Samantha Riggs successfully argues in the Court of Appeal s11(5) POCA 2002 applies only to orders made on or after 1 June 2015
Samantha Riggs, instructed by Quinn Melville, appealed the decision of HHJ Campbell on 8th October 2015 to refuse to hear an application for an extension of time (6 months to 12 months) to pay a confiscation order pursuant to s.11(5) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’). The original confiscation order was imposed on 8th April 2015 namely prior to the substitution of s.11(5) POCA following the commencement of s.5 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (’the 2015 Act’). It was argued by the Crown that the judge had no jurisdiction to hear the application for an extension of time because the substituted s.11(5) of POCA now in force limits time to pay to 6 months. It was argued on behalf of the defendant that given the absence of any transitional provisions in the 2015 Act, the Court should look to s.16 of the Interpretation Act 1978 which preserves the rights of the defendant under the previous regime. To suggest otherwise would be perverse and unfair. Mrs Justice Carr handing down the judgement of the Court agreed with the arguments advanced by the defence recognising the unfairness and remitted the case back to Kingston Crown Court for the court to hear the application to extend time to pay. Although time has already elapsed, the application remains of importance to the defendant because circa £50,000 of interest has accrued during this period.