R v Varma  UKSC 42
10 Wednesday Oct 2012
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 1585
The respondent was the subject of a confiscation order made by a Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Pt 2 for proceeds from an offence which he had received a conditional discharge for. The Court of Appeal quashed the confiscation order following the decision in R v Clarke  EWCA Crim 1074 that as there was no reference to confiscation orders in the exceptions listed under POCA 2002, s 12(7) (which the Court would not be prevented from imposing on an offender subject to a discharge), the Court should be prevented from imposing them on an offender subject to an absolute or conditional discharge.
The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal. When the criteria of POCA 2002, s 6 were fulfilled, the Crown Court not only had the power to make a confiscation order but was actively under a duty to do so even where the offender had been discharged following conviction, unless the victim had or intended to start civil proceedings for damages against the offender. Although there were no express references to confiscation orders under s 12(7) this did not nullify the Court’s duty to make such an order.