Weekly Digest: 8 January 2018

6KBW

6KBW
8 January 2018

In this, the first Weekly Digest of 2018, the Court of Appeal considered the relevance of mental disorders to the defence of loss of control; and allowed an appeal against a rape conviction where the prosecution had relied upon an edited and misleading series of Facebook messages exchanged between the complainant and the appellant. The Administrative Court considered whether a public prosecutor was a “competent authority” for the purposes of the ‘absence of a prosecution decision’ bar in s.12A of the Extradition Act 2003.

R v Rejmanski [2017] EWCA Crim 2061

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Hallett LJ on 19 December 2017.

In conjoined appeals, the Court of Appeal examined the extent to which a mental disorder could be relevant to an assessment of “the circumstances of the defendant” when considering the partial defence of loss of control under s. 54(1) of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.  The Court of Appeal held that if a mental disorder had a relevance to the defendant’s conduct other than a bearing on his general capacity for tolerance or self-restraint, it was not excluded by s. 54(3) of the 2009 Act and the jury would be entitled to take it into account as one of the defendant’s circumstances under s. 54(1)(c). The court emphasised, however, that it is necessary carefully to identify the relevance of the mental disorder and that it should not be permitted to undermine the principle that the defendant’s conduct is to be judged against “normal” standards.

Sarah Whitehouse QC appeared on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service; Louis Mably QC appeared as advocate to the Court

 

R v K [2017] EWCA Crim 2214

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Goss J on 21 December 2017.

The Court of Appeal overturned the appellant’s conviction for rape as the prosecution had relied upon an edited and misleading series of Facebook exchanged between the complainant and the appellant. The Crown’s case centred on consent and turned on credibility.  The Facebook messages which had been deleted by the complainant, but obtained after the trial, undermined her version of events and supported that of the appellant. The messages therefore satisfied the requirements of s. 23 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968

 

Fox v Germany [2017] EWHC 3396 (Admin)

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Hamblen LJ on 21 December 2017

The appellant appealed against the judgment of the District Judge whereby she found that the extradition request relating to six allegations of tax evasion met the requirements of s. 12A of the Extradition Act 2003 and accordingly ordered the appellant’s extradition to Germany. The sole ground of appeal was that the District Judge was wrong to find that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the competent authorities in Germany have not yet made the decision to try the appellant. It was argued on behalf of the appellant that the competent authority to make the decision to try is the court rather than the public prosecutor. The court concluded that there was nothing in the German Criminal Code stating that the public prosecutor was not competent to make a decision to try. The public prosecutor was a judicial authority for the purposes of the EAW.

 

In the news

More terror offences to be covered by unduly lenient sentence rules

 

John Worboys recommended for release

 

Ignoring women’s needs in custody breaches their rights

 

Huge sums spent on consultants to help deliver digital courts 

 

>