Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED September 24, 2003

The defendant's sentence of three years and four months' imprisonment for nine offences of burglary of dwelling houses, and two offences of violence was not excessive.Appeal against sentence for nine offences of burglary of dwelling houses, and two offences of violence. The defendant ('D') pleaded guilty to four burglary offences and asked for five similar offences to be taken into consideration. A pre-sentence report stated that if the court were considering a community penalty then the case should be adjourned to assess D's suitability for a drug treatment and testing order. D was released on conditional bail for that purpose. D breached his bail and was arrested for two further offences of violence involving hitting a youth on the head with a stone. On 10 March 2003 D was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment for the first three offences of burglary to run concurrently and twelve months' imprisonment consecutive for the last offence of burglary. On 9 May 2003 D pleaded guilty to the two offences of violence committed whilst he was on bail and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for unlawful wounding and four months' imprisonment consecutive for battery. The sentence was ordered to be served concurrently with the sentence for burglary. D appealed on the basis that: (i) his sentence was wrong in principle according to R v Gillam (1980) 2 CAR (S) 267 as his expectations had been raised that he could legitimately expect the imposition of a drug treatment and testing order due to the adjournment of his case; and (ii) his sentences for unlawful wounding and battery were excessive given D's age of 24 years and the fact he had no history of violent behaviour except common assault.HELD: (1) D breached the trust placed in him when he was released on bail in a particularly unpleasant fashion. When sentenced in March 2003 he knew he had breached that trust and was to be sentenced for nine burglary offences. It would not have been appropriate to impose a drug treatment and testing order on that occasion. (2) D's sentences for offences of violence of this seriousness, which were particularly unpleasant as they involved a weapon which could have led to graver injuries, were not excessive.Appeal dismissed.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2524