HC Deb 30 November 1990 vol 181 cc493-4W
Mr. Kirkwood

To ask the Attorney-General what is the average length of time elapsing between reference of a case to the Court of Appeal and the hearing of that case; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General

Since sections 35 and 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 were brought into force on 1 February 1989, I have sought leave to refer 32 cases to the Court of Appeal where I believed the original sentence to be unduly lenient, although I subsequently withdrew eight applications on receipt of further information. To date, 18 of the remaining 24 cases have been determined with an average waiting time of 12.2 weeks. In the same period, I have sought the opinion of the court on a point of law under section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972 in one case which has yet to be determined. The reference was made on 12 September 1990.

Mr. Mullin

To ask the Attorney-General for what reason the appeal of Mr. Danny McNamee was postponed from 12 November to 18 December.

The Attorney-General

The listing of cases in the Court of Appeal criminal division is a matter entirely for the court. I understand, however, that Mr. McNamee's application for leave to appeal against conviction which was listed to be heard by the court on 12 November has been relisted for 17 December as the court was not satisfied that the parties would be fully prepared, following an extension of Mr. McNamee's legal aid to include solicitors, a change in junior counsel, and difficulties in gathering evidence to support the application. Subsequently, those representing Mr. McNamee requested that a further transcript from a related trial be ordered from the court reporting contractor concerned.

Mr. Vaz

To ask the Attorney-General if he will ask the Director of Public Prosecutions to take over the case of Dr. Malde Modhwadia of Leicester recently referred to the Court of Appeal by the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

The Attorney-General

The Director of Public Prosecutions will be represented at the hearing in the Court of Appeal of Dr. Modhwadia's case. Counsel will be instructed to advise the Director concerning the prospects of the appeal succeeding.