AGGRAVATING FEATURES

[2020] EWCA Crim 360
[2020] EWCA Crim 360
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Spencer J, Sir David Foskett)
11 March 2020

The absence of specific references to time and location was not an omission or defect in the definitive guideline on unlawful act manslaughter: the list of aggravating factors in the guideline was described as “non-exhaustive”. In every case, there were a number of potentially aggravating factors and it was for the judge to identify them and accord them the appropriate weight.

[2020] EWCA Crim 554
[2020] EWCA Crim 554
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Lewis J, May J)
20 February 2020

Suspended sentences of two years’ imprisonment for a robbery committed against a vulnerable disabled man in his home had been unduly lenient. The robbery had been planned, the victim had been targeted because of his perceived vulnerability and both offenders had previous convictions including, in one offender’s case, for a very similar offence committed against a vulnerable person. Despite the offenders’ considerable personal mitigation, the appropriate sentences were three years’ immediate imprisonment.

[2020] EWCA Crim 147
[2020] EWCA Crim 147
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Judge Wendy Joseph QC)
12 February 2020

Where a person imported and dealt in Class A drugs over a long period, it was inescapable that an immediate custodial sentence of some length would be imposed, regardless of whether that person was of positive good character with every expectation of good behaviour in future. A judge’s imposition of a suspended sentence in such circumstances had therefore been inappropriate.

CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Jacobs J, Judge Munro QC)
19 November 2019

A sentence of 22 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, imposed on an offender for making threats to kill his girlfriend was unduly lenient where he had a previous conviction for domestic violence against a different woman, for which only a few days earlier he had been given a suspended sentence. The appropriate sentence was 30 months’ imprisonment.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1881
[2019] EWCA Crim 1881
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, William Davis J, Sir Kenneth Parker)
25 October 2019

A total sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment, comprised of consecutive sentences of seven years for five offences of human trafficking and five years for four offences of supplying drugs, was appropriate for a 21-year-old offender considering his relative youth and the fact that he had no real criminal history.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1825
[2019] EWCA Crim 1825
CA (Crim Div) (Flaux LJ, Goose J, Julian Knowles J)
17 October 2019

Permission to appeal against sentence and convictions for manslaughter and child cruelty by the victim’s father were refused where there had been no error in the admission of bad character evidence at trial and the 10-year sentence of imprisonment was not manifestly excessive.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1815
[2019] EWCA Crim 1815
CA (Crim Div) (Spencer J, Edis J)
26 September 2019

A sentence of three and a half years’ imprisonment for inflicting grievous bodily harm where the victim had been in the first trimester of pregnancy was not manifestly excessive given the seriousness of the injury caused with a single punch and the context of domestic violence.

[2019] EWHC 2015 (Admin)
[2019] EWHC 2015 (Admin)
DC (Hickinbottom LJ, Butcher J)
25 July 2019

It would be extremely rare for a court considering a guilty plea to find that a case presented by the prosecution as being aggravated by sexual orientation discrimination under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.146, where that was disputed by the defence, did not require a Newton hearing because the existence of that factor would not materially affect the sentence. In any event, such a hearing was likely to be necessary because of the requirement under s.146(3)(b) to state in open court that homophobic circumstances had been present in an offence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1507
[2019] EWCA Crim 1507
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Picken J, Judge Michael Chambers QC)
23 July 2019

A sentencing judge had erred in double-counting the aggravating factors of an offence of manslaughter by taking them into account to assess culpability and then again to increase the sentence from the starting point.

[2019] EWCA Crim 896
[2019] EWCA Crim 896
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, William Davis J, Judge Leonard QC)
16 April 2019

A total sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months imposed on an offender following his guilty pleas to criminal damage, putting a young girl and her family in fear of violence by harassment and perverting the course of public justice was unduly lenient. Both the harassment and perverting the course of justice offences were almost the most serious of their kind; they were persistent, sophisticated, had caused great harm and merited immediate custodial sentences. The court quashed the sentence and replaced it with one of four years and nine months’ imprisonment.

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