SENTENCING

[2020] NICA 1

[2020] NICA 1
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.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2286

[2019] EWCA Crim 2286
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Fulford LJ, Holroyde LJ)
20 December 2019

In conjoined appeals against sentence brought by two young offenders and an adult offender, the court considered the proper approach to sentencing offenders who suffered from autism or other mental health conditions or disorders.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2303

[2019] EWCA Crim 2303
CA (Crim Div) (Garnham J, Judge Picton)
13 December 2019

A recorder had been entitled to conclude that an offence of handling stolen goods was a culpability A case under the sentencing guidelines on the basis that the stolen car had been acquired “very recently” where it had been stolen 11 days before the offender’s arrest.

[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 2202

[2019] EWCA Crim 2202
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Sweeney J, Sir Roderick Evans)
11 December 2019

Concurrent sentences of 40 months’ imprisonment imposed following guilty pleas to three counts of grievous bodily harm with intent was not manifestly excessive where the injuries were in the form of body modification procedures carried out with the victims’ consent. Although such consent could not provide a defence, it did place the offences in the “lower culpability” category for sentencing purposes, notwithstanding the use of a knife.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2174

[2019] EWCA Crim 2174
CA (Crim Div) (Dingemans LJ, Lambert J, Judge Mark Brown)
6 December 2019

Convictions for assault by penetration and sexual assault were safe, despite inadmissible opinion evidence from prosecution witnesses having been adduced before the jury. The total sentence was, however, reduced from eight years’ imprisonment to five years to reflect the overall criminality involved.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2238

[2019] EWCA Crim 2238
CA (Crim Div) (Green LJ, Nicol J, Judge Walden-Smith)
3 December 2019

A restraining order that prohibited an offender from entering the town of Stevenage for 10 years was reasonable, necessary, and served the legitimate purpose of protecting the offender’s former partner from violence. Although restraining orders tended to focus upon specific roads or premises rather than whole towns, that did not mean that in an appropriate case a broader restriction might not be appropriate. The evaluation was always fact- and context-specific.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2052

[2019] EWCA Crim 2052
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Nicklin J, Sir Kenneth Parker)
26 November 2019

An individual’s conviction for two counts of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue were safe. Although there had been failures in the prosecution’s disclosure process, they had not been in bad faith and they had been cured by the time of the trial. The prosecution had also been entitled not to investigate further the allegation that there had been another conspirator, due to insufficient evidence against him.

[2019] NICA 66

[2019] NICA 66
CA (NI) (Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ, Keegan J)
25 November 2019

The Court of Appeal (Northern Ireland) considered the appropriate reduction to a sentence when an offender pleaded guilty at arraignment but did not indicate his intention to plead guilty at the outset. In particular, it considered whether the attitude of the offender at interview should be taken into account, and whether the present guidance was consistent with the terms of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 art.33(1). It also considered whether there was an impact on the level of discount if the offender was caught red-handed or if there was no viable defence.

[2019] NICA 64

[2019] NICA 64
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.

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