Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2012] All ER (D) 279 (Oct)
Neutral Citation: [2012] EWCA Crim 2162
Court: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division

Davis LJ, Foskett and Sweeney JJ

Representation Stephen Bishop (instructed by Kaim Todner Solicitors Ltd) for the defendant.
  Richard Whittam QC (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the prosecution.
Judgment Dates: 18 October 2012


Criminal law - Trial - Directions to jury - Defendant being convicted of possession of prohibited weapon and sentenced to five years' imprisonment - Defendant appealing on basis judge erring in reversing burden of proof - Defendant contending judge erring in directing jury on failure to answer questions in interview - Whether imposition of legal burden on defendant involving encroachment of presumption of innocence - Whether derogation from presumption of innocence being justified and proportionate - Whether judge erring in giving direction on interview - Whether sentence manifestly excessive - European Convention on Human Rights, art 6.

The Case

Criminal law Trial. The defendant was convicted of possession of a prohibited weapon (an imitation gun that was readily convertible into a firearm) and sentenced to five years' imprisonment. The defendant appealed on the basis that the imposition of a legal (persuasive) burden on him had involved derogation from the presumption of innocence. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, held that the derogation was justified as necessary, reasonable and proportionate. It further held that there was no arguable basis for challenging the sentence.

Practice Areas

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