Friday, 21 January 2011

Allow me to introduce ....

Mrs. Edith Brickhill.  She is 92 years of age and partially sighted.  Someone attacked her at her home and stole £30 from her purse.  She has been targeted a number of times previously and is now afraid to return to her home of 40 years.  It is reported here that a man has been arrested on "suspicion of assault."    Of course, assault is a possible charge and this could be charged as common assault (triable only by magistrates with a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment) or assault occasioning actual bodily harm (Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.47  - maximum sentence, if tried at Crown Court, 7 years imprisonment).  A further possible charge would be robbery (Theft Act 1968 s.8 - triable only at Crown Court - maximum sentence life imprisonment). I know which I would go for.  It will be interesting
to see which (if any) the CPS opts for in the event of someone being charged.

This week it has been reported that during the year September 2009 - September 2010 overall crime has reduced.  The latest data is on the Home Office website and the reader may draw whatever conclusions seem appropriate.   Nevertheless, we continue to have some particularly nasty crime and cuts in Police funding are resulting in loss of experienced officers - see BBC News.   This hardly seems a good way of making vulnerable people like Mrs Brickhill feel safe in their homes or on their local streets.

One other matter.  I am delighted that Law think has also covered the issue of disclosure of material evidence in relation to the Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station case which Law and Lawyers has covered in posts below - especially here, where the possibility that crucial evidence was not disclosed to the defence was mentioned.  As Law think points out, this has been a fruitful source of several major miscarriages of justice.

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