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Massage Parlour Not Disorderly House

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No, not really! To save the effort of those who can't or won't do their own research, I think that the nub of the decision lies here:

Delivering the judgment of the court in R v Gu and R v Court [2012] EWCA Crim 133, Lord Judge said “an ancient common law offence should not normally be expanded beyond well established parameters by judicial decision”.

He said that, on the evidence available in this case, the conviction of the couple represented a “significant widening of the ambit” of the offence.

“The researches of counsel have not found anything in the old books which suggest any case where, on facts remotely similar to those present in this case, there has ever been a prosecution, let alone a conviction for the offence of keeping a disorderly house.

“We have reached the unhesitating conclusion that the circumstances described here, taken at their highest, were not capable of falling within the scope of the common law offence.

“The criminality which should have been alleged was that the appellants allowed the premises of which they were tenants to be used for prostitution. That however cannot be an appropriate basis for upholding the use of the common law charge.”

CPS screwed up (yet again)! So what is new? The Common Law offence is rarely charged, so no big deal, and, sadly, the accused has no choice as to what he's charged with!

VMT for the link.

PS Not the "Law Lords" as was, now replaced by the Supreme Court, but only the Court of Appeal!

Edited by Irgendeiner

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No, not really! To save the effort of those who can't or won't do their own research, I think that the nub of the decision lies here:

Delivering the judgment of the court in R v Gu and R v Court [2012] EWCA Crim 133, Lord Judge said “an ancient common law offence should not normally be expanded beyond well established parameters by judicial decision”.

He said that, on the evidence available in this case, the conviction of the couple represented a “significant widening of the ambit” of the offence.

“The researches of counsel have not found anything in the old books which suggest any case where, on facts remotely similar to those present in this case, there has ever been a prosecution, let alone a conviction for the offence of keeping a disorderly house.

“We have reached the unhesitating conclusion that the circumstances described here, taken at their highest, were not capable of falling within the scope of the common law offence.

“The criminality which should have been alleged was that the appellants allowed the premises of which they were tenants to be used for prostitution. That however cannot be an appropriate basis for upholding the use of the common law charge.”

CPS screwed up (yet again)! So what is new? The Common Law offence is rarely charged, so no big deal, and, sadly, the accused has no choice as to what he's charged with!

VMT for the link.

PS Not the "Law Lords" as was, now replaced by the Supreme Court, but only the Court of Appeal!

Thank you for the prompt response. I always welcome your comments and those of Silverado on legal matters.

The changes to the appeal procedures had escaped me but there again I thought for years that "The Master of the Rolls" was the bloke who organised the judge's car pool.

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Is there anything new in this ruling ......?

No.

The offence is rarely prosecuted. I think that there are no more than a couple of prosecutions a year.

The full judgment is here:

http://www.bailii.or...m/2012/133.html

It's quite clear that both the police and the CPS cocked up, and the Court of Appeal were highly critical of the way that the Crown Court judge dealt with sentencing.

The offence is usually only used to prosecute cases in which premises are used by a single prostitute (and so do not constitute a brothel) or for indecent or offensive activity of a sexual nature not involving prostitution eg. SM services, peep shows and indecent performances.

in the early 1980's Cynthia Payne was initially sentenced to 18 months for the offence (reduced on appeal to 6 months).

The way that I read the decision (in conjunction with others including R v Tan [1983]) is that acts of a fairly routine nature will not come within the offence, although services of a "particularly revolting and perverted kind" will.

I doubt that the CPS will learn anything from the experience.

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I am much obliged to my friend for the link to the full report - HH Judge Mensah is female, and without wishing to be framed for a hate crime, I would venture from her name that she is ethnic (as are we all, but you know what I mean) and accordingly the Judicial Appointments gang ticked several boxes by appointing her - alas their enthusiasm for appointing an ethnic woman to the bench allowed them to overlook her lack of ability!

Aaaaaagh!

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