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Roxanne Pallett, common assault and the need for careful reflection

ITV’s Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett has apparently attracted 25,000 complaints following her exaggerated complaint of assault made against Ryan Thomas, a fellow resident in the Celebrity Big Brother (CBB) house. In keeping with the reality show, the incident was caught on camera after Mr Thomas playfully sparred with Ms Pallett, catching her with a light…

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An expectation of privacy in a spent conviction? XKF provides some practical guidance

In the case of XKF v BBC [2018] EWHC 1560 (QB), Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing granted a privacy injunction to a former police officer, anonymised in these proceedings as XKF, to prevent the BBC from broadcasting film footage of him recorded at or near his home on 13 March 2018. Facts In July 2003, XKF…

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Claims farmer fined for blagging personalised number plate information from DVLA

Miles Savory, the director of Accident Claims Handlers Ltd, has been convicted of breaching the Data Protection Act 1998 following a prosecution brought by the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) for unlawfully obtaining the name and address of the owner of personalised number plates that he was seeking to purchase. Mr Savory completed and sent official…

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Forensic lab potential data manipulation casts doubt on thousands of criminal cases

Over 10,000 criminal cases are due to be reviewed by Police following an alleged manipulation of forensic data at Randox Testing, a laboratory in Manchester responsible for analysing evidence of drug driving, sexual offences and violent crimes. The Forensic Service Regulator and the Police were first notified of a potential issue arising from the test…

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Decline in the number of prosecutions as reports of white-collar crime rise

Figures provided by the Ministry of Justice, pursuant to a freedom of information request, display a decline in the number of white-collar crimes prosecuted in England and Wales in 2016.  There was, however, in the same year, a spike in the number of white-collar crimes reported, sparking questions over whether police forces and the Serious…

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Can an entire CPS department be ‘professionally embarrassed’ and have to withdraw from a prosecution?

On 16 December 2016, a road rage prosecution against two defendants was dismissed after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) advocate withdrew on the day of trial, citing ‘professional embarrassment’.  Despite the case being put back in the list, no replacement CPS advocate could be found and so the case could not continue. Stockport Magistrates then…

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Norwich Pharmacal Order against police refused

In the case of The Right Honourable The Countess of Caledon v The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and another [2016] EWHC 2214 (QB), the Applicant, the Rt Hon the Countess of Caledon, failed to satisfy both stages of the test to obtain a Norwich Pharmacal Order (‘NPO’) against the Commissioner of Police for…

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Sir Cliff Richard investigation highlights issues with pre-charge bail

Sir Cliff Richard is one of many famous faces to have been investigated for allegations of historic sex abuse, with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service ultimately taking no further action.  Although Sir Cliff was never arrested or charged, his ordeal brings into question tactics that are being deployed by police and the necessity for reform regarding…

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"Legal Highs" no longer legal

On 26 May 2016 the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into force criminalising the production, distribution, sale and supply of New Psychoactive Substances (‘NPS’), commonly known as ‘legal highs’.  These measures ban a range of products including ‘Spice’, ‘Salvia’ and more notably nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and mephedrone (‘meow meow’). The Act does not criminalise simple possession…

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Stalking and harassment: why aren’t we doing enough to stop it?

Following reports about the seven year ordeal suffered by Lily Allen, stalking is back in the mainstream media.  Most people will be familiar with the term ‘stalking’.  Unfortunately, familiarity can breed contempt: many people, including, significantly, many Police Officers, still either fundamentally misunderstand what stalking is, or fail to appreciate how serious a problem it…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.

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