Antoine v Regina: CACD 15 Oct 2014

The Court was asked whether a prosecution should have been stayed as an abuse of the process of the court where the defendant had already been convicted and sentenced for lesser offences arising out of the same facts. The defendant was found with a loaded hand gun. When remanded, he was overheard saying that he was ‘fucked’ and was looking at a sentence of 10 years as ‘I got caught with a loaded hand gun’. The charging advice and decision of the Crown Prosecution Service referred to this being a loaded hand gun, ready to be fired; that the defendant was ‘facing a lengthy sentence’; and that the defendant was a danger and involved in gang violence. Disposal in the Crown Court was in terms contemplated.
By error, the charge was under s 1 (1) (a) of the Firearms Act 1968, possession of a firearm without a licence. When the matter was first before the Magistrates’ Court, it was dealt with by a paralegal for the prosecution. No request for the matter to be sent to the Crown Court was made. The defendant pleaded guilty on that day and was sentenced, also on that day, to 4 months’ imprisonment. The blunder was noted almost immediately and a request to the Magistrates to reopen the matter was made the following day. Following refusal, the defendant was charged with further firearms offences. The Crown Court judge refused an application for a stay, saying that there were special circumstances; whereupon the defendant pleaded guilty.
The Court upheld that ruling; the CPS mistakes had resulted in the defendant ‘being charged with the wrong offences and [being] dealt with in the wrong court’. It was observed that no-one with responsibility for the case correctly applied their minds to the appropriate charges: and the second set of proceedings involved a ‘move from misconceived charges to correct charges’. On the facts of the case, the decisions in Beedie and Dwyer were to be distinguished.

Davis LJ, Thirlwall DBE, Andrews DBE JJ
[2014] EWCA Crim 1971
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Beedie CACD 11-Mar-1997
Stay for Extended Autrefois Convict
The plea of autrefois convict applies only if the legal substance of the charges is same but the judge has a discretion. The plea is not limited to Connelly v DPP definitions, but is still narrow.
A 19-year-old girl died of carbon monoxide . .

Cited by:
CitedWangige, Regina v CACD 14-Oct-2020
Second Prosecution on Same Facts was An Abuse
The defendant appealed his conviction of causing death by dangerous driving. He appealed from the refusal of the judge to give a stay the prosecution as an abuse He had been previously prosecuted for a lesser offence on the same facts.
Held: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 08 January 2022; Ref: scu.537582