Criminal Law News
A judge had not erred in refusing to extend time under the Extradition Act 2003 Pt 2 s.99(4) for the secretary of state to decide whether the former chief executive of an enterprise software company could be extradited to the US to face fraud charges in connection with the company’s takeover by a US firm.
Calls for urgent action as deaths in prisons hit record levels
Inquest has called on the Government to change its “harmful and dangerous” prison system after the number of deaths among inmates hit record levels. According to the Ministry of Justice there were 371 prison deaths in England and Wales in the 12 months to December 2021, up from 318 in the previous 12 months and the highest number since the Government began recording figures in 1978. Inquest said its casework and monitoring also shows the highest number of self-inflicted and “non-natural” deaths took place in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Altcourse.
Prisons & mobile phones
Where an individual had repeatedly communicated via phone calls and text messages with a prisoner who possessed an unauthorised phone, the individual was capable of being found guilty of encouraging or assisting the commission of an either-way offence by the prisoner contrary to the Serious Crime Act 2007 s.45, namely possession of an unauthorised phone in prison, even where the phone was already in the possession of the prisoner as the principal offender before any conduct was carried out by the individual.
Magistrates’ Courts given more power to tackle backlog
The Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has confirmed that the maximum prison sentence that can be handed down in magistrates’ courts in England and Wales will increase from six months to 12 months. The change will allow cases such as fraud, theft and assault to be sentenced in magistrates courts where they are heard, rather than being referred to the Crown Court. The move, which will provide nearly 2,000 extra days of Crown Court time each year, is in response to backlogs arising during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.