That-was-the-weekThe Ministry of Justice referred an internal audit to the Serious Fraud Office, following allegations employees of contractor Serco falsified documents to make it appear as if prisoners had been delivered to court on time, a key indicator of their contractual performance, and also to review G4S’s handling of the Ministry’s electronic tagging contracts.

“The SFO will consider whether an investigation is required into either or both suppliers. As in any other case, the decision as to whether an investigation is launched rests with the SFO.”

This week the MoJ also approved compensation for the two men wrongly convicted and imprisoned for the murder of Rachel Manning. They had re-applied for the third time since 2007 after Shahidul Ahmed was convicted on the basis of DNA evidence earlier in the month.

Lord Justice Leveson was promoted to become President of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court, following Sir John Thomas’ appointment as the new Lord Chief Justice. He will take up the position on 1 October 2013.

The Oxfordshire assistant coroner concluded that the Ministry of Defence could have done more to prevent the death of an army reservist who died in Iraq from heat stroke. It was ruled that the risk to soldiers would have been reduced by a clear policy on heat illness. She said:

“Information and briefing to soldiers on hydration was inconsistent and the advice … given to all soldiers inadequate for the conditions in Iraq. Commanders and medics were largely unaware of the formal policy on heat illness.”

The Court of Appeal reviewed the sentence given to ‘Facebook groomer’ Husaini Master. The defendant had groomed two young women through Facebook, and then sexually assaulted them after taking them to hotel rooms and drugging them. Aggravating factors were held to include that he had assaulted them whilst they were unconscious, vulnerable and defenceless, the fact he had filmed the assaults on his mobile phone, and that by pleading not guilty he had put his victims through the ordeal of a trial. His sentence of six and a half years was held to be unduly lenient and was replaced with one of nine years.

At Norwich Crown Court two men pleaded guilty to affray after being involved in a street brawl whilst dressed as Oompa Loompas. In mitigation, counsel for one of the defendants argued:

“Clearly they were not dressed for trouble.

“My client’s braces were hanging down so it is easy to tell on the CCTV which of the Oompa Loompas he was. He did not start the violence and is seen walking away.”

One defendant was sentenced to a community order of 240 hours of unpaid work, whilst the other was sentenced to 10 months detention in a young offender institution.