CA (Crim Div) (Lindblom LJ, Hilliard J, Judge Flewitt QC)
6 May 2020
Where an offender had pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility, a judge had erred in assessing his “retained responsibility” as medium to high under the sentencing guideline. Although the judge concluded that the offending was caused by the offender’s anger, the psychiatric evidence clearly indicated that the most significant factor was his mental illness and that his anger at the time of the offence was not extraneous to his mental illness, but a manifestation of it. The offender’s retained responsibility was low, and it was appropriate to impose a hospital order under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 and a restriction order under s.41.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Cockerill J, Judge Bate)
19 November 2019
A sentencing judge had erred in failing to reach a conclusion on the category of culpability under the Manslaughter Definitive Guideline 2018 of a woman convicted of manslaughter for stabbing to death her partner after a history of domestic violence. A category and starting point should be decided before consideration of the aggravating and mitigating factors.
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.
CA (Crim Div) (Hickinbottom LJ, Andrews J, Judge Mayo)
13 June 2019
A sentencing judge had erred in imposing a sentence of life imprisonment, with a hospital and limitation direction under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.45A, on an offender who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility and whose retained responsibility for the offence fell into the lowest category. Any punitive element in the sentence would have no force, as it was less than the period required for his treatment in a secure hospital in any event. Instead, a hospital order under s.37 with a restriction from discharge under s.41 would have significant benefits for the offender’s rehabilitation.
QBD (Admin) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Farbey J)
8 May 2019
The Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision not to prosecute for manslaughter the boyfriend of a woman who had died after falling from the balcony of her fifth-floor flat was reasonable where the case would have relied heavily on circumstantial evidence. The conflicting views expressed by highly experienced prosecutors as to whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed showed that although the woman might have fallen while trying to escape violence from the boyfriend, other scenarios were equally plausible, and the different theories would raise too much doubt for a prosecution to succeed.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, William Davis J, Judge Goldstone QC)
21 February 2019
An extended sentence of 20 years, comprising a 17-year custodial term and a three-year extended licence period, imposed on a young offender following guilty pleas to manslaughter, threats to kill, affray, criminal damage and having offensive weapons, namely acid and a lethally adapted Samurai sword, was not manifestly excessive. The series of offences had been wicked and committed without regard for life or limb and the offender had demonstrated a serious level of criminal maturity.
CA (Crim Div) (Green LJ, Stuart-Smith J, Judge Paul Thomas QC)
21 February 2019
Parties wishing the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) to view video footage should liaise with the court to ensure that the video format was compatible with the court’s technology. In relation to lengthy footage, the parties should prepare a short document summarising and/or indexing what was to be found on each video and identifying the points in time when the salient events occurred.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Sweeney J, Judge Joseph QC)
6 February 2019
The court considered the extent to which time spent on remand in local authority accommodation under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 s.91(3) could be taken into account when passing sentence.
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Nicol J, Sir Brian Keith)
31 January 2019
The applicant’s conviction for manslaughter, arising from the killing of a 15-year-old girl in 1976, would be quashed given that recent DNA evidence had led to the identification of the true killer.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Nicola Davies J, Haddon-Cave J)
3 May 2018
A judge had failed to have proper regard to the sentencing guidelines for children and young people when sentencing an 18-year-old for an offence of manslaughter committed when she was 17. The sentence imposed of nine years’ detention did not reflect the age, immaturity and resultant culpability of the offender at the date of the offence, and was reduced to five years’ detention.