Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED September 18, 2003

The appellant's sentence of three years' imprisonment for a burglary was appropriate, even in light of the reduction of his co-defendant's sentence.Appeal by the appellant ('T') against a sentence of three years' imprisonment for an offence of burglary following the reduction of his co-defendant's sentence from three years to 18 months. In 2002 T and his co-accused were arrested and charged with the burglary of a high-street premises in which a large quantity of cigarettes and a safe, together with its contents, were stolen. T admitted his part in the burglary. A similar sentence was passed on both defendants. The judge took the view that although the co-defendant had played a greater part in the burglary, he was of effectively good character and the stronger mitigation was available to him rather than T, who had served a term of 12 months' imprisonment in 1997 and had a number of convictions for burglary and theft. In the co-defendant's appeal against sentence, the court observed, as to the gravity of the offence and the propriety of the sentence, that it was appropriate to re-emphasise that it had been a well-planned and co-ordinated burglary in which items of considerable value were stolen and little recovery had been effected.HELD: (1) The test for those who complained of disparity of sentence was whether, on learning of the sentence, right-thinking members of the public with full knowledge of all relevant facts and circumstances would have considered that something had gone wrong with the administration of justice (Fawcett (1983) 5 Cr App R (S) 158). (2) The sentence for the burglary was perfectly appropriate. Whatever events might have occurred subsequently to cause the Court of Appeal to reduce the sentence of the co-defendant did not bite upon T and members of the public could not think otherwise.Appeal dismissed.

[2003] EWCA Crim 2492