||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 325 (Apr)
||Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers CJ, Pitchford and Dobbs JJ
||Lawrence Bruce (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the defendant.
||David Matthew (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
||23 April 2008
Criminal law - Trial - Plea - Guilty - Lesser offence - Defendants being charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm - Co-defendant's plea of guilty to lesser offence of unlawful wounding being accepted by prosecution - Prosecution refusing to accept guilty plea to lesser offence in case of defendant - Judge refusing defendant's application to vacate plea - Whether judge erring - ss 18 and 20.
Where the defendant and his co-defendant, F, had been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm contrary to s18 of the and where the prosecution subsequently accepted a plea of guilty by F to a lesser charge of unlawful wounding contrary to s20, the prosecution had been entitled to pursue the defendant for the s18 offence. Authority supported the proposition that the prosecution had a discretion whether or not to accept pleas to a lesser offence than charged, and it was open to the prosecution to accept pleas of a lesser charge from some defendants but to proceed on the original charge with others.
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