Child sexual offences

[Image credit: “Children at Spooner’s Cove” by docentjoyce is licensed under CC BY 2.0) Draft revised sentencing guidelines have been produced to reflect recent Court of Appeal judgments. The guidelines clarify sentencing guidance for cases where no sexual activity occurs or where the targeted child does not exist. The revised guidelines are subject to consultation, which will close on

Life sentences with further orders

[Image credit: “Children speaking” by MRiallant is licensed under CC BY 2.0 ) A recent Court of Appeal case has ruled on the appropriateness of protective orders when a life sentence is in place. In GD’s case, the Court imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) alongside an indeterminate life sentence. On appeal, the question was whether making the

Covid 19 – fixed penalty notices

[Image credit: “London, United Kingdom – 12th May 2012. Metropolitan Police Officers wearing Hi-Viz jackets ensuring public safety during a protest march”.”) More than 85,000 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) have been issued for breaches of the Covid restrictions in England since March 2020. What is a fixed penalty notice? An FPN allows a penalty to

Deletion of police records

[Image credit: “Day 165 – West Midlands Police – Arresting suspected offenders” by West Midlands Police is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) In 2006 the Association of Chief Police Officers, known as ACPO, founded a Criminal Records Office, now known as ACRO. The intention was for ACRO to organise the management of criminal record information

Prison visits

[Image credit: “Into the Prison” by Bill Nicholls is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) During the Covid pandemic, there have been significant limits and halts to prison visits. Once we are out of lockdown, there should be a gradual return to standard visits, so what happens and what are the rules? The Prison Rules, in

Sexual abuse in schools

[Image credit: “File:Wien 01 Beethovenplatz g.jpg” by Gugerell is marked with CC0 1.0.) Ofsted has announced a review into sexual abuse in schools. The review will consider the processes that schools, and colleges have in place regarding whether they are good enough to allow pupils to report abuse freely. Why conduct a review? A website, “Everyone’s Invited”, published anonymised

Non-disclosure and prejudice

[Image credit: “Pickets at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital during the second 4 hour pay strike” by Roger Blackwell is licensed under CC BY 2.0.) The Criminal Cases Review Commission referred several cases to the Court of Appeal, which involved allegations of public order related to trade union activity. They included the case of the actor Ricky Tomlinson who

Bite Mark Evidence – Part Two

[Image credit: “panoramic x-ray of my teeth” by p_x_g is licensed under CC BY 2.0.) “Why Bite Mark Evidence Should Never Be used in Criminal Trials” is a report published by the Innocence Project. They state that at least 26 people have been wrongly arrested, charged or convicted of offences based on bite mark evidence. Concerns in respect of

Bite Mark Evidence – Part One

[Image credit: “panoramic x-ray of my teeth” by p_x_g is licensed under CC BY 2.0.) What is bite mark evidence? A bite mark is a pattern produced by the indentations of the teeth into any substance capable of being marked. It is argued that a bite mark can be thought of as a tool mark and that they are

Immigration

[Image credit: © Crown Copyright) The government recently announced a range of proposals regarding immigration, but how does this affect criminal law? Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, said it was the introduction of the most significant overhaul of the system in decades. The aim appears to be to prevent illegal entry into the UK, especially