UNDUE LENIENCY

[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] 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.

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.

[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] NICA 26

[2019] NICA 26
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.

[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 934

[2019] EWCA Crim 934
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, Picken J, Sir David Foskett)
21 May 2019

A total sentence of six years and six months’ imprisonment for aggravated burglary, wounding with intent and having an offensive weapon was unduly lenient and a term of nine years was substituted.

[2019] NICA 23

[2019] NICA 23
CA (NI) (Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ, Treacy LJ)
16 May 2019

A sentence of five months’ imprisonment which had been imposed on a father following his conviction for sexually assaulting his two-year-old son was unduly lenient. The offence merited a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment together with the imposition of a sexual offences prevention order.

[2019] EWCA Crim 816

[2019] EWCA Crim 816
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson)
2 May 2019

As the Attorney General had a statutory responsibility to personally consider whether sentences should be referred to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient, it was inimical to the public interest for judges, when exercising their discretion as to the provision of a transcript of a sentence hearing, to restrict or limit the provision of such information on such a request from the Attorney General.

[2019] EWCA Crim 896

[2019] EWCA Crim 896
CA (Crim Div) (Sharp LJ, William Davis J, Judge Leonard QC)
16 April 2019

A total sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months imposed on an offender following his guilty pleas to criminal damage, putting a young girl and her family in fear of violence by harassment and perverting the course of public justice was unduly lenient. Both the harassment and perverting the course of justice offences were almost the most serious of their kind; they were persistent, sophisticated, had caused great harm and merited immediate custodial sentences. The court quashed the sentence and replaced it with one of four years and nine months’ imprisonment.

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