Offences of street crime inevitably crossed the custody threshold. However, the court was always entitled to consider the sentence most suitable, taking into consideration the nature of the offence and the offender.Appeals by the defendants ('D' and 'R'), with leave of a single judge, against sentence. On 6 September 2002 at Cardiff Crown Court D pleaded guilty to one count, and R to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. D and R were sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment each by Recorder Brennan. In March 2002 D and R were outside a night-club, and both were drunk. Take-away food was knocked from R's hand by the 17-year-old victim. R and D punched the victim in the face and R punched the victim's friend. The victim broke away, there was a further scuffle and the victim fell. R then kicked him. Both the victim and his friend suffered minor injuries. D was discharged from the army as a result of the sentence imposed, a fact of which the judge had been unaware. D appealed against sentence on the grounds that: (i) the sentence imposed was excessive as one punch was not within the custody threshold; and (ii) if the sentence was reduced to a community-based penalty he would be able to re-enlist in the army. R appealed on the ground that the sentence imposed was excessive.HELD: (1) Street violence inevitably crossed the custody threshold. However, the court was always entitled to consider the sentence most suitable bearing in mind the offence and the offender. (2) D had played a lesser role in the assault. If the matter was coming before the present court for the first time a non-custodial community-based penalty would be imposed. (3) As D had served his sentence it would be unjust to punish him twice. The sentence of twelve months would be quashed and a conditional discharge for twelve months be substituted. (4) In the case of R the court could not accept that a non-custodial sentence was appropriate. However, R was not a "street thug" and had not gone out looking for trouble. A shorter sentence of eight months was appropriate.

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