Weekly Digest: 29 October

6KBW

6KBW
28 October 2018

This week’s Digest considers four recent judgments of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). The first is an appeal against conviction, where the issue was whether the defence of loss of control should have been left to the jury; the second is a reference by the Attorney General of an unduly lenient sentence passed in respect of a firearms offence; the third is an appeal against sentence imposed for the offence of neglecting a child; the fourth and final judgment is an appeal against a sentence imposed for manslaughter.

R v Goodwin [2018] EWCA Crim 2287

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Davis LJ on 05.10.18.

The issue in this case was whether the judge was right not to leave a defence of loss of control to the jury for consideration. The appeal was dismissed; despite the Court taking issue with some of the judge’s reasoning, his analysis of the third element of the defence – i.e. whether a person in the defendant’s circumstances might have reacted in the same or in a similar way – settled the matter against the appellant. The Court also confirmed that the third element of the defence was just as much a matter for rigorous analysis by the judge as the first two components.

 

R v Capitao [2018] EWCA Crim 2377

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Simon LJ on 04.10.18.

The Attorney General referred the offender’s sentence to the Court of Appeal on the basis that it was unduly lenient. The focus of the Attorney General’s submissions were that a sentence of five years for a serious firearms offence was too lenient. The Court accepted this and substituted a sentence of seven years’ imprisonment; this was on its facts a serious offence and public policy considerations applied because of the prevalence and gravity of crimes concerning the possession and/or use of firearms.

 

R v Lindsay [2018] EWCA Crim 2171

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Treacy LJ on 26.09.18.

This was an appeal against a sentence imposed for an offence of neglecting a child on the basis that it was manifestly excessive and should have been suspended. The appeal was allowed. In this case, the appellant’s culpability was significantly less than that of her partner, who received the same sentence, and thus a reduction was appropriate to reflect that. Further, no consideration was given by the sentencing judge to the special position of the appellant’s young children in this case; this, coupled with the fact that she posed no risk to the public, justified the suspension of the sentence.

 

R v Larking [2018] EWCA Crim 2165

The judgment, available here, was handed down by Davis LJ on 21.09.18.

This was an appeal against a twelve-year sentence imposed upon conviction for manslaughter. The appeal was allowed and a sentence of eight years’ substituted by the Court; by reference to Burridge [2011] 2 Cr App R (S) 27, [2010] EWCA Crim 2847 and Attorney General’s Reference No 125 of 2010 (Draper) [2011] 2 Cr App R (S) 97, both cases in which the sentences were lower than that originally imposed in this case and the circumstances more serious, twelve years’ imprisonment was ‘significantly’ too long.

 

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