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Today's News: 20 July 2012

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20 July 2012


Proportionality proposals

The DPP has unveiled proposals that could mean that prosecutors would take no further action on suspects if they do not believe it is "proportionate" to take them to court. It would mean factors such as cost and the length of a likely trial being taken into consideration when deciding whether to charge an offender. Prosecutors would even be asked to weigh such issues against the likely punishment a criminal would get if convicted. John Fassenfelt, chairman of the Magistrate’s Association, warned it could encourage prosecutors not to proceed in "more and more cases". Max Hill QC, chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, said: "If the intended meaning of proportionality is that expensive cases are only 'worth it’ if they lead to long prison sentences, it would be wrong

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 1, 4

Deal boom expected

A KPMG study into M&A activity has revealed that the UK is set to become one of the unexpected bright spots for deal making in coming years. David Simpson, global head of M&A for KPMG, said: "Given the gloomy backdrop, a grain of positivity is meaningful even if it simply suggests that we are neither in the eurozone nor too dependent on slowing emerging markets."

Financial Times, Companies & Markets, Page: 18 

Lie detector tests

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, is poised to fast-track proposals that will force the most dangerous sex offenders to have a lie detector test to identify those likely to offend again. Those who are found to be at high risk of carrying out further abuse will be recalled to prison or face a change of their parole conditions.

Daily Mail, Page: 24  



G20 PC acquitted

PC Simon Harwood, the officer who hit Ian Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground at the G20 protests, has been found not guilty of manslaughter. Mr Tomlinson’s family said they would be pursuing the case in a civil court. It is not clear if that will be against PC Harwood as an individual or against the Metropolitan Police. PC Harwood faced 10 allegations before his encounter with Mr Tomlinson. Deborah Glass, deputy chairwoman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said after the verdict "significant questions" remained over PC Harwood's actions on 1 April 2009. Jules Carey, the family's solicitor, said: "This is one of the hardest days for the family, and there have been many. PC Harwood may have been acquitted of manslaughter by this jury, but another jury, at the inquest a year ago, found that Ian Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed. It is impossible for this family to understand these two, apparently contradictory, verdicts." PC Harwood faces a public disciplinary hearing in September.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 7   Daily Express, Page: 6   Daily Mail, Page: 1, 4, 5   Daily Mirror, Page: 4, 5   The Independent, Page: 1, 5   The Guardian, Page:1, 2   The Guardian, Page: 4, 5   The Guardian, Page: 40   The Sun, Page: 17

Riots trial

A senior police officer is facing investigation after his actions jeopardised the case of eight men who were acquitted yesterday of the murders of three young men during last summer's riots in Birmingham. The men were cleared at Birmingham Crown Court of deliberately running over Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir in three cars while the victims were protecting businesses. The judge Mr Justice Flaux, said that the jury's verdict that the deaths were a "terrible accident" should be respected. He also gave a damning appraisal of the reliability of evidence put forward by DCI Anthony Tagg, the officer in charge of the investigation. Witness evidence had to be discounted after it emerged that the police withheld information from the trial until the tenth week of hearings. Mr Tagg, according to the trial judge, then "invented" an explanation for why the defence counsel and judge had not been informed. He is now under investigation by the IPCC. It is understood that another officer's actions may also be investigated. Separately, the Guardian reports that Mr Justice Flaux prevented the BBC from broadcasting two documentaries about the riots without having watched the films, and then later prevented the media from reporting his injunction.

The Times, Page: 15   The Guardian, Page: 8,  9   Daily Express, Page: 29  The Sun, Page: 9   The Daily Telegraph, Page: 7

MoD accused

The Ministry of Defence has been accused of withholding evidence of "truly shocking" treatment of civilians in an incident involving the most serious allegations made so far against British forces in Iraq. British military interrogations involved "young men of 18, 19 and 20, some seriously injured with gunshot wounds, being stripped naked, forced to stand, not given appropriate medical treatment, and threatened with violence whilst still under the shock of capture in the middle of the night", said Patrick Connor QC. Connor, counsel for the Iraqi detainees, was addressing a hearing relating to the public inquiry into allegations that British soldiers murdered Iraqis and abused others in May 2004 after a fierce gun battle. The investigation - known as the al-Sweady inquiry after one of the alleged victims - was forced on the MoD in 2009 after judges accused it of "lamentable" behaviour and "serious breaches" of duty of candour over the failure to disclose crucial information about allegations of murder and ill-treatment by British troops.

The Guardian, Page: 10

Samsung didn’t copy iPad

Judge Colin Birss of the Patents Court has instructed Apple to run ads saying that Samsung did not copy the iPad. Apple must also display a "Samsung didn't copy us" notice on its UK homepage for 6 months.

International Herald Tribune, Page: 16   Evening Standard London, Page: 48



Barclay ruling

The long-running battle by the Barclay Brothers to reclaim £1bn from HMRC has been transferred back to the UK following a ruling by the European Court of Justice. The Barclay Brothers are suing HMRC for failing to add compound interest when it refunded Littlewoods excess VAT payments spanning more than 30 years. Stuart Walsh of Pinsent Masons, said: "With the case going back to the British courts, HMRC are likely to end up with a decision in their favour." For Littlewoods, he added: "If the door is open, then there is only a sliver of light."

The Times, Business, Page: 49

Work experience

The Evening Standard reports on a scheme run by the City of London Corporation which offers employability skills and work experience to "Neets". An example is given of an individual who gained work experience at Charles Russell.

Evening Standard, Page: 60

Recruitment drive

Pannone is planning a major recruitment drive as the Manchester firm ramps up its white label arm, Affinity Solutions. Andrew Morton, who heads Affinity, said it will look to take its workforce from 85 to between 150 and 200 during this financial year.

Manchester Evening News, Page: 37


Russell Jones & Walker has appointed Simon Wilson as a Manchester-based Principal Lawyer to lead the development of the law firm's catastrophic and serious injury work in the north.
Cobbetts has announced a number of promotions in its Manchester office. Duncan Hope, in commercial litigation, and Angela Bhaseen, real estate, have become partners. Helena Davies, in property litigation, Paul Crighton, banking, and Phil Moran, real estate, have been made directors. Elsewhere, Richard Bate, a private client partner at the Manchester office of Brabners Chaffe Street, has been appointed to lead a new business wealth protection unit set up by the law firm.

Manchester Evening News, Page: 37



Leveson worry

The World Press Freedom Committee has warned that new legislation aimed at British newspapers could be exploited by other countries. In a letter to Lord Justice Leveson, the body suggested that Western law was used to justify repressive legislation elsewhere. Ronald Koven, its European representative, said: "There is no need for special laws or legal regimes to be enacted against the press." Meanwhile, A Sun journalist has been arrested by police investigating alleged computer hacking. Scotland Yard said he was held at his north London home by officers from Operation Tuleta on Thursday.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 14  

European appeal

The convicted murderer Jeremy Bamber and two other life prisoners have won the right to a European appeal over whether they can be kept in jail for the rest of their lives. The hearing will test if UK law allowing the most dangerous offenders to be sentenced to whole-life tariffs breaches human rights. The case, due to go before the grand chamber of the ECHR in November, comes after Europe’s human rights judges ruled in January that it was not "grossly disproportionate" for Britain's most dangerous and notorious criminals to be imprisoned indefinitely.

Daily Express, Page: 17   The Independent, page: 31   Daily Mail, Page: 41



Pension tax relief

Research by Prudential has found that 59% of higher-rate taxpayers are failing to claim the tax relief on pension contributions that they are entitled to. Another 19% did not know whether they had claimed tax relief or not. Only 22% said they had definitely claimed all the relief they were entitled to. Matthew Stephens of the Prudential said: "It's astonishing that so many people fail to claim this valuable tax relief, which could help enormously in meeting the cost of retirement."

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2



Retail sales increase

ONS figures have shown that UK retail sales volumes edged up by just 0.1% in June from the month before. Compared with June 2011, sales volumes were up 1.6%. The ONS said that reduced prices in clothing and footwear stores was one of the main reasons for the rise. But it said the weather in June, with heavy rainfall and strong winds, had contributed to a contraction in sales in the food sector. Sales by value fell 0.5% last month, compared with May, but increased 1.9% on the year, the latest figures showed. Store price inflation slowed to 0.3% in June, the lowest since October 2009. Elsewhere, a report by IHS Global Insight has forecast that the Olympics will lift overall GDP by around 0.3% in the third quarter of the year. As a result, it predicts growth of 0.6% between July and September - but warned the improvement will be temporary. Howard Archer of IHS, said: "This will be much needed growth for the UK economy as it is highly likely it contracted for a third successive quarter in the second quarter of 2012."

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3

IMF warning

The government should slow the pace of budget cuts next year if UK growth does not recover, the IMF has said. Its annual report on the UK says that tax rises and spending cuts introduced since spring 2010 have cut growth by a total of 2.5% over the past two years. The IMF gave a summary of the report in May. Since then, the government has introduced growth measures, such as providing funding for lending. The IMF praised these moves. But it added that if growth did not pick up, other measures, such as temporary tax cuts and more means-testing of benefits, should be considered. The Fund also warned of a possible 10-15% correction in UK house prices.

Financial Times, Page: 2   The Times  The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1   The Guardian, Page: 2   Daily Mail, Page: 6   Daily Mirror, Page: 2   Independent i, Page: 7









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