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Showing posts from August, 2013

Joint Enterprise

The concept of joint enterprise has been something of a controversy over the past few years with people arguing that convicted murders should not stand convicted because they were not at the murder scene etc.
I was recently followed on Twitter by the Justice for Wesley campaign, which argues that Wesley Porter was wrongly convicted for his part in a gangland murder.  According to the Liverpool Echo newspaper, Porter was alleged by the prosecution to have supplied the murder weapon to the killer and was thus convicted under the joint enterprise law.
Jonathan Herring in his Criminal Law textbook succinctly defines joint enterprise as arising “where two or more people together embark on the commission of a criminal offence.  The two parties may expressly agree to commit a particular crime, or this may be an unspoken agreement.”  There is no requirement for all of the parties to a joint enterprise to know one another but it is important that they are working toward a common cause.
I expl…

Going to the police station

I've spent the last 24-hours at several police stations dealing with several clients.  All but one of these attendances was conducted civilly by me, police and detainee alike.  The only exception was this morning at West Drayton Police Station.

I was a little suspicious when a uniformed constable giving disclosure consistently claimed not to know the answers to my (fairly basic) questions, all of which could be expected to be answered in the arresting officers' note - in fact the arresting officers were the only witnesses in this case.  A lack of knowledge usually means either that a PC hasn't prepared properly or is trying to hide information from you.  A lack of preparation is rare since it is hard to question somebody about an offence if you don't know the basic facts of that allegation.  Experienced officers who want to hide information will simply refuse to disclose key-facts.  This is done in a planned way to withhold facts that can be used to test your client…