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Child Sexual Offences

Child sexual offences. 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 13th August 2021. The main revisions apply to […]

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Life sentences with further orders  

Life sentences with further orders. 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 SHPO was wrong in […]

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Covid 19 – fixed penalty notices

Covid 19 – fixed penalty notices. 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 be paid instead of being prosecuted and risking a criminal conviction. Fast payment is incentivised by reducing […]

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Deletion of Police Records

Deletion of police records. 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 and improve links between the records and biometric information. ACRO’s principal functions are providing police certificates, international child protection […]

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Facebook and fraud

Facebook and fraud. The Competition and Markets Authority intervened with Facebook to combat fake and misleading reviews on the site. At the beginning of last year, Facebook agreed to “better identify, investigate and respond to fake and misleading reviews”. As a result of the agreement, 188 groups were removed, and 24 user accounts were disabled. Facebook […]

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Non-disclosure and prejudice

Non-disclosure and prejudice. 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 had been convicted in 1973 of conspiracy to intimidate, unlawful assembly and affray and sentenced to two years’ […]

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Bite Mark Evidence – Part Two

  Bite Mark Evidence – Part Two. “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 this type of evidence […]

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Bite Mark Evidence

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 unique to the individual, like a fingerprint. The way a bite […]

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Line of Duty – The Acronym

Line of Duty – The Acronym. This week saw the new series of the BBC’s Line of Duty hit our screens, with another battle ahead for the police against serious organised crime. For those new to this drama, the first episode may well have been very confusing. The episode was clouded in layers of acronyms that […]

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Good Character as Mitigation

Good character as mitigation. What is good character? As far as the criminal courts are concerned, a person of good character is usually someone without convictions or cautions recorded against them. It is of particular relevance in a trial situation as the court will consider good character in assessing the likelihood of you committing the offence and […]

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