Lincoln House Chambers Fri, 10 Aug 2018 14:45:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A mention for Ellen Shaw, Junior Counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse and member of the Roman Catholic investigation team, in latest published report Fri, 10 Aug 2018 14:45:22 +0000 Read more]]>

Ellen Shaw was instructed as Junior Counsel to the Inquiry in July 2017 and is one of four barristers on the Roman Catholic investigation team, led by Riel Karmy-Jones QC. The team undertook a vast amount of preparation for the 3-week hearing into the institutions of Ampleforth and Downside, during which Ellen assisted at the hearing during November-December 2017.

Ellen also co-drafted parts of the investigation report which made a number of findings, including that “both Ampleforth and Downside prioritised the monks and their own reputations over the protection of children”.

The report was published on 9th August and can be found via:

Ellen is currently assisting with preparation for the next Roman Catholic investigation hearings concerning the Archdiocese of Birmingham which will be heard in November and Ealing and St Benedict’s​ school in February 2019.

Neil Usher successfully prosecutes Michael Marler in two-week murder trial Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:12:53 +0000 Read more]]> Neil Usher, instructed by Manchester CPS, successfully prosecuted Michael Marler for the offence of murder following a two-week trial at Manchester Crown Square.

Marler stabbed his girlfriend to death in a city centre apartment before jumping from the second floor of the apartment, landing on the car of a woman dropping off her husband and son. The defendant claimed he had no recollection of his actions and denied that he had the necessary intent for murder, due to the large amount of drugs he had consumed.

Earlier in the prosecution, Neil successfully persuaded the trial judge, HHJ Mansell QC, that the defence of diminished responsibility was not open to the defence, despite the defence psychiatrist giving an opinion that this defence was in fact open to the defendant.

Read more here:

Ellen Shaw, Matthew Howarth and Anna Chestnutt deliver Mock Trial for the Royal College of Nursing Tue, 07 Aug 2018 10:08:54 +0000 Read more]]> On 19th July 2018, the Royal College of Nursing hosted a training event entitled, “The Truth, the whole Truth & nothing but the Truth” which aimed to demystify proceedings in the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Ellen Shaw, Matthew Howarth and Anna Chestnutt presented a mock trial, based on a case where a nurse had been accused of sleeping on shift on various occasions. It was an interactive session, with breaks to explain the procedure to the audience. The presentation emulated the style, procedure and processes which can be seen at hearings in front of a Fitness to Practice Panel.

Ellen, Matthew and Anna have collective experience in a healthcare regulatory context, in both the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council. To instruct these barristers, please contact the clerks on 0161 832 5701.

Ged Doran Secures Acquittal in First Prosecution of a Far-Right Organisation Since World War II Fri, 03 Aug 2018 10:10:18 +0000 Read more]]> Ged Doran, instructed by Eleanor Beckingham of DDE Law, represented a defendant charged with being a member of a proscribed organisation, National Action. During its peak, National Action bore membership of up to 100 young, white men from academic backgrounds who would regularly meet for demonstrations, dressed in skull masks, waving banners and imitating Nazi salutes.

Ged’s client was one of six defendants under investigation for allegedly belonging to the group and for involvement in the conspiracy to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper and a female police officer. Following a six-week trial held at the Central Criminal Court before Justice Jay, Ged’s client was acquitted of all charges.

Contact a member of the clerking team on 0161 832 5701 to instruct Ged or click here to view Ged’s profile.

Matthew Howarth Property Law Update Fri, 03 Aug 2018 08:27:37 +0000 Read more]]> Matthew Howarth successfully represented a local Manchester Landlord in obtaining forfeiture of a Commercial lease from a non-paying Tenant

Following a fact finding hearing and legal submissions Mr Howarth was able to argue for forfeiture of the lease in a Business Tenancy and was able to obtain costs beyond that normally allowed on the Small Claims Track.

Mr Howarth spent two years at Baker & McKenzie with the Real Estate Eurozone team of the year. He spent most of his time dealing with FTSE 100 companies in litigation disputes arising out of Commercial Lease Agreements.

Additionally, Mr Howarth deals with a number of Landlord and Tenant cases. He spent nine months volunteering at Brent Council defending possession claims for residential tenants. He is currently instructed by a number of Estate Agents and Landlords in Greater Manchester.

Mr Howarth has defended and appeared in a number of Council Prosecutions involving Houses in Multiple Occupation and breaches of Health and Safety Regulations.

Should you have any inquiries, or would like assistance with your CPD requirements, please do not hesitate to contact Chambers’ clerks.

Flagship 7-year HMRC investigation collapses Tue, 03 Jul 2018 11:20:01 +0000 Read more]]> The prosecution of four defendants for money laundering and evasion of duty offences collapsed due to the prosecution’s failure to comply with its disclosure obligations. All four defendants were acquitted.

The HMRC case involved allegations relating to the smuggling of millions of cigarettes and evasion of duty on substantial amounts of alcohol.

As a result of a number of disclosure requests by the defence prior to and during the trial, it became clear that, notwithstanding that the investigation and arrests dating back 7 years, there were major failings in the disclosure process by HMRC.

During a trial in March of this year the Crown successfully applied to discharge the jury in order to deal with disclosure issues raised by the defence in respect of potentially unlawful cross border surveillance. There had been four other jury panels selected prior to the commencement of this trial.

After the matter was set down for legal argument this summer, further disclosure was sought. The Crown declared on the first day of the hearing that they still had not met their disclosure obligations and sought a further adjournment. The application was resisted by the defence and the trial judge refused to adjourn the case. The Crown decided against pursuing an appeal against a terminatory ruling, and instead offered no evidence against all four defendants. Not guilty verdicts were recorded.

Dan Thomas, originally led by Ged Doran of Lincoln House, and latterly by Stephen Kamlish QC of Garden Court Chambers, acted for a lead defendant.

Dan Thomas was instructed for the defence by Leigh Wright of Tuckers Solicitors.

Changes to Criminal Offences under the Data Protection Act 2018 Mon, 02 Jul 2018 12:45:25 +0000 Read more]]> The data protection regime underwent a monumental change in recent weeks, with the enactment of GDPR and the Data Protection Act (‘DPA’) 2018. Perhaps overlooked are the changes which was made to criminal offences under the Act. This article will provide an overview of the key changes, of which criminal practitioners should be aware.

Firstly, some jargon busting. A ‘data controller’ under the Act is a person who (alone or with others) decides the purposes for which and the way personal data is processed. A ‘data subject’ is a person whose data is stored. A ‘subject access request’ is a request by an individual to an organization to discover the information which is held about them.

The offence of unlawfully obtaining, or disclosing, personal data without the consent of the data controller (formerly s.55 DPA 1998) is a common feature of many prosecutions brought by the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’). This offence is applicable in a variety of situations. A claims management company trading personal data for a fee, without the consent of a data controller, is guilty of this offence. Equally, a receptionist in a medical practice who uses the information in the practice’s database to look up family and friends out of curiosity would also be guilty of this offence.

This offence has now been amended, and can be found at s.170 DPA 2018. There is a new clause in which it is a criminal offence to retain personal data without the consent of the data controller. This would cover a situation where data was provided through lawful means, then retained beyond the time consented to by the data controller. This aspect of the offence, therefore, has a broad remit.

The offence under s.170 DPA 1998 remains punishable only by way of a fine. In the previous legislation, there was a caveat which permitted the Secretary of State to alter the penalty to a custodial sentence (s.77 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008). This was never used in the lifetime of the old Act. There is no provision for such a power in the new legislation. It remains the case that there are no formal sentencing guidelines for this offence.

Punishment for an offence under s.170 DPA 2018 is now confined to a financial penalty. That being so, it is conceivable to consider that, if the offending behaviour is sophisticated and/or longstanding, and causes a significant degree of harm, a prosecuting authority may take the view that charging an offence that only allows for a financial penalty would not suitably cover the criminality. There are other offences that could potentially be charged in such cases, such as fraud or computer misuse act offences and these may now be charged more frequently. It would not be wise to reassure a client that they will avoid an imprisonable offence if they have committed a data breach offence, as their prosecution may simply fall under a different guise.

A new offence created under DPA 2018 is the re-identification of de-identified personal data (s.171 DPA 2018). If personal data has been anonymised by a data controller, and the document is later amended to reveal the data without the consent of the data controller. This may have broader implications in the investigation of crime, where documents are commonly redacted and disclosed. It is possible to use software to remove the redaction on documents. To use such software, without consent, would be a criminal offence.

It remains a criminal offence to require an individual to exercise their subject access rights to gain their personal information in relation to their employment, a contract for services or the provision of goods and services (s.184 DPA 2018). It is common practice for employers to conduct their own pre-employment checks e.g. a Disclosure Barring Service (‘DBS’) check. If a data subject were to make the request (a subject access request) they would receive more information than would be included in a DBS check. The response to a subject access request would also include ‘spent’ convictions. It is a criminal offence for an employer to insist on receiving enhanced information in this way. This offence has been amended, to encompass an employer making the request recklessly.

Other criminal offences to be aware of under DPA 2018 are as follows:

  • 119 DPA 2018- obstructing the Commissioner in inspecting personal data to discharge an international obligation.
  • 131 DPA 2018- making a disclosure prohibited by any of Parts 1 to 7 or Chapter 1 of Part 9 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.
  • 132 DPA 2018- prohibition placed upon the Commissioner, or the Commissioner’s staff against disclosing information obtained in the course of their role (which is not available to the public).
  • 144 DPA 2018- false statement made in response to an information notice.
  • 173 DPA 2018- alteration of personal data etc to prevent disclosure to data subject.
  • Para 15, Schedule 15 DPA 2018- intentional obstruction of a warrant, or failure without reasonable excuse to assist in the execution of a warrant.

Many offences under the new DPA are now recordable, which was not a feature of the old Act. It may be that this has a deterrent effect on individuals who routinely exchange personal data without consent.

The latest raft of legislation has put the use which can be made of personal data into even sharper focus than before. It may be that offences arising from the DPA 2018 become a more prominent feature within our courts.

Anna Chestnutt is currently on secondment with the Information Commissioner’s Office. To instruct Anna, please contact a member of the clerking team.

Man Jailed for Life For Rochdale Christmas Murder Wed, 27 Jun 2018 10:14:06 +0000 Read more]]> The killer of a man who was stabbed and beaten to death on Christmas Eve, 2017 in the Wardle district of Rochdale has been jailed for life. Jason Byrnes, 26, of no fixed abode had earlier pleaded guilty to the murder of Mohammed Aftab at at hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

On 27 June 2018, the Recorder of Manchester, HHJ David Stockdale QC, imposed a life sentence on Byrnes, who is to serve a minimum term of 25 years. The Court found that Byrnes had arranged a rendezvous with Mohammed Aftab, whom he intended to rob late on Christmas Eve. He murdered him in a pub car park before disposing of Mr Aftab’s body at the foot of a secluded track on Dye House Lane, Rochdale. One of the striking details of the case was that, in the aftermath of the killing, Byrnes boasted of planning ‘a party of a lifetime’. Tim Storrie appeared for the Prosecution, instructed by David Harley and Keith Huntington of CPS CCU.

Read more via the BBC and the Manchester Evening News.

Kate Blackwell QC leads team of LHC Barristers on the Gosport Independent Panel Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:58:28 +0000 Read more]]> Kate Blackwell QC, appointed to the Gosport Independent Panel as Counsel and legal lead and Leila Ghahhary, Junior Counsel appointed to the Panel’s Secretariat, attended Portsmouth Cathedral today as part of the Panel and Secretariat team delivery of the Panel’s report.

The Panel was convened to report on events which occurred at Gosport War Memorial Hospital between the late 1980s and early 2000s. The Panel, chaired by Bishop James Jones, today delivered its report to the families of patients who died at the hospital and to the Secretary of State for Health who in turn, has presented the Panel’s report to the House of Commons during today’s session.

Austin Welch, Lee Hughes, Kath Johnson, and Louise Cowen were also part of the Lincoln House Chambers’ legal team, also working alongside former LHC members Her Honour Judge Bernadette Baxter and District Judge Charlotte Holland, which has supported the panel in its work.

Read more online on BBC News, The Telegraph, and The Independent.

Click here to read the Gosport Independent Panel’s full report.

Acceptance of Instructions in Legally Aided Cases Wed, 13 Jun 2018 11:58:29 +0000 Read more]]> Following the announcement from the CBA about its poll, the result was, by a narrow majority, that the profession will accept the proposals negotiated with the government, including a further review in 18 months time. The CBA have now withdrawn their call for action.

The members of Lincoln House Chambers will now accept instructions in legal aid cases where the representation order was granted both before and after the 1st April 2018.

Members of Lincoln House Chambers were proud to support the CBA in the action, not only in the interests of the future of the criminal bar but the criminal justice system generally. We will continue to campaign for proper recognition by the government of the problems which systemic underfunding has caused to solicitors, barristers and other professionals, and also the impact on our clients.

The CBA said “the investment in the AGFS scheme is the first step in a long road to rehabilitation for the Criminal Justice System. The damage done in recent decades will not be undone in weeks, or perhaps years. This proposal is the beginning and not the end of our campaign to improve the broken system we all work in every day. We still face exceptional difficulties, as do our solicitor colleagues. This will not fix the terrible conditions, the unhealthy and unreasonably onerous working practices and the general decrepitude. However, if we consider it a start we can build on it.”

Please do not hesitate in contacting the clerks if you have any questions or require any assistance.