Forensic evidence has dominated some of the news agenda this week, with outrage over the interrogation of complainant’s phones in sexual offences and other cases.
What is happening?
Predictably, there have been suggestions that the entire contents of a complainant’s phone will simply be handed over to defendants, and that they can then be questioned about anything and everything...Read More
You may have heard about ‘texts’ or a ‘brown envelope to the Judge’, some of the names for the old system by which someone could get a reduced sentence.
If you helped the police, a ‘text’ may be handed to the sentencing judge explaining that you had assisted and a reduction in sentence may have followed. It was a murky world, clouded in some secrecy and one that few people properly understood....Read More
In a major announcement, the government has signalled a busy year ahead with legislative changes affecting the criminal law. Following on from the recent announcement about the sentencing of domestic abuse offences, the government has announced further reforms.
There will be a new definition of domestic abuse, making clear that it applies to all relationships and victims and encompasses...Read More
On 31st January 2018, regulations bring into force sections of The Criminal Finances Act 2017 dealing with Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs), along with various other related provisions. This is the latest in what can often be seen to be a draconian set of powers aimed at interrupting criminal activity by the back door. However, as with other financial legislation, there is a risk that ordinary...Read More
Over recent weeks, there have been a number of high profile rape cases involving disclosure, or more accurately non-disclosure, of information obtained by the police during their investigations. In a number of these cases, the evidence has come to light before the trial has concluded, leading to the acquittal of the defendants. In at least one case, an innocent man served a lengthy period in...Read More
We talk a lot in this country about the benefits of a jury trial, and how leaving the decision in the hands of 12 people, chosen at random, is the fairest way of securing justice, but how does a jury decide?
There is a lot that we do not know
Ironically, the process of how a jury reaches its decision is unknown as laws prevent us examining jury decisions and questioning them on their...Read More
Why should I have a solicitor at the police station?
Why wouldn’t you? For a start, it’s free. To everybody, no matter how much or how little they earn. That should probably be a good enough reason in itself, but many people still choose not to have a solicitor.
What happens in the police station goes a long way to deciding the outcome of the case
If you end up in court many months...Read More
Yesterday’s news included the all too familiar reports of a young man being sentenced for a knife murder. Whilst the victim is named and pictured, the reports state that the defendant ‘cannot be named for legal reasons’, without setting out what those legal reasons are. It seems that an application was made in court to name the defendant, but this was refused.
What are these legal reasons?
Win for JFH Crime at Harrow Crown Court
Duncan Roberts and counsel secured a not guilty verdict for his client at the Harrow Crown Court following an allegation of sexual assault.
Our client was accused of a serious sexually assault; the woman alleged that she had been forced to engage in a series of sexual acts against her will. Our client denied the offence, stating that any sexual contact...Read More
Victory against unlawful stop and search
Duncan Roberts recently represented a client charged with possession of a bladed article.
The client had been present at the scene of an incident he had witnessed and was assisting police. Almost an hour after the police met him they decided to search him. They recovered a knife in the pocket of the jacket he was wearing.
Duncan argued that the officer...Read More