In this issue
Welcome to the Sexual Offences edition of the Crime Team Bulletin
Instructing Experts in Sexual Cases
Sarah Vine secures first acquittal in ‘child sex doll’ prosecutions
Sentencing Law Update from Kate O'Raghallaigh
‘Manga’ children: Sentencing for prohibited images not showing an actual child
Vulnerable witnesses and the national roll out of Section 28 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999
"The Whirligig of Time": Sentencing in multi-layered historic cases
Sentencing in Domestic Abuse Cases from 24th May 2018
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Feature Articles
 
Instructing Experts in Sexual Cases

It is often thought that there is no tactical advantage to be had by a defence team instructing an expert witness to review the Crown's medical evidence in those cases which allege sexual offending.  Katy Thorne QC, however, puts forward some ideas as to why it might be something which is worth considering.

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Sarah Vine secures first acquittal in ‘child sex doll’ prosecutions

We are delighted to welcome Sarah Vine (1997 call) as one of the newest additions to our criminal team.  Much of Sarah's work involves allegations of serious sexual offending, particularly for clients with vulnerabilities.  In this edition of the bulletin we highlight the recent acquittal of one of her clients whose case made the news recently as the first prosecution of a particular type of sex doll.    

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Sentencing Law Update from Kate O'Raghallaigh

Doughty Street's Criminal Appeals Unit publishes a monthly newsletter which highlights some of the key new authorities emerging from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).  You can view an archive of those by clicking here, and if you would like to be signed up for future editions please send us an email.  Some important recent decisions will be of particular relevance for those representing clients accused of sexual offences, and Kate O'Raghallaigh draws our readers' attention to those.  

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‘Manga’ children: Sentencing for prohibited images not showing an actual child

Abigail Bright explores the considerations which sentencing courts have in mind when it comes to cases involving imaginary depictions of child sexual abuse, rather than images involving the abuse of real children.

 

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Vulnerable witnesses and the national roll out of Section 28 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999

s.28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act allows for the pre-recording of cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses.  Whilst this has been running under a pilot scheme in certain parts of the country since 2014, the national roll out is due to start in the Spring of this year.  Annabel Timan provides a timely reflection on how s.28 has been working in practice, and some of the issues which have arisen during the pilto, and of which defence practitioners should be aware. 

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"The Whirligig of Time": Sentencing in multi-layered historic cases

David Rhodes considers the unusual position of a client being sentenced now for historic sexual offences, where the Court of Appeal has also given judgment some time ago on similar offences.  Should the sentencing court have regard to other proceedings which have gone before?   

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In Other News...
Sentencing in Domestic Abuse Cases from 24th May 2018

The Sentencing Council has published its definitive guideline on the overarching principles of sentencing domestic abuse which will come into effect on 24th May 2018.  Sarah Vine sets out in interview a summary of why defence practitioners should be aware of the guideline's contents.

 

 

Sarah Vine on the new domestic abuse guidelines