English Legal System

English Legal System
At 3 a.m. on 9 June 2012, David Malone and his friend, Simon Taggart, left Image Nightclub in Norwich.  Simon hailed a passing taxi and asked the driver to take David home.  David, who was very drunk, has only a vague recollection of what took place thereafter.  He recalls that the car stopped, that he was pulled out and repeatedly punched, and that his wallet was taken.
The next morning, he reported the matter to the police but was unable to describe the assailant.  Simon was able to provide a description: the man was white, late thirties, with mousy hair and a goatee beard. Simon had assumed that the car, which he described as either blue or black, was a taxi as the side door carried a large, circular logo similar to those on other taxis.  The logo contained three letters, the first of which was the letter ‘E.’
Two weeks later, after publishing an artist’s sketch, the police received a tip off that the man they were looking for was Ray Granger, who lived locally and had worked for ten years for a company called Emergency Plumbing Services Ltd.  Two police officers visited Emergency Plumbing Services Ltd where they found a number of blue cars with circular EPS logos on their side panels.  The owner showed them the log book which indicated that a car was signed out to Ray Granger for two days from 8 June 2012.
The police waited at Emergency Plumbing Services Ltd until Ray arrived for work.  As Ray climbed out of his car, the police walked over to him and said,
“Ray Granger we are arresting you for the –”
At this point, Ray turned and ran down the alley behind the offices.  He was pursued by the police who wrestled him to the ground, put him in handcuffs and cautioned him.
In the police car, when driving back to the station, the officers stopped for ten minutes at a shop that had been broken into earlier that day.  One of the officers stayed in the car with Ray, while the other got out to see how the investigation was going.  While waiting, Ray said to the officer in the police car,
“You know, it was his own fault. If you’re that drunk you deserve to lose your wallet.”
The officer noted the comment in his notebook but did not engage in discussions with Ray.
On arrival at the police station, Ray was met by a custody officer who read him his rights.  His request for access to a solicitor was granted, but the custody officer told him that he could not phone his neighbour, who was looking after his children, until they had searched his house for evidence.  Ray was kept in a cell for eight hours, during which the only person he saw was the custody officer who opened the door twice and asked ‘everything all right in there?’  When interviewed in the presence of his solicitor, he denied any involvement in the offence and stated that he had spent the night at home with the Emergency Plumbing Services Ltd car parked in his drive.
The CPS subsequently charged Ray with robbery under s 8(1) of the Theft Act 1968.
Section 8(1) provides:
(1)A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.
In anticipation of the bail hearing, his solicitor took information from Ray about his personal circumstances.  Ray has one conviction for assault from 1999, following which he served three months in prison.  He has a brother and sister: the brother is himself in prison for armed robbery, and the sister, with whom he is close, lives in Budapest, where she owns a guesthouse.  He owns his own house where he lives with his two children, Chelsey,7, and Tamsin, 5.  He is raising the children alone since his wife died of cancer six months ago.  When working, he pays one of his neighbours to look after the children. Since his wife’s death, he has suffered from insomnia, depression and anxiety, for which he takes medication.
Applying the rules and procedures you have studied on the English Legal Process module, advise as to:
(i)    Whether the police have acted lawfully in their treatment of Ray;
(ii)    Whether the CPS were correct to charge Ray; and
(iii)    Whether Ray is likely to be granted bail.
Please note: since you are being assessed on the rules and procedures studied on the English Legal Process module, it is not intended that you conduct any research into s 8 of the Theft Act 1968.

Part B

Choose ONE of the following essay questions:

Question 1
In R v Mirza [2004] UKHL 2, Lord Hope stated that “attempts to soften the rule to serve the interests of those who claim that they were unfairly convicted should be resisted in the general public interest.”
Do you agree with this view of the jury secrecy rule?

Question 2
“Recovery of success fees and ATE premiums distorted the balance between the interests of claimants and defendants and lined the pockets of claims farmers.  This announcement will go a long way to restoring the balance needed.”  Andrew Parker, Head of Strategic Litigation at Beachcroft solicitors.
Drawing upon responses to the Jackson Report, discuss whether or not you agree with this statement about Lord Justice Jackson’s proposals.


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