Practice and Procedure

ATTORNEY-GENERAL v (1) CCE (2) NJK (3) TAG (2003)

PUBLISHED January 23, 2003

An eight-year sentence was unduly lenient for two offences of rape where the victim was a child who had been in a position of trust vis-à-vis the offender. A three-year community rehabilitation order was unduly lenient for offences of indecent assault and indecency with a child. A six-month sentence coupled with an extended licence period of two years was unduly lenient for three counts of indecent assault against a child.Application by the Attorney-General under s.36 Criminal Justice Act 1988 to review as unduly lenient sentences imposed for sexual offences against young girls. TAG, the first respondent, was found guilty of two counts of cruelty to a child, two counts of indecent assault and two counts of rape and was sentenced to a eight years' imprisonment. The second respondent, NJK pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child. He was sentenced to a three-year community rehabilitation order. CCE, the third respondent, pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault and was sentenced to six months' imprisonment with an extended licence period of two years. The Attorney-General submitted that since the decision in R v Millberry (2002) Times, December 11, 2002: (i) The dimensions for rape cases laid down in that case should apply to other categories of sexual offending and (ii) age or staleness of an offence was not necessarily a sufficient reason for imposing a lesser sentence.HELD: (1) The dimensions for rape offences stipulated in Millberry (supra) should be taken into account in all cases of sexual interference. (2) In all sexual offences, the need to deter others from acting in a similar fashion was a valid consideration. (3) Before imposing a lighter sentence because an offence was stale, the court should weigh the impact that prolonged secrecy may have had on the victim. (4) In deciding whether to substitute a greater sentence the court should consider the double jeopardy principle. (5) In TAG's case where the offender was now 54 years old and had one previous conviction for rape, a sentence of 15 years' imprisonment was substituted . (6) NJK was now 44 years old. He had no previous convictions, had expressed remorse and had pleaded guilty. As a result, his sentence was substituted for a term of three years imprisonment. (6) CCE had one previous conviction for indecent assault. He was now 55 years old and in poor health. In his case a sentence of 12 months was substituted. He was also to remain on licence until the end of his sentence.Judgment accordingly.

[2003] EWCA Crim 5