R v Lawrence

Criminal law Appeal. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, allowed an appeal against conviction in circumstances where the defendant had previously pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon when in fact her shotgun could not be regarded as a prohibited weapon and rather required a firearm certificate.

*Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Atlantic Electronics Ltd

Evidence Tribunal. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the taxpayer's appeal in proceedings concerning an alleged missing trader intra-community fraud, held that the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) had been entitled to find that the First-tier Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) had erred in refusing to allow the Revenue and Customs Commissioner to rely upon material in regard to the conviction of the director of one company involved in the fraud. Although that company had not been linked to the taxpayer, the Revenue sought to show that that company had acted as a knowing party to the fraudulent series of transactions.

R v Woodford

Sentence Imprisonment. The defendant had been sentenced to eight years' imprisonment after being convicted of one count of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence, namely supplying heroin, believing it would be committed contrary to s45 of the . The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, allowed the defendant's appeal against sentence after it held that the sentencing remarks had given no indication as to whether and to what extent the defendant's personal mitigation points had been taken into account when the sentence had been passed. The sentence was reduced to one of six years' imprisonment.

Revell-Reade v Serious Fraud Office

Proceeds of crime Restraint order. The claimant was charged with fraud. He was made the subject of an order under the which did not provide for provision of legal expenses. The claimant was later charged with offences pre-dating the 2002 Act and so was made the subject of a restraint order under the . The 1988 Act did allow for the provision of legal expenses. The claimant had been incurring legal expenses whilst the order under the 2002 Act was in force. When the order under the 1988 Act was made, the claimant's solicitors settled invoices for work done during the currency of the order under the 2002 Act from monies held on behalf of the claimant. The defendant contended that it had been unlawful for the claimant to incur legal expenses relating to his fraud case whilst the order under the 2002 Act had been in force and-or that the legal fees had been improperly incurred. The Administrative Court held that: (i) the order did not prevent a person subject to a restraint order from incurring fresh liabilities; and (ii) there was no evidence to support a contention that there had been any impropriety in relation to the claimant's legal fees.

*R v X Ltd

Criminal law Appeal. The defendant company was in the business of selling domestic security systems. The defendant was charged with four counts of engaging in an unfair commercial practice resulting from the sale of security systems to a 76 year old customer described as vulnerable. At the trial, the judge acceded to a submission that there was no case to answer. The Crown appealed against that decision. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division in allowing the appeal held that based on the evidence, there was a case to answer. The case was remitted back to the Crown Court to be tried afresh before a different judge.

*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 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.

*Melli Bank Plc v Holbug Ltd

Company Assets. The claimant bank successfully applied for summary judgment regarding payments due under a discount facility agreement. Following the freezing of the claimant's assets by the introduction of sanctions against Iran, the defendant company claimed that the agreement had been either frustrated or had been terminated by the defendant's acceptance of a repudiatory breach by the claimant.