MINIMUM TERM

[2019] EWCA Crim 2289
[2019] EWCA Crim 2289
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, William Davis J, Johnson J)
12 December 2019

On an ordinary reading of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 s.1(1), an appellate court had jurisdiction to entertain a defendant’s appeal against conviction on one count on an indictment, even though it had previously determined, on its merits, an appeal by the defendant against a conviction on another count on the same indictment. However, that jurisdiction was to be exercised sparingly and with caution.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2095
[2019] EWCA Crim 2095
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, William Davis J, Judge Lodder QC)
19 November 2019

A judge had erred when imposing a life sentence on an offender already serving an extended determinate sentence, in setting the minimum term to run from the expiry of the custodial element of the extended sentence rather than from the offender’s earliest release date from that sentence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1568
[2019] EWCA Crim 1568
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Warby J, Edis J)
17 September 2019

A challenge, by way of judicial review, by a young offender convicted of the murder and rape of a 14-year-old girl, to an excepting direction which discharged a reporting restriction order imposed under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 s.45(3), was refused.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1466
[2019] EWCA Crim 1466
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Julian Knowles J, Judge Michael Chambers QC)
16 August 2019

A trial judge had been wrong to allow the prosecution to admit part of a defendant’s defence statement at trial. It would not have helped the jury to resolve an issue in the case, as required by the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 s.6E(5)(b), and it was not clear that the defendant had changed his defence; an indication in the statement that he questioned the identification evidence was ambiguous.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1491
[2019] EWCA Crim 1491
CA (Crim Div) (Hickinbottom LJ, Carr J, Andrews J)
14 August 2019

An offender was entitled to receive the full one-third credit in respect of his guilty pleas to three offences of domestic burglary. None of the sentences, after full credit was applied, would be less than 80% of the mandatory minimum term of three years.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1283
[2019] EWCA Crim 1283
CA (Crim Div) (Hallett LJ, McGowan J, Sir John Royce)
25 July 2019

The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction for murder as it could not be said that a direction given by the trial judge in answer to a question asked by the jury during their deliberations was inadequate. Minimum terms of 30 years’ imprisonment were also held to be appropriate where the offenders had systematically ill-treated the victim, who had been employed as their nanny, before her death in appalling circumstances.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1232
[2019] EWCA Crim 1232
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 859
[2019] EWCA Crim 859
CA (Crim Div) (Andrew Baker J, Sir John Royce)
3 May 2019

A judge had erred in sentencing a repeat “third strike” domestic burglar on the basis that a minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment should be imposed, which was in excess of the minimum sentencing provisions in the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.111 and beyond the top of the relevant category range in the sentencing guidelines. The sentence was reduced from five years’ imprisonment to 44 months, taking into account the offender’s guilty plea.

[2019] EWCA Crim 798
[2019] EWCA Crim 798
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Picken J, Farbey J)
16 April 2019

The minimum term on life sentences imposed on two sisters following a guilty plea and a separate conviction respectively for engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006 s.5 could not be challenged, save that insufficient weight had been given to the younger sister being only 15 when she began the course of action which led to the offence, and only 12 when she was subject to radicalisation by her mother, which justified a reduction of two years.

[2019] NICA 18
[2019] NICA 18
CA (NI) (Deeny LJ, McCloskey J, Sir Ronald Weatherup)
2 April 2019

In determining the minimum term of imprisonment for a mandatory life sentence for murder, a judge had not erred in adopting the higher starting point of 16 years under the Practice Statement (Sup Ct: Crime: Life Sentences) [2002] 1 W.L.R. 1789 given the severity of the injuries inflicted on the victim before his death. Although, in principle, an intention to cause grievous bodily harm rather than to kill could attract some mitigation, the judge had correctly reasoned that the severity of the violence had not mitigated the offender’s culpability.

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