RCPO v C: CACD 5 Feb 2010

The prosecutor appealed against a stay of the prosecution as an abuse of process. It was alleged that the defendant solicitor had permitted a relation of his partner to launder the proceeds of a tax fraud. The principal defendant had been substantially acquitted of the offences alleged to be a fraud. The defendant had been first arrested in 2004. His trial was later stayed in 2009 for delay.
Held: Pitchford LJ said: ‘There is . . no hard and fast rule as to the assessment of the relevant period for the purposes of Article 6 . . the assessment of the relevant period should be made in such a way as to give effect to article 6.1 if to do otherwise would deprive the accused of its effect.’
Much of the evidence in this case would depend upon the memory of witnesses, and the delay was therefore damaging to the defendant’s ability to present his case. The judge’s analysis was correct, and the appeal failed.


Pitchford LJ


[2010] EWCA Crim 97




European Convention on Human Rights 6.1


England and Wales


CitedAttorney-General’s Reference (No 2 of 2001) HL 11-Dec-2003
The house was asked whether it might be correct to stay criminal proceedings as an abuse where for delay. The defendants were prisoners in a prison riot in 1998. The case only came on for trial in 2001, when they submitted that the delay was an . .
CitedBurns v Her Majesty’s Advocate (Scotland) PC 15-Dec-2008
The accused was arrested in February 2003, but then only brought to court in December 2004. He said that he had not had a fair trial within a reasonable time. The parties disputed when the time began to run from, from the date of arrest or his first . .
CitedRegina v B CACD 2008
Sir Igor Judge said: ‘No trial Judge should exercise his discretion in a way in which he personally believes may be unreasonable. That is not to say that he will necessarily find every such decision easy. But the mere fact that the Judge could . .
CitedRegina v Burke CACD 2005
Hooper LJ discussed the issue of delay in a trial: ‘Prior to the start of the case it will often be difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether a defendant can have a fair trial because of the delay coupled with the destruction of documents . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Human Rights

Updated: 23 March 2022; Ref: scu.396607