*R v Hobson

Criminal law Appeal. The defendant had been convicted of two counts of indecent assault following trial with an indictment containing seven counts. The counts to which the defendant had been found guilty were on the indictment as specimen offences. The complainants had given evidence providing particular details of alleged incidences. He appealed against conviction, contending, amongst other things, that the judge summed up to the jury in such a way which left open the real possibility that the jury might not all have been sure that the offence had been committed on the same occasion, rendering the convictions unsafe. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division allowed the appeal stating that the nature of the incidents had been such that the members of the jury could on the evidence have been satisfied about the course of conduct but not the specific occasion, or vice versa and in those circumstances the convictions were not safe.

*R v Lewis and others

Criminal law Appeal. The defendants had been found guilty of one count of conspiracy to steal following trial. After that verdict one of the jury members contacted and spoke with one of the defendants and alleged irregularities within the jury panel so as to question the veracity of the guilty verdicts. Following an investigation, the jury member was charged and admitted contempt of court. The defendants appealed against sentence contending that the convictions were not safe. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in dismissing the appeal, held that entire basis of the appeal had depended on post trial assertions by one juror, which were unsupported in any material respect.

*Public Prosecution Service v McKee (AP) and another case

Criminal Evidence Fingerprints. The Supreme Court held that Parliament did not intend, by enacting art61(8B) of the the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, that the consequence of an absence of approval by the Secretary of State should be to render inadmissible any fingerprints produced electronically.

*R (on the application of Sandiford) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Judicial Review Application for judicial review. The claimant was a British national who had been convicted of trafficking narcotics in Indonesia and sentenced to death by firing squad. She applied for judicial review of the defendant Secretary of State's policy not to fund legal representation for British nationals facing the death penalty abroad. The Divisional Court dismissed the claimant's application and she appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appeal, holding that the claimant was not within the scope of European Union law or the European Convention on Human Rights and that the policy was not irrational.

Rich v General Medical Council

Medical practitioner Disciplinary committee. The appellant doctor had been convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The Fitness to Practise Panel of the respondent General Medical Council decided to strike him of the register. The appellant appealed. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the appeal, held that the panel had been entitled to and had considered the public confidence in the profession and imposed an appropriate sanction where a doctor had violated the norms of conduct by committing a violent offence.

*ITN News and others v R

Criminal law Trial. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, held that it had been appropriate for the trial judge in the criminal proceedings against Michael and Mairead Philpott, who were charged with the manslaughter of six children following a fire at the family home, to have made an order prohibiting the publication of images of a key witness, the former partner of Michael Philpotts, notwithstanding that the witness and that defendant had previously appeared in television programmes and the identity of the witness had already been in the public domain.

*R v Kallakis and another; R v Levene

Sentence Imprisonment. In appeals against sentence in a number of conspiracy to defraud and fraud cases dealt together, the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division provided guidance on: (i) whether and to what extent the sentencing guidelines council's guideline upon sentencing for statutory offences of fraud were relevant to the task of sentencing for an offence of conspiracy to defraud; (ii) to what extent the absence of loss might constitute mitigation of the seriousness of the offence; and (iii) the appropriate use of the power to impose consecutive sentences for substantive offences of fraud and for conspiracy to defraud.

Hassan v General Optical Council

Medical practitioner Disciplinary panel. The appellant student optometrist was charged with fraud by false representation and received a police caution. Having failed to declare the caution when applying to remain on the register for student optometrists, he subsequently declared it to the defendant council, which instigated disciplinary proceedings. The defendant's fitness to practice committee, having found that the appellant's dishonesty had been proved and that his fitness to undertake training as a student optometrist was impaired, directed that his name be erased from the register of student optometrists. The appellant appealed on the basis that three legal flaws vitiated the decision. The Administrative Court, in allowing the appeal, held that there had been a material misdirection as to the proper legal approach and the decision would be quashed. The case would need to be reconsidered by the committee.

*R v Norris

Criminal law Appeal. The application for leave to appeal followed the conviction of the defendant for the high profile murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993. The trial that had led to the conviction had followed advances in forensic science and new forensic evidence linking clothing Stephen Lawrence had been wearing the night he had been stabbed with clothing belonging to the defendant that had been found following a police search. The defendant was unanimously convicted of murder following trial and sought leave to remain against conviction after he challenged the admissibility and use of surveillance and forensic evidence. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in refusing leave to appeal held that the admissibility and use of surveillance and forensic evidence had not rendered the trial unfair or the conviction unsafe.

*R v Odegbune and others

Sentence Detention. The case concerned appeals and applications for leave to appeal against sentence made by eight defendants who had been convicted of numerous offences ranging from murder and manslaughter to conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm and violent disorder. The offences were the result of the highly publicised murder of a 15 year old school boy (the deceased) at London Victoria Station in March 2010. The deceased had been chased and fatally attacked by a group of twenty teenagers whom the eight defendants had been found to be a part. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in hearing the applications refused all except three: SO, TR and EA. The minimum term of 18 years' detention for murder imposed upon SO would be reduced to 16 years. The sentence of seven years' detention for the conspiracy offence imposed upon TR and EA would be quashed and sentences of five and a half year's detention would be put in their place.