Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED October 8, 2003

In light of the guideline case of R v Czyzewski (2003) a sentence of 18 months for conspiracy to evade duty were manifestly excessive.Appeal, with leave of the single judge, against a sentence of 18 months' imprisonment, following the defendant's ('H') plea of guilty to fraudulently evading duty, imposed on 20 June 2003 at Maidstone Crown Court by HH Judge Williams. On 16 February 2002, H who was a lorry driver, was stopped by customs and had his lorry searched. Hidden in boxes of chilled potato chips a total of 1,699,200 cigarettes were discovered along with ?1,700 in cash in the cab. The total revenue evaded was £241,000. When sentencing the judge gave credit for H's guilty plea and his remorse. H appealed sentence on the ground that it was manifestly excessive in light of the guidelines in R v Jozef Eugene Czyzewski (2003) LTL 21/7/2003 decided shortly after sentence was passed.HELD: (1) Where a sentence was passed and guidelines were given so soon afterwards and where the guidelines were given during the period that a defendant had the right to appeal then those guidelines could be applied. The present case fell within the first bracket set out in R v Czyzewski (supra), as the duty evaded fell between £100,000 and £500,000. (2) The court could not accede to the suggestion that a sentence of nine months was appropriate. However, it was clear that if the judge had known of the authority the sentence passed would have been lower, accordingly a sentence of 12 months would be substituted.Appeal allowed.