Umar Azmeh comments on R v Peers (Mia) [2021] EWCA Crim. 1677 in the Criminal Law Review

Umar Azmeh comments on R v Peers (Mia) [2021] EWCA Crim. 1677 in the Criminal Law Review

BCL associate Umar Azmeh’s case comment on R v Peers (Mia) [2021] EWCA Crim. 1677 has been published in the latest edition of the Criminal Law Review.

*Here is a short extract from the article:

In the case of R v Peers [2021] EWCA Crim. 1677, the appellant pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition and was sentenced to 5 years’ detention in a young offender institution. She appealed, asserting that the mandatory minimum sentence ought not to be passed as exceptional circumstances applied, namely that it did not cross her mind that the bag she had been asked to store contained a firearm or ammunition, although she was suspicious of its contents. The Court of Appeal (Coulson LJ and Jeremy Baker J) was troubled by the use of deliberate ignorance to defeat the mandatory minimum term but noted that the case of R v Boateng [2011] EWCA Crim. 861 was essentially on all fours with the case before it, and in that case deliberate ignorance was held to vitiate the mandatory minimum term (Boating suspected that something in a bag he was tasked with storing was “bad” but that he did not know or suspect that it was a gun). Umar’s Case Comment analyses the Court of Appeal’s decision, including the implications of the law as it presently stands in relation to exceptional circumstances.

*This article was first published by Thomson Reuters in March 2022. If you wish to read the full article, please visit Thomson Reuters Westlaw website.

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Umar Azmeh is a solicitor at BCL, specialising in business crime, financial crime, and regulatory investigations. He has significant experience of criminal investigations involving money laundering and bribery, and has worked with clients on sanctions, tax, and proceeds of crime issues. He has expertise in commercial litigation, including civil fraud with an international dimension, and particularly where there is a criminal aspect. He has also advised both corporations and individuals on potential liability under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Fraud Act 2006, and the Bribery Act 2010, which includes drafting relevant policies for corporate clients.

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