Barking Mad?

[Image credit: “puppy Campbell” by 23am.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0) On LBC radio this week the Home Secretary Priti Patel expressed a recent rise in pet thefts as ‘absolutely shocking’ and said that she was in talks about upgrading pet theft to a more serious offence, meaning that more substantial penalties could apply. The results of a

Encrochat

[Image credit: “mobile phone mast” by osde8info is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) A vast number of cases are awaiting a criminal trial that will rely, to a greater or lesser extent, on the admissibility of communications made via the supposedly highly encrypted Encrochat service. The Court of Appeal has now issued a ruling following preliminary rulings at Liverpool

BBC in the Dock

[Image credit: “BBC Television Centre” by Mike_fleming is licensed under CC BY 2.0) The British Broadcasting Corporation (‘BBC’) found itself in the embarrassing position of being fined £28,000 this week after admitting being in contempt of Court. Why was the BBC in trouble? On the morning of 17 November 2020, the BBC made a video and audio recording of

Witness Independence – too much of a coincidence?

[Image credit: ““Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes” –Maggie Kuhn. Cringle Park, Levenshulme, Manchester” by dullhunk is licensed under CC BY 2.0) Very often in criminal cases, several witnesses give similar and sometimes almost identical evidence. At first blush, if all the witnesses were at the same place, at the same time and witnessing the same event,

Judge as Referee

[Image credit: “File:Massimo Busacca, Referee, Switzerland (10).jpg” by Steindy (talk) 11:44, 19 June 2011 (UTC) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0) It is often said that the function of a Judge during a jury trial, is to act as referee as between prosecution and defence. Whilst a Judge is not entirely side-lined the expectation is that no bias will

Custody Time Limits & Young Defendants

[Image credit: “Camberwell Green Youth Court” by secretlondon123 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government introduced changes to the custody time limit regulations that extended the custody time limits in the Crown Court by two months to address ongoing delays in the criminal justice system worsened during the pandemic. In September, Just

Firearms – New sentencing guidelines

[Image credit: “Hand Gun” by Lala Photography at JoLi Studios Colchester is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) Eight new guidelines have been published for Firearms offences following an earlier consultation. The guidelines will come into force on 1 January 2021. What are sentencing guidelines? These are guidelines that must be followed by sentencers. The guidelines must be followed unless