This week’s Digest considers three judgments: one of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and two of the Divisional Court In Pringle the Court of Appeal considered the safety of the appellant’s conviction for child abduction in light of the directions given to the jury, the evidence admitted and the evidence relating to the appellant’s ability to understand and interact with proceedings. In Jones v Crown Prosecution Service the Divisional Court considered whether the Crown Court had power to vary a sentence on appeal where that sentence had been imposed by the Crown Court and whether  a conviction for careless driving could be founded solely on evidence of the defendant’s physical condition when driving. In R (British Broadcasting Company) v Newcastle Crown Court the Divisional Court considered the interpretation of section 9 of, and paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 to, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which provide the power to make a production order.

R v Pringle [2019] EWCA Crim 1722

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Hamblen LJ on 17/10/19.

The Court of Appeal found that an accused’s conviction had been unsafe. He had significant communication difficulties and a report had recommended an intermediary which had been rejected by the judge. A grounds rule hearing should have taken place, he had been clearly confused by the questioning and his co-accused had been provided with an intermediary. The appellant’s conviction had been unsafe as a result of these rulings and a failure to explain the appellant’s difficulties with understanding the evidence.

Jones v Crown Prosecution Service [2019] EWHC 2826 (Admin)

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Hamblen LJ on 24/10/19.

The Divisional Court held that the Crown Court has the power under section 48 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 to confirm, reverse or vary the sentence in matters where the appeal has been unsuccessful, even where the offender was sentenced in the Crown Court on committal, and that an offence of careless driving cannot be established by solely relying upon the physical condition of a person when driving.

R (British Broadcasting Company) v Newcastle Crown Court [2019] EWHC 2756 (Admin)

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Leggatt LJ on 22/10/19.

The Divisional Court held that the decision of the House of Lords in R v Derby Magistrates’ Court, ex parte B [1996] A.C. 487 remains binding authority for the proposition that a person cannot be ordered to produce material under section 97 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, and by analogy under paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, unless it is likely that the material, if produced, will be immediately admissible in evidence without more.

Diplomatic Immunity review launched after Harry Dunn case

Public consultation on the revision of the sentencing guidelines for terrorism offences

Commission on Justice in Wales Report published

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