Law Report: Case Summaries

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The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Crime

R v Lewis.

CA (Crim Div) (Beldam LJ, Ian Kennedy, Morland JJ).

10 November 1992.

Where, in proceedings for contempt of court against the appellant for refusing to give evidence against a man who had savagely attacked him, the appellant's counsel had made it clear to the judge that the reason for the refusal was the fear of reprisals, the judge should have given the appellant the opportunity to give evidence, since the fear of reprisal if substantiated was capable of amounting to a defence to the charge of contempt.

Benjamin Nolan QC and Patrick Robertshaw (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Neil Darcy (CPS) for the Crown; James Richardson (Treasury Solicitor) as amicus curiae.

R v Warner and anor.

CA (Crim Div) (Stuart-Smith LJ, Tudor Evans, Hobhouse JJ).

3 November 1992.

At the trial of defendants charged with conspiracy to supply controlled drugs and supplying controlled drugs the judge did not err in admitting evidence of previous convictions for drugs offences of people seen visiting the defendants' house during police observations. The previous convictions were relevant to an issue in the proceedings, namely the nature of the transactions in which the defendants were taking part, and were therefore admissible under s 74 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. However, although it could not be said that the judge had wrongly exercised his discretion under s 78 to admit the evidence, it might have been wiser in the light of R v Robertson and Golder (1987) 85 Cr App R 304 not to allow its admission since it added little to an already strong prosecution case.

Gerard Wright QC and Simon Killeen (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellants; Alex Carlile QC and Roger Dutton (CPS) for the Crown.

Licensing

R v Inner London Crown Court, Ex p Sitki.

QBD (DC) (Watkins LJ, Roch J).

17 November 1992.

An on-licence granted by justices must fit exactly one of the five categories listed in s 1(3) of the Licensing Act 1964, and it was not therefore open to justices to impose a condition on an on-licence so that it did not fall precisely within one of those categories.

Philip Engelman (Dianne Rocks, Greenwich) for the applicant; James Rankin (Metropolitan Police Solicitor) for the commissioner.

Sentencing

R v Stevens and ors.

CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Rougier, Sedley JJ).

29 October 1992.

When sentencing in cases of mortgage fraud, relevant factors to be taken into consideration are:

(1) The prevalence of the offence, and the nature of the fraud, including the level of sophistication, whether real or fictitious properties, false names or inflated values were used, and whether the loans were obtained for commercial purposes at domestic rates;

(2) The nature and length of the defendant's involvement in the fraud, for example whether he was an instigator or a mere nominee, and whether he recruited others;

(3) The extent of any personal benefit to the defendant, whether there was a bona fide intention to repay the loans, and the amounts obtained and losses suffered;

(4) Whether the defendant was a professional person whose involvement amounted to a breach of trust;

(5) The delays between the end of the defendant's involvement and his arrest, between his arrest and guilty plea or conviction, and between his plea or conviction and sentence, and what has befallen him during the delay;

(6) The nature and timing of a guilty plea and any help given to the prosecution and his character and age.

Anthony Morris QC and Richard Marks (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellants.

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