Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED February 14, 2003

An eight-year sentence for 11 counts of robbery was unduly lenient and did not reflect the seriousness of the offences and the need for the public to be protected.Application by the Attorney-General under s.36 Criminal Justice Act 1988 to review a sentence he considered unduly lenient. The offender ('J') pleaded guilty to a total of 11 counts of robbery, some committed when he was on licence. On 2 July 2002 J was given an eight-year custodial sentence to run consecutively with the remaining amount of the outstanding licence period. The aggravating factors were that: (i) the crimes appeared to be premeditated; (ii) weapons were used to threaten the victims; (iii) in one robbery a knife was used to injure the victim; (iv) threats to kill and of violence were used; (v) J had accomplices on some occasions; (vi) two robberies were committed in the victims' homes; and (vii) the offender was on licence at the time. The only mitigating fact was that J pleaded guilty early. The Attorney-General contended that the eight-year sentence did not reflect: (a) the seriousness of the offences; (b) J's previous record; (c) the pattern of the offences; and (d) the need for the public to be protected from J's future activities.HELD: (1) The number and nature of the offences were grave enough to justify a very long sentence. (2) Insufficient consideration was given to the real danger of J re-offending. (3) Taking into account double jeopardy, the sentence of eight years was quashed and a ten-year sentence substituted to be served consecutively with the outstanding licence period.Order accordingly.

[2003] EWCA Crim 237