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stay of confiscation must be exceptional

In Beazley and Beazley [2013] EWCA 567 the Court of Appeal heard an appeal by the prosecution against a terminating ruling of a Recorder to stay confiscation proceedings. The defendants had been convicted of offences contrary to section 92 Trade Marks Act 1994. such offences are in fact 'criminal lifestyle' offences by virtue of their inclusion in schedule 2 to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. In spite of some generous concessions by the prosecution, the result of the application of the relevant assumptions rather offended the Recorder's sense of fair play and he called an end to it all by staying for abuse of process. The Court of Appeal, chaired by the Vice President were not impressed. Lord Justice Hughes said that a stay "cannot be invoked where the judge feels unhappy about the consequences of a statutory regime which has been put in place by Parliament". To the contrary the Court found "nothing remotely disproportionate about removing from this unlawful business the proceeds which it has generated".


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