Case details

R v Harkin (Appellant) (Northern Ireland)

Case ID: UKSC 2016/0134

Case summary

Issue(s)

Can a confiscation order under s156 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 be made by a Crown Court in circumstances where the defendant is convicted in proceedings before that Crown Court of an offence or offences which were committed before 24 March 2003, given the stipulations of the commencement, transitional and savings provisions set out in Articles 2, 4 and 11 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Commencement No 5, Transitional Provisions, Savings and Amendments) Order 2003?

Facts

The first Appellant dishonestly claimed Income Support from September 1990 and Jobseekers Allowance from July 2010, declaring herself to be single when she was in fact married to the second Appellant. The second Appellant was convicted of dishonestly claiming Income Support and Housing Benefit, having also failed to disclose that he was married to and living with the first Appellant. The first Appellant was imprisoned for 5 months, and the second Appellant for 8 months. Proceedings for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 were commenced, with the prosecution alleging that the total payments made in the relevant period to the first Appellant was £76,154.59 which, adjusted for inflation, came to a total benefit of £84,996.30. Relevant payments to the second Appellant, adjusted for inflation, were £53,937.12. On 2 July 2014, the judge made confiscation orders in the sum of £38,814.77 against both appellants representing the recoverable property of their half share in a jointly owned property in Derry. The Appellants appealed against the confiscation orders.

Judgment appealed

[2015] NICA 31

Parties

Appellant(s)

Michael Harkin

Respondent(s)

Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland

Appeal

Justices

Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes, Lady Black

Hearing start date

23 Nov 2017

Hearing finish date

23 Nov 2017