Perjury defendant loses anonymity

Appeal leads to ruling by Court of Appeal on key provision in Sexual Offences Amendment Act 1992

The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in R v Jemma Beale, an appeal against an order prohibiting the identification of a defendant in a trial for perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Jemma Beale was on trial at Southwark Crown Court for offences relating to false allegations that she had been the victim of sexual offences. The trial Judge held that she was entitled to anonymity under the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 1992, and made an order prohibition her identification in reports of the proceedings under s4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

News Group Newspapers Ltd successfully appealed against the trial Judge’s order to the Court of Appeal (Sharp LJ, Popplewell J and Warby J) on Friday 9 June 2017. Sharp LJ gave an ex tempore judgment, the publication of which was postponed until verdict in Ms Beale’s trial, and Ms Beale was convicted on 6 July 2017. There is a 5RB case report of the judgment.

Adam Wolanski and Gervase de Wilde of 5RB acted for News Group Newspapers Ltd.


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