Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED March 18, 2003

Sentences imposed for a dreadful and prolonged assault had been too long as the details of the attack on the victim had formed part of a single incident.Appeal by defendants ('M and C') against conviction and sentence. M and C had been convicted of the false imprisonment of the victim ('H'). C had also been convicted of grievous bodily harm. They had been sentenced to eight-and-a-half years' and six-and-a-half years' respectively. H had suffered from schizophrenia. Following a dispute M and C had locked him in a room for two hours, burnt him with a cigarette lighter, poked his forehead till he bled, sprayed his face and chest with deodorant and set him alight. C had contended that: (i) the judge had not dealt fairly with the forensic evidence; and (ii) the judge had been wrong to have suggested that C had refused to be interviewed when he had actually refused to be interviewed unless he was in the presence of a solicitor of his choice. M had contended that: (a) the identification was uncertain and unfair; and (b) there had been inherent weaknesses in the identification evidence that had not been in accordance with the principles laid down in R v Galbraith (1981) 1 WLR 1039 and the case should therefore have been withdrawn from the jury.HELD: (1) The judge had been correct to have found H's evidence both credible and accurate. (2) Submitting that the case should have been withdrawn from the jury was incorrect. (3) The overall sentence that had been imposed on C had been too long. As the offence had been a single incident consecutive sentences had been unnecessary, his original sentence was reduced to a term of seven-and-a-half years' imprisonment. (4) Since M had been only 19 years old at the time of the trial he had received a lesser sentence than C had. His overall sentence had been too long and was substituted with a sentence of four years' nine months' to be served concurrently rather than consecutively.Order accordingly.

[2003] EWCA Crim 494