Mackle, Regina v: SC 29 Jan 2014

Several defendants appealed against confiscation orders made against them on convictions for avoiding customs and excise duty by re-importing cigarettes originally intended for export. They had accepted the orders being made by consent, but now appealed saying that the consent had been given following inaccurate legal advice.
Held: The appeals were allowed. The fact that the orders had been made by consent did not necessarily preclude an appeal based on a mistake of law after wrong legal advice.
‘Playing an active part in the handling of goods so as to assist in their commercial realisation does not alone establish that a person has benefited from his criminal activity. In order to obtain the goods for the purposes of section 156 of POCA 2002 or article 8 of the Proceeds of Crime (Northern Ireland) Order 1996, it must be established by the evidence or reasonable inferences drawn therefrom that such a person has actually obtained a benefit.’

Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson
[2014] UKSC 5, [2014] 1 AC 678, [2014] 2 Cr App R (S) 33, [2014] NI 292, [2014] 2 All ER 170, [2014] 2 WLR 267, [2014] Lloyd’s Rep FC 253, [2014] WLR(D) 40, UKSC 2012/0045, UKSC 2012/0044, UKSC 2012/0043, UKSC 2012/0041
Bailii, WLRD, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary
Customs & Excise Management Act 1979, Tobacco Products Duty Act 1979, Tobacco Products Regulations 2001
Northern Ireland
Appeal fromMackle and Others, Regina v CANI 16-Oct-2007
The defendants appealed against confiscation orders made on sentencing for conspiracy to import cigarettes so as to evade customs duty.
Held: Girvan LJ identified the two principal issues as (i) whether the appellants had consented to the . .
CitedRegina v Czyzewski; Regina v Bryan; Regina v Mitchell; Regina v Diafi; Regina v Ward CACD 16-Jul-2003
The court set down detailed guidelines for sentencing for smuggling, but stated they were not to be treated as a straitjacket.
Held: The principle factors will be the level of duty evaded, the sophistication of methods used, the defendant’s . .
CitedRooney and Others, Re Attorney General’s Reference (Number 1 of 2005) CANI 11-Nov-2005
The defendants had been convicted or armed robbery. The Attorney General appealed against the sentences saying they were too lenient. Rooney argued that his plea of guilty had been after an indication by the judge and the reference was misguided. . .
CitedBailey, Regina v CACD 15-Nov-2007
The defendant appealed against a confiscation order. . .
CitedHirani, Regina v CACD 11-Jun-2008
. .
CitedChambers, Regina v CACD 17-Oct-2008
The court found that a customs prosecution for evasion of duty by excess tobacco imports was incorrectly founded, after failing to acknowledge a change in the 1992 Regulations brought in in 2001. Also, a day labourer who had merely assisted in . .
CitedMay, Regina v HL 14-May-2008
The defendant had been convicted of involvement in a substantial VAT fraud, and made subject to a confiscation order. He was made subject to a confiscation order in respect of the amounts lost to the fraud where he was involved, but argued that the . .
CitedCrown Prosecution Service v Jennings HL 14-May-2008
The appellant appealed against the refusal to discharge a restraint order under the 1988 Act. The sum found to have been obtained in the later trial vastly exceeded the sum the defendant said had ever come within his control or benefit.
Held: . .
CitedWhite and Others v Regina CACD 5-May-2010
The defendants appealed against confiscation orders made after a finding that they had been involved (separately) in the smuggling of tobacco, suggesting a conflict between the 1992 Regulations and the Directive.
Held: The appeals variously . .
CitedBajwa and Others, Regina v CACD 6-May-2011
The defendants appealed against confiscation orders . .
CitedRegina v Emmett and Another HL 16-Oct-1997
The defendants had been arrested as they unloaded four tons of cannabis from a boat.
Held: Their appeal against a confiscation order was allowed despite the acceptance of a statement when the acceptance had been based on a mistake of law or . .
CitedRegina v J CACD 4-Jul-2000
It does not necessarily follow from the mere possession of drugs that a person is not a mere minder or custodian . .
CitedJohannes, Regina v CACD 5-Dec-2001
. .
CitedRegina v Green HL 14-May-2008
The appellant had been found to have received criminal proceeds along with another. He appealed against an order making him liable for the full amount.
Held: The appeal failed. The defendant’s argument did not face the finding that he had been . .
CitedSivaraman, Regina v CACD 24-Jul-2008
The manager of a service station had accepted deliveries of ‘off road’ diesel on behalf of his employer, who had then sold it on without payment of duty. The judge had felt constrained (‘contrary to his commonsense view of the true benefit’) to . .
CitedAllpress and others v Regina CACD 20-Jan-2009
The court considered the phrase requiring a payment having the quality of a reward received in connection with commission of the relevant offence. Toulson LJ stressed the need to have regard to the whole phrase and its effect as a matter of . .
CitedRevenue and Customs Prosecutions Office v Mitchell CACD 21-Jan-2009
Sentencing judges should be astute to ensure that they are satisfied that agreements on the amount to be recovered by way of confiscation orders are soundly based. . .
CitedKhan and Others, Regina v CACD 12-Mar-2009
The court discussed constricting of the classes of individual liable for duty on tobacco products which the 2001 Regulations introduced. . .
CitedBell and Others v Regina CACD 18-Jan-2011
Appeals against confiscation orders which had been made in respect of evaded duty on tobacco products smuggled into the United Kingdom for resale. The prosecution had wrongly claimed benefit in the sum of the evaded duty as a pecuniary advantage . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Sentencing, Customs and Excise

Updated: 29 November 2021; Ref: scu.521155