Recent Judicial Decisions

AuthorDamian Carney
Published date01 December 2013
Date01 December 2013
Subject MatterRecent Judicial Decisions
Legal Correspondent
Covert surveillance of suspects in police vehicle
R v Plunkett and others [2012] EWCA Crim 261
Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Sir John Thomas P, Swift, MacDuff JJ
13 March 2012
On 13 March 2012, the Appellants were convicted of aggrav-
ated burglary, false imprisonment and possession of a f‌irearm
at Southampton Crown Court. They were sentenced to
imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of
ten years specif‌ied. Their application for leave and appeal
against conviction and sentence was referred by the Registrar
of Criminal Appeals to the full Court of Appeal, Criminal
Keywords: admissibility; evidence; covert recording of
defendants’ conversation in back of police van; ‘private
vehicle’; ‘intrusive recording’; unfair evidence; right to
legal representation; ss 26–32 of Regulation of Investigat-
ory Powers Act 2000; ss 58 and 78 of the Police and
Criminal Evidence Act 1984; Article 6 and 8 of the Euro-
pean Convention on Human Rights; Code of Practice for
Covert Surveillance and Property Interference
The facts
Whilst in jail for other offences, the police arrested the three
appellants for aggravated burglary and related offences, which
related to them, along with a fourth person, impersonating police
off‌icers to gain entry to a residential property. During this
robbery, they tied up members of the household and threatened
to inject the head of the household with a syringe which they
claimed was HIV-infected, in order to gain access to the family’s
safe. Before leaving, the gang threatened to kill the family if they
complained to the police. The family did eventually complain to
the police, and a search of one of the appellants’ garages
revealed items used in the burglary, including handcuffs and
police equipment. The police told the defendants that they were
340 The Police Journal, Volume 86 (2013)
DOI: 10.1350/pojo.2013.86.4.643

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