Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill [HL]
Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Conservative)
moved Amendment No. 58:
After Clause 12, insert the following new clause—
(1) The Crown Court Rule Committee shall make rules of court under section 84 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 (c. 54) (power to make rules of court) to make provision for the trial of compound allegations and, in particular, the rules shall provide for—
(a) a definition of "continuous activity" suitable to be tried as a compound allegation;
(b) a procedure for informing the sentencer in the Crown Court of the true extent of the guilt of a defendant who is found guilty by the jury of the compound allegation.
(2) The definition referred to in subsection (1)(a) shall include the same conduct occurring on a series of separate occasions or the same repeated conduct which, looked at in the round, may properly be regarded as one activity.
(3) The procedure referred to in subsection (1)(b) shall provide that the procedure may only be applied—
(a) where the allegation involves two or more similar offences connected by time and place of commission or common purpose (typically, the same act committed against the same victim), so that—
(i) they can fairly be recognised as forming part of the same transaction or criminal enterprise; and
(ii) having regard to the allegations made and the defence put forward that, save for particular marginal issues, it may fairly be said to be an all or nothing case; and
(b) where the case has been identified at a preparatory hearing as appropriate for the use of a compound allegation.
(4) The procedure referred to in subsection (1)(b) shall include provision that—
(a) in order to convict of the count containing the compound allegation, all (or at least 10) of the jury must agree that they are sure that the defendant committed the alleged offences on at least one (the same) occasion;
(b) in order to acquit, all (or at least 10) of the jury must agree that they are less than sure that the defendant committed the alleged offence on any occasion at all;
(c) if the jury is unable to attain the level of agreement either to convict or acquit, then there may be a retrial;
(d) if, but only if, the jury had convicted in accordance with paragraph (a) then the jury must be asked, for sentencing purposes, to clarify the extent of the offending by identifying any occasion or occasions of alleged offending where it is unable, by a sufficient majority, to agree that it is sure of guilt, and any occasion so identified is to be discounted by the judge in measuring the appropriate sentence.
(5) The rules to be made under subsection (1) may also provide for—
(a) directions for the judge to follow at a preparatory hearing under subsection (3)(b), including but not limited to the appropriate scope and form of an indictment for a compound allegation; and
(b) directions for the judge as to the summing up and direction of the jury at the end of a trial of a compound allegation.
(6) The Crown Court Rule Committee shall make rules of court under section 2 of the Indictments Act 1915 (c. 90) (powers of rule committee) and section 84 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 (c. 54) to provide that offences under the Protection of Children Act 1978 (c. 37) may be tried as compound allegations, and for the purpose of this subsection, the Rule Committee may by order amend or repeal provisions of the 1915 Act."