CUSTODIAL SENTENCES

[2020] EWCA Civ 9
[2020] EWCA Civ 9
CA (Civ Div) (Underhill LJ, David Richards LJ, Leggatt LJ)
23 January 2020

The fact that an injunction against “persons unknown” referred to the requirement for an “intention” to impede lawful activities did not render the injunction insufficiently clear or certain to be enforceable by committal to prison following a breach. “Intention” did not have any special legal meaning and was not difficult for a member of the public to understand.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2137
[2019] EWCA Crim 2137
CA (Crim Div) (Elisabeth Laing J, Garnham J)
24 September 2019

A total sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment was appropriate for the offences of burglary and criminal damage where the offender had flooded a building causing £33,000 worth of damage. A judge’s early indication to counsel that he might consider a suspended sentence had not amounted to a Goodyear hearing whereby an accused could obtain an indication as to the sentence that would be passed in the event of a guilty plea, as the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 r.3.23, including that an application had to be made in writing, had not been met.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1538
[2019] EWCA Crim 1538
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Stuart-Smith J)
3 September 2019

A sentence of 16 months’ imprisonment imposed on a man in his early 20s who had shared indecent images of children with workmates on a building site, but had done so for shock value and had no unhealthy interest in children, was suspended on appeal. An immediate custodial sentence was disproportionate where the possession and distribution had been limited, he had acted out of extreme stupidity, was of previous good character and where his mother was dependent on him financially and as her carer.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1296
[2019] EWCA Crim 1296
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, Warby J, Judge Potter)
9 July 2019

A sentence of two years’ imprisonment for possession of a Taser disguised as a torch was upheld where proper account had been taken of exceptional and mitigating circumstances justifying a departure from the mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years’ imprisonment pursuant to the Firearms Act 1968 s.51. A deterrent sentence was required, and in view of the appellant’s bad character there was no justification for suspending the sentence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 936
[2019] EWCA Crim 936
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Picken J, Sir David Foskett)
23 May 2019

The appropriate total sentence for two offences of sexual assault and one of blackmail was an immediate custodial term of three years. When imposing a suspended sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, the sentencing judge had given too much weight to mitigating factors, including the fact that the offender had Asperger’s Syndrome, and insufficient weight to the seriousness of the blackmail offence. He had also erred in finding that the victim’s apparent consent to sexual activity on one occasion had lessened the seriousness of the subsequent sexual assaults.

[2019] EWCA Crim 833
[2019] EWCA Crim 833
CA (Crim Div) (Nicola Davies LJ, Spencer J, Morris J)
2 May 2019

The imposition of an immediate custodial sentence of 20 months’ imprisonment for causing serious injury by dangerous driving was appropriate where the offender had engaged in a prolonged, deliberate course of very bad driving, aggravated by the consumption of a substantial amount of alcohol, resulting in gross impairment.

[2019] EWCA Crim 928
[2019] EWCA Crim 928
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Sweeney J, Dingemans J)
11 April 2019

A suspended sentence, rather than a two-month custodial sentence, was imposed for an individual who had fitted a jamming device to his car to prevent speed measurement. The case was similar to R. v Twizell (Michael) [2019] EWCA Crim 356 and there was no evidence that the offence was so prevalent locally that a deterrent sentence was justified.

[2019] EWCA Civ 613
[2019] EWCA Civ 613
CA (Civ Div) (Henderson LJ, Nicola Davies LJ, Rose LJ)
10 April 2019

The Court of Appeal reduced a nine-month sentence for the breach of two freezing orders to one of six months’ imprisonment in light of the effect the contemnor’s imprisonment was having on her 13-year-old son. However, the disruption to the relationship between mother and son did not justify the suspension of the sentence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 175
[2019] EWCA Crim 175
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Martin Spencer J, Judge Wall QC)
5 February 2019

A sentence of 12 months’ immediate imprisonment for an offender who had pleaded guilty to affray arising from an altercation between football supporters should have been suspended. Had the judge obtained a pre-sentence report and correctly considered the relevant sentencing guidelines, the sentence would have been suspended as the offender had a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, a strong personal mitigation and immediate custody had significant harmful impact on his dependents.

[2019] EWHC 74 (Admin)
[2019] EWHC 74 (Admin)
QBD (Admin) (Nicol J)
22 January 2019

A sentence expressed in a European Arrest Warrant as ‘4 months and 330 days’ could properly be regarded in the light of further information as a single sentence for an offence of theft, enhanced because of previous offending.

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