Weekly Digest: 25 February 2019


24 February 2019

This week’s Digest considers four judgments from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). In R v Cheeseman the court considered whether the householder defence was available to a soldier who stabbed a fellow serviceman in their army garrison. The question in R v Towers was whether the appellant’s conviction for joint enterprise murder caused a substantial injustice in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s judgment in R v Jogee. In R v Yaryare the court on an Attorney General’s reference was asked whether two sentences for attempted murder were unduly lenient . Finally, in R v Fulton, the court considered whether a money launderer could be said to have benefitted personally from the approximately £20 million he laundered through his firm’s account.

R v Cheeseman [2019] EWCA Crim 149

The judgment of Lord Burnett of Maldon CJ, dated 13 February 2019, is available here.

The appellant was prosecuted for attempted murder and wounding with intent after stabbing a fellow serviceman in their Army accommodation. At a court martial the Board acquitted him of the former and convicted him of the latter. In this appeal against his conviction he argued that he could rely on the self-defence “householder defence” contained within section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (“the 2008 Act”). The appellate court held that while the judge at court martial had erred in law in dismissing the householder defence, this did not make the conviction unsafe, as the appellant did not genuinely believe that it was necessary to use force to defend himself.


R v Towers & Anor [2019] EWCA Crim 198

Judgment, available here, was handed down by Sir Brian Leveson P on 20 February 2019.

Towers, Hawkes and Curtis were convicted of murder and wounding with intent in 2007. Towers was sentenced to a minimum term of 13 years, and Hawkes 16 years. Curtis was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 17 years. The Criminal Cases Review Commission referred the murder conviction of Towers to the court on the basis of the change in the law brought about by R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8 and R v Johnson [2016] EWCA Crim 1613. The sentence of Hawkes was also referred on the basis that the trial judge failed to give credit for the relevant number of remand days. This was not disputed. Towers’ appeal against his murder conviction was dismissed; it was open to the jury to conclude that he had the requisite intention to cause serious harm, and so the substantial injustice test set down by R v Johnson was not met.


R v Yaryare & Anor [2019] EWCA Crim 78

Judgment was handed down by Davis LJ on 25 January 2019.

The Attorney General referred two cases to the court on the ground that the sentences were unduly lenient. Both offenders, Yaryare and Hassan, were convicted in October 2018 on a number of counts of unlawful violence, public disorder and attempted murder arising out of a number of violent incidents in central Leicester. Yaryare was sentenced to thirteen and a half years for the attempted murder while Hassan received thirteen years. The court upheld the Attorney General’s reference with respect to Yaryare only, substituting a sentence of seventeen and a half years.


R v Fulton [2019] EWCA Crim 163

Judgment, available here, was handed down by Thirlwall LJ on 15 February 2018.

The appellant was convicted of conspiracy to disguise, convert or transfer criminal property contrary to s1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. He was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment and made subject to a confiscation order in the sum of £104,228, to be paid within six months. He appealed against that confiscation order on the grounds that he had not benefited from his criminal conduct. The appeal was dismissed; while the appellant had no legal interest in the account through which he laundered the money, his criminal conduct meant that he could be said to have obtained the money and so benefited from it.



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