, in sections 4, 4A,...
Parental Dilemmas That Could Land You in Prison

Parental Dilemmas That Could Land You in Prison

Parental Dilemmas That Could Land You in Prison It is a nightmare scenario that potentially any parent could face. A child returns home, late at night in an agitated state. He hurriedly tells you that he has been in a fight, it wasn’t his fault, but someone has been...
A Simple Adjournment?

A Simple Adjournment?

A Simple Adjournment? In criminal practice and procedure, you might think that the humble adjournment is a relatively simple and straightforward matter, but you would be wrong. A little like buses, never available when you want one, yet, when you don’t want a case...
Indictments – The Basics

Will the Court Know About My Previous Convictions?

Will the Court Know About My Previous Convictions? If you are being sentenced for an offence, the court will be aware of, and may take into account, any convictions you have. Whether this has any impact upon the sentence passed will very much depend on the date of...
New proposed sentencing guidelines – burglary

Computer hacking

Computer hacking Hacking has been in the news a great deal in the last couple of years, for example, the 2016 US Presidential Elections, the extradition case of Lauri Love and the hacking of user accounts of various large companies in order to steal personal...
Stop and Search

Stop and Search

Stop and Search The power of the police to stop and search is currently in the media due to the rise in murders and serious crimes of violence involving the use of knives, particularly in London. A particular area of concern is the disproportionate use of search...
Fly-tipping – ensuring all polluters pay

Fly-tipping – ensuring all polluters pay

Fly-tipping – ensuring all polluters pay We all know that fly-tipping is an offence, but did you know you commit an offence if you pass waste to someone who isn’t licensed?  What do you mean by ‘waste’? This article is referring to household waste, for example, excess...
What Next for Sally?

What Next for Sally?

What Next for Sally? In a dramatic climax the jury returned guilty verdicts in the case of R v Sally Metcalfe, the hapless Coronation Street Councillor caught up in fraud, money laundering and bribery. As viewers will know, poor Sally appears to be a victim of...
Price and service transparency

Price and service transparency

Price and service transparency Price and service transparency As of 6 December 2018, law firms are required to publish information about certain price, service and regulatory matters. Who needs to publish information? An authorised firm or a sole practitioner must...
Can I get a suspended prison sentence?

Can I get a suspended prison sentence?

Can I get a suspended prison sentence? A suspended sentence is a term of imprisonment that is suspended so that you do not go into custody immediately and will not go into custody if you comply with the conditions attached. Who can get a suspended sentence? In the...
Offences Related to State Benefits

Offences Related to State Benefits

Offences Related to State Benefits There are two main offences that are prosecuted in relation to benefit fraud, one involves dishonesty, the other does not. The dishonesty offence It is an offence to dishonestly make a representation in order to obtain benefit, and...
Sexual Abuse in Schools

Forced Marriage

Forced Marriage Coercing someone into marrying another for some financial or societal benefit is illegal. In April of this year, three young women in Sheffield became subject to Forced Marriage Protection Orders. This case highlights the how embedded this type of...
Focus on ‘Dangerous Dogs’

Focus on ‘Dangerous Dogs’

Focus on ‘Dangerous Dogs’ The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s report ‘Controlling dangerous dogs’ calls for a full-scale review of current dog control legislation and policy to better protect the public. The report was published on 17 October 2018. Is...
Alexa – Witness for the Prosecution?

Alexa – Witness for the Prosecution?

Alexa – Witness for the Prosecution? On 29th January 2017, Christine Sullivan and her housemate were found murdered in Farmington, New Hampshire. Their bodies were discovered by the house owner, Dean Smoronk, who was Sullivan’s boyfriend. Timothy Verrill, an associate...
Covid, Self-Isolation and Employer Duties

Can I get a reduced sentence by helping the police?

Can I get a reduced sentence by helping the police? You may have heard about ‘texts’ or a ‘Brown envelope to the Judge’, some of the names for the old system. If you helped the police a ‘text’ may be handed to the sentencing judge explaining that you had assisted and...
Companies and Bribery

Companies and Bribery

Companies and Bribery Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 makes it an offence for a company to bribe another with the intent of obtaining or retaining business or to gain an advantage in business. The first conviction after trial for an offence under this section was...
Judge as Referee

Contempt of Court

Contempt of Court The case of Tommy Robinson, or to give him his real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has brought this issue into the public eye, but what is it all about? What is contempt of court? The interesting thing about contempt of court is the many ways in which...
Is being sexist or misogynist a crime?

Is being sexist or misogynist a crime?

Is being sexist or misogynist a crime? The answer is sometimes, but not always. Two years ago, Nottinghamshire Police decided to label misogyny and offences targeting women as hate crime or hate incidents. Two local universities recently undertook a report entitled...
Child Cruelty – New Sentencing Guideline

Child Cruelty – New Sentencing Guideline

Child Cruelty – New Sentencing Guideline The Sentencing Council has published a new guideline for how those guilty of child cruelty offences should be sentenced.  It covers three offences: cruelty to a child; causing or allowing a child to die or suffer serious...
What power do the police have to test my eyesight?

What power do the police have to test my eyesight?

What power do the police have to test my eyesight? There has been much ado in the press about police forces undertaking random checks on motorists and revoking licences at the roadside. So, what are their powers? Can the police stop me? Under section 163 of the Road...
Preventing a move to Open Prison

Why was Ben Stokes found not guilty?

Why was Ben Stokes found not guilty? Who is Ben Stokes? He is the England cricketer who was charged with affray and acquitted by a jury. But the video showed him hitting someone? It did, his defence was that he was acting in self-defence, you can hit someone and still...
Racially aggravated offences

Racially aggravated offences

Racially aggravated offences Racially aggravated offences In recent years legislation has been enacted to ensure that crimes demonstrating a hostility towards certain groups of people are treated more seriously than before. If an offence is said to be racially...
Acquittals and enhanced record checks

Acquittals and enhanced record checks

Acquittals and enhanced record checks If I’m acquitted will the alleged offence show on a DBS check? An ordinary DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check reveals convictions and cautions. An enhanced check, required for many jobs, may reveal information held by the...
Sentencing – Beware the Cliff Edge

Will I be granted bail?

Will I be granted bail? This article refers to adults, the law for youths is different Do I have a right to bail?  The starting point is that you have a “right” to be granted bail. This right can only be taken away in certain circumstances. These circumstances being...
Failure to provide a breath specimen

Failure to provide a breath specimen

Failure to provide a breath specimen If you are suspected of driving with excess alcohol in your body, you may be asked to provide a breath sample at the roadside. If that sample is positive, you are likely to be arrested and take to the police station. Why do I have...
Criminal Damage

Criminal Damage

Criminal Damage Essentially, the crime is made out if you intentionally or recklessly damage property. Most commonly it is damage to cars and windows, very often as an act of revenge. The damage does not need to be permanent. There have been cases where graffiti,...
Consent

Consent

Consent It should be easy enough, shouldn’t it? Yes or no? As always, life and the law are more complicated than that, and the issue of consent is not so simple. What is consent? A person consents if she or he agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make...
It’s health and safety gone mad!

It’s health and safety gone mad!

It’s health and safety gone mad! Or is it? The Health and Safety Executive is the national regulator for workplace health and safety. Interestingly, on its website, there is a page for debunking health and safety myths, such as the one where flags were banned from...
Explosives

Explosives

Explosives Rather than Guy Fawkes or his modern-day counterparts many of the recent cases involving explosives have been in relation to thefts from cash machines. The law is old but still very relevant today; it may not be appreciated that a separate, more serious...
New Sentencing Guideline Issued

New Sentencing Guideline Issued

New Sentencing Guideline Issued The Sentencing Council has published new definitive guidelines for intimidatory offences, it will take effect in respect to all cases sentenced on or after 1 October 2018, so may well affect your current case. Sentencing Council member...
Prisoner Benefits and Incentives

Criminal Behaviour Orders

Criminal Behaviour Orders Is it an ASBO?  The criminal behaviour order (CBO) replaced the Anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) and can be made if convicted of a criminal offence. There are some key differences between the two orders, but the overall impact is very...
Weapons – Government to Get Tough

Weapons – Government to Get Tough

The government has released the Offensive Weapons Bill, which is intended to signify a stricter approach to the possession of weapons and liquids that can be used to hurt others, such as caustic compounds. The bill is part of the government’s response to the...
Hate crime – a change of emphasis

“I’m Going to Kill You!”

“I’m Going to Kill You!” How many times have you said something similar? Is it an offence? You commit the crime of making threats to kill – if you make such a threat with the intent that it will be carried out. Section 16 of the Offences Against the Person Act...
Targeting Drink Drivers

Targeting Drink Drivers

The government has declared its intention to utilise new roadside breathalysers, which might result in an additional 6,000 drink-driving convictions every year. The breath test technique is currently in two stages; anyone who tests positive on the roadside will be...
Publishing Hate Material – Tough Sentences Can Follow

Social Media Crime

With the rise in popularity of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s necessary to take a step back and think about how you use them. You and your children must ensure that not just personal information is posted on social media, but also...
Preventing a move to Open Prison

Unlawful Eviction

‘Rogue landlords,’ as they are known, are frequently in the news for allegedly overcharging tenants, refusing to return a deposit, or evicting tenants illegally. What is meant by ‘unlawful eviction’? To find out more, we must observe what is set forth in...
Environment Agency Penalties

Environment Agency Penalties

Although some violations of environmental legislation are criminal in nature, not all of them are. There are a variety of potential consequences that are not typically associated with regular criminal offences. Even if a criminal offence has occurred, judicial...
Problems with visual identification evidence

Problems with visual identification evidence

Courts face a difficult evidentiary dilemma in determining how much weight to give to identification evidence that is weak or based on a brief contact. You’d expect that when it comes to the jury’s decision, the standard principles apply: if the jury...
Plead in Haste, Regret at Leisure

Stalking

In 2012, new stalking offences were added to the list of existing harassment offences. Harassment is a crime that entails a pattern of behaviour that resembles stalking. There are two types of stalking offences: stalking with a fear of violence and stalking with...
Drugs Importation

Drugs Importation

On behalf of providers in other jurisdictions, officials at airports and other ports of entry frequently intercept people carrying controlled substances in their luggage, clothing, or inside their bodies. Mule is a phrase used to describe such persons. They could have...
Will My Name Appear in Newspapers?

Will My Name Appear in Newspapers?

If you’re over the age of 17, the most straightforward response is that it might. Press reporting via social media may happen extremely quickly these days, and it is typically one of the last things on the minds of individuals facing criminal charges. Youth...
Offences Related to State Benefits

Another Fine Mess

While fines are not the most prevalent punishment in the crown court, when they are, they are usually very significant. Do I have to pay the fine all at once? In some situations, a court will compel full payment (and may give you a deadline), but in most cases, the...
Did Ant Get Off Lightly?

Did Ant Get Off Lightly?

A lot has been written in recent days about the sentence passed following Ant McPartlin’s (of ‘And and Dec’ fame) conviction for drink driving, in the following article, we are going to  examine the case in a little more detail. What offence was he charged with?...
The ‘Right to Be Forgotten’

The ‘Right to Be Forgotten’

The first of the so-called “right to be forgotten” cases has been decided by the High Court. Two of the applicants, referred to as NT1 and NT2, had previously been convicted of a criminal offence. Although the convictions were rehabilitated under the...
Burglary and Self-Defence

Burglary and Self-Defence

Following the case of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks, who was briefly probed after the fatal stabbing of a burglar who invaded his house, the law of self-defense is once again in the spotlight. Mr. Osborn-Brooks awoke in the early hours of the morning to find two...
Information on the QC

Information on the QC

We are frequently asked questions about QCs, most likely because leading barristers have been portrayed in popular television dramas such as Silk and Kavanagh QC over the years. It is therefore understandable that you would want to learn more and consider whether you...
A Smarter Approach to Sentencing?

The Disclosure and Barring Service

The DBS is a government organisation responsible for reporting convictions and additional information to employers and other relevant organisations. The information that they report to employers and other organisations can vary depending on which sector they are in...
Throwing articles into prisons

Throwing articles into prisons

Family members, as well as anyone seeking financial advantage, may be tempted to try to get articles into jails. Because the risk of being identified is considerable, many people who might otherwise be motivated to do so resist. Throwing things into prisons is illegal...
Searching For Answers

Searching For Answers

In Entick v Carrington (1765), a case which concerned entry to and searching of premises, the court ruled: “…if this is law it would be found in our books, but no such law ever existed in this country; our law holds the property of every man so sacred, that no man can...
New Domestic Abuse Protections Announced

New Domestic Abuse Protections Announced

The government has announced more adjustments in response to its recent declaration regarding the sentencing of domestic violence offences. There will be a new definition of domestic abuse that clarifies that it covers economic abuse and controlling behaviour and...
Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome

The unjustified death of a child is usually a tragic event that shocks a society to its core. For other parents, it is the start of a nightmare as well as a highly personal and painful loss. The reality is that in the vast majority of murder and manslaughter cases,...
Knife Crime – Sentencing Changes

Knife Crime – Sentencing Changes

Knife crime has risen to the top of the political agenda in recent weeks, with a series of stabbings resulting in deaths and injuries, as well as, no doubt, the eventual loss of liberty for those guilty. The use of deterrent penalties to discourage knife ownership is...
Recovery plan for the criminal courts

Choosing a Solicitor – One Chance to Get It Right

For many people, the thought of a criminal investigation or prosecutions is a terrifying one, one that can have devastating consequences not only for themselves but also for their loved ones. As a result, it’s critical to put in place suitable professional...
When Driving Becomes Dangerous

When Driving Becomes Dangerous

Dangerous driving is a specified offence that carries a maximum prison sentence of two years. If the driving results in a fatality, the maximum punishment is increased to 14 years. Minimum disqualification durations, very long real disqualifications, and insurance...
Hillsborough Prosecutions

Hillsborough Prosecutions

David Duckenfield, a former senior police officer who was in command on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, will learn this week if the trial against him may proceed. Prosecutions against those accused of involvement in the Hillsborough disaster resumed in July...
What Happens in Rome, May Not Stay in Rome

What Happens in Rome, May Not Stay in Rome

Most people are aware that if you commit a crime in the United Kingdom, the police will keep track of the crime and any subsequent sentencing so that it can be exposed during a future PNC (Police National Computer) check. But what about offending abroad, can that be...
Dogs – Avoiding a Death Penalty

Dogs – Avoiding a Death Penalty

It is commonly remarked that a dangerous dog does not exist; only a harmful owner does. In criminal law, we often refer to ‘dangerous dogs,’ although the actual offences are related to dogs that are ‘dangerously out of control.’ The Dangerous...
Threats to share intimate images

Police Roll Out Portable Identity Checking

West Yorkshire Police has signed up for a new identity verification service, according to the government. The new service, which is currently being utilised in a few force locations and will be rolled out to another 20 by the end of the year, will eliminate the...
Government Snooping Ruled Unlawful

Government Snooping Ruled Unlawful

The High Court has found that a significant component of the government’s surveillance programme is unlawful, following a court challenge initiated by MP Tom Watson and supported by campaign organisation Liberty (Secretary of State for the Home Department v...
Doctors in the Dock

Doctors in the Dock

Following a recent High Court case involving Dr. Bawa-Garba (General Medical Council v Bawa-Garba [2018] EWHC 76), many in the medical profession are outraged (Admin). The case stemmed from procedures before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal, which determined that...
Revenge Porn Can Be an Expensive Business

Revenge Porn Can Be an Expensive Business

The unlawful act of putting online personal sexual pictures/video of a person without their consent, known as “revenge porn,” carries a potential prison penalty of up to two years, so there’s already a good reason to think carefully about exacting...
Unexplained Wealth Orders

Unexplained Wealth Orders

On January 31, 2018, rules implementing portions of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 dealing with unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) and other related measures went into effect. The goal of this new order is to make it possible for those who get property that is above...
The “Right to be Forgotten”

The “Right to be Forgotten”

Redemption has always been an important aspect of our legal system; if you commit a crime, you must serve your sentence. Once your debt is paid off, you should be able to start again without being tormented by memories from the past. We all understand that there are...
A Matter of Character

A Matter of Character

We talk about character a lot in criminal law, but mostly in the context of ‘bad character,’ or prior convictions that the prosecution will try to use to persuade a jury of the defendant’s guilt. After all, if he’s done it before, he’s...
The Prosecutor in Your Pocket

The Prosecutor in Your Pocket

We are all aware that we live in a society that is constantly monitored. CCTV cameras in large cities can record our movements, and many residences now have them installed for security. Finally, most people are aware that the location where a mobile telephone call was...
Smacking Children

Is it Lawful to Hit a Child?

Laws criminalising unlawful violence have been in place since 1861 and are utilised in criminal courts every day to support prosecutions. Despite what may appear to be a simple legal position, the question of whether it is permitted to’smack’ a youngster...
Landlords to Face Additional Punishment

Landlords to Face Additional Punishment

The administration has stated that it aims to implement a number of sections of the Housing and Planning Act of 2016. Local authorities will be able to file for a banning order if a landlord has been convicted of a ‘banning order offence’ as of April 6,...
Appeals Against Sentence

Appeals Against Sentence

We’ll look at how to appeal a sentence from the Crown Court to the Court of Appeal in this post. The appeals process can be complicated depending on the circumstances, but we’ll cover the fundamentals here. Early Indications Regardless of whether there is...
Rape Prosecutions

Can I Have a Restraining Order Discharged?

Restraining orders issued under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 affect a large number of persons. The orders are regularly issued in cases of ‘domestic violence,’ and are intended to protect persons from harassment. However, life goes on, and...
Confiscation – The Hidden Sentence

Confiscation – The Hidden Sentence

If you were able to listen in on a meeting between a client and a lawyer, you would hear something like this: ‘Can you tell me what I’m looking at?’ ‘Around 12-15 months, with the possibility of a suspension if you’re lucky.’...
Points, Lies and Prison

Points, Lies and Prison

Because it strikes at the very heart of the judicial system, ‘perverting the course of justice’ is one of the most serious offences that may be brought before a court. Despite the fact that immediate custody is almost always the result of this terrible...
Disclosure – The Hidden Truth

Disclosure – The Hidden Truth

You know something major went wrong when the Director of Public Prosecutions writes to a national newspaper apologising for a prosecution failure in a specific case. However, it may be considered a huge pity that she opted to write to a newspaper rather than the...
Recreational Drug Use – The Hidden Costs

Recreational Drug Use – The Hidden Costs

As Christmas approaches and we begin to let our hair down a little and enjoy the festivities, some people are enticed into the world of so-called ‘recreational drugs’. There are a great many substances that might properly be categorised as ‘recreational’, popular ones...
Extradition – An Introduction

Extradition – An Introduction

Extradition is the formal process through which one country requests the repatriation of a person to stand trial or serve a sentence in another country. The UK has extradition relationships with over 100 countries across the world under multilateral agreements and...
Reducing the backlog in criminal courts

Jury Trial – How Your Fate is Decided

Jury Trial – How Your Fate is Decided We talk a lot about the advantages of a jury trial in this country, about how putting the decision in the hands of 12 individuals chosen at random is the most fair approach to ensure justice, but how does a jury make their...
Follow The Money

Follow The Money

‘Follow the money,’ as the line goes from the film ‘All The President’s Men,’ which chronicled President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. However, in significant fraud cases, the money trail is...
None for The Road

None for The Road

It won’t be long before Christmas is in our sights and party season begins as we put Halloween and Bonfire Night behind us and ease into those dark cold hours. This time also coincides with a nationwide police initiative addressing drink driving, as police...
Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide Following a Court of Appeal judgement that the chemical is controlled under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, ‘laughing gas,’ also known as Nitrous Oxide, has resurfaced in the news. Possession of psychoactive substances with the intent...
Unlawful Importation of Firearms Offences

Gun Amnesty

Gun Amnesty A two-week gun amnesty begins today in the United Kingdom. During this time, folks will be able to safely dispose of firearms and ammo with “no questions asked.” Who are the police reaching out to? The amnesty is aimed at two types of people:...
Driving Disqualification – Get Your Licence Back

Driving Disqualification – Get Your Licence Back

It is possible to petition a court to have a driving ban lifted early in specific cases. If your circumstances have changed since you were disqualified, it is worth speaking with one of our criminal law experts to see if you qualify for this legal option. Is legal aid...
Are Driving Offences Serious?

Are Driving Offences Serious?

The UK is unquestionably a lovely place to live. However, some significant driving offences can turn it into a nightmare, resulting in your licence being revoked, a large fine, and in some cases, even incarceration, depending on the severity of your offence. Some of...
British Drivers Breaking Foreign Laws

British Drivers Breaking Foreign Laws

It is nothing new for British drivers to break foreign regulations because they are perplexed by foreign sign boards. Many people do not care to learn the norms of the country they are visiting before getting on the roads, which creates a problem and a risk for...
Liar

Liar

Liar Liar, ITV’s new six-part thriller, has the nation enthralled, with viewers already debating whether Laura, played by Joanne Froggatt (well known for her role as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey), is speaking the truth when she accuses surgeon Andrew of rapping...