CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Whipple J, Judge Lucraft QC)
23 June 2020
A life sentence with a minimum term of 23 years, imposed in accordance with the transitional provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.22, was unduly lenient in respect of an offender who had murdered eight people in a revenge-motivated arson attack. The appropriate term was not less than 27 years.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Cutts J, Tipples J)
30 April 2020
A suspended sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment was unduly lenient in the case of a 47-year-old offender who had pleaded guilty to offences of sexual activity with a 15-year-old child and inciting her to engage in sexual activity. The appropriate sentence was a suspended custodial term of 24 months. When considering the suspension of a custodial sentence, prison conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic were a relevant factor and sentencing courts should take account of the fact that the impact of a custodial sentence was likely to be heavier during the emergency.
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.
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 (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, McCloskey LJ)
8 January 2020
The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland gave guidance on the correct approach to sentencing for fraud and theft where an offender was in a position of trust.
CA (NI) (Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ, Keegan J)
22 November 2019
Although a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment for possession of prohibited weapons and possession of guns and ammunition was unduly lenient, it did not follow that the sentence had to be quashed. A judge erred in reducing the sentence to take into account the guilty plea and then reduce again to take into account the mitigation. However, it was unfair to increase the sentence which would require the offender to return to prison especially as in the instant case the Prosecution sought to advance a new case.
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.
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Warby J, Julian Knowles J)
27 June 2019
In a case of domestic burglary which attracted the minimum sentencing provisions of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.111, there were no particular circumstances which made it unjust to apply the minimum sentencing provisions. Many years had passed since the commission of the first burglary which qualified under s.111, but not since commission of the second, and the offender had committed a succession of other criminal offences in the meantime. It was to his credit that he had shown a willingness to address his drug habit, but there was no evidence capable of providing a solid foundation for saying that there was a realistic prospect of successful rehabilitation.
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, McBride J)
31 May 2019
A custodial sentence of 9 years and 6 months and a further probation period of one year imposed on a 91-year-old former monk for historical offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery was unduly lenient, and was replaced with a custodial term of 12 years.
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.