ABUSE OF POSITION OF TRUST

The court reduced, from 11 years to 10 years’ imprisonment, the sentences imposed on the parents of a 17-week-old child following their convictions for causing or allowing her death. Although there were numerous aggravating features, including an attempt to cover up the circumstances of her death, insufficient weight had been given to the finding that the parents had had constructive, rather than actual, knowledge of the significant risk of serious harm to their child.

[2017] EWCA Crim 1686

A 17-year extended sentence imposed on an offender who had grossly abused his position of trust as deputy principal of a children’s home in subjecting young boys in his care to repeated sexual abuse was unduly lenient. Given the scale and frequency of the offending, which was akin to a campaign of rape, an extended sentence of 22 years was appropriate.

[2017] EWCA Crim 878

A suspended sentence of two years’ imprisonment was not unduly lenient for an offender who had pleaded guilty to child sex offences on the first day of trial, even though the judge had wrongly giving maximum credit for those pleas and had failed to properly differentiate between the sentencing guideline categorisation of the offences in terms of harm and culpability. A sentence in excess of two years could not be suspended, and the offender would have been unable to attend a sexual work programme pursuant to a rehabilitation activity requirement in those circumstances.

[2017] EWCA Crim 877

A total sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment was appropriate in respect of 29 historical sex offences where an offender had carried out a sustained campaign of very serious abuse against his younger stepbrothers for about seven years, starting when the victims were only 9 years old, and involving a gross abuse of trust.

[2017] EWCA Crim 307

A sentence of 21 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, imposed on a 49-year-old bar manager for an offence of assault by penetration against his 18-year-old employee was unduly lenient. The judge had applied too low a starting point and had given too much credit for the offender’s good character and guilty plea. An immediate sentence of 32 months’ imprisonment was appropriate.

[2017] EWCA Crim 272

A sentence of 18 years, comprising a custodial term of 17 years and a licence period of one year, was appropriate in the case of the appellant, who had been convicted of serious sexual offences against his young cousin.

A total sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment together with an extended licence period of one year was appropriate for historic sex offences committed by a 71-year-old man against his three step-grandchildren.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1777

A sentence of 21 months’ imprisonment imposed on a teacher following his conviction for six counts of engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust was not excessive where he had groomed a 16-year old pupil and, on six separate occasions, engineered time alone with her in a classroom. Although some of the lasting harm suffered by the complainant might have been attributable to the full consensual relationship which developed after she left school, that relationship arose directly from the teacher’s serious criminality while she was in his care at school.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1553

The Court of Appeal gave additional guidance on the principles to be applied when offenders were sentenced for historic sexual offences.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1388

A sentence of three years’ conditional discharge imposed on a police officer for eight counts of indecent assault committed against his sisters-in-law was not unduly lenient. The offending properly fell within category 3B of the relevant sentencing guidelines as to culpability, as it had not involved an abuse of trust in the sense used in the guidelines.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1762

A 30-year extended sentence comprising a 22-year custodial element and an eight-year licence period was appropriate in the case of a 61-year-old man who had pleaded guilty to 33 child sexual offences committed against three young girls over a 40-year period.

[2016] EWCA Crim 815

The court, having observed that judges and practitioners had failed to apply the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 12 s.236A in a significant number of cases when sentencing for specified offences, provided a checklist of points to be considered to determine whether a case fell within that provision and how such sentences should be expressed.

[2016] EWCA Crim 561

A sentence of eight years’ imprisonment was appropriate in the case of a man who had been convicted of indecently assaulting two young girls in the early 1980s.

[2016] EWCA Crim 2009

When sentencing an offender who had been convicted of the rape and assault by penetration of a friend, the judge had erred in regarding the appellant’s offences as demonstrating an abuse of trust such as to place it within Category 3A of the sentencing guidelines. The offences should have been placed in Category 3B. For the offence of rape, the appropriate sentence was an extended sentence of nine years, comprising a custodial term of six years and an extension period of three years; and for the assault by penetration, a sentence of two years’ imprisonment, to run concurrently.

[2015] EWCA Crim 2501

A sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment was appropriate in the case of the appellant, who had pleaded guilty to theft after stealing money which her son had received from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in connection with the death of his father in a terrorist attack.

[2015] EWCA Crim 1345

A sentence of six-and-a-half-years’ imprisonment for malfeasance in public office and six counts of theft was just about manifestly excessive where a community police officer at Gatwick Airport had used her office to get departing passengers to leave in her care large amounts of money, which she kept. A sentence of five years’ imprisonment was substituted.

[2015] EWCA Crim 411

A total sentence of 8 months’ imprisonment was appropriate following a solicitor’s pleas of guilty to various fraud offences which involved facilitating a client’s property purchase in the knowledge that the client was not entitled to the right to buy discount which she was receiving. Although the offences involved abuse of a position of power, trust or responsibility, they were not motivated by personal gain. Those higher and lesser culpability factors balanced themselves out in assessing the appropriate starting point under the sentencing guidelines for fraud.

[2015] EWCA Crim 81

A sentence of two years’ imprisonment imposed on a 44-year-old woman who had pleaded guilty to three offences of sexual activity with a 14-year-old boy. Although the offences had been out of character, there were several aggravating features, including the disparity in age, the fact that the offender took advantage of the victim’s inebriation, a breach of trust, and a lack of remorse.

[2014] EWCA Crim 2088

A trial judge had correctly ruled that the contents of a conversation revealing details about a rape victim’s previous sexual behaviour were not admissible under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 s.41.

[2014] EWCA Crim 691

A total sentence of four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment imposed on an offender following his conviction for a number of sexual offences committed against his stepdaughter over a five-year period was unduly lenient. The sentence was increased to seven years’ imprisonment.

[2014] EWCA Crim 342

A starting point of four years’ imprisonment when sentencing a company finance director for fraud and conspiracy to defraud was not manifestly excessive; the amount of money involved could not be a determinative factor. In making a costs order of £8,000 against the director, the judge had been entitled to infer, in the absence of evidence of his means, that his financial position was reasonably comfortable and that he could afford to pay it: an inquiry into his means was not required.

[2013] EWCA Crim 2601

Where a defendant had used his job as a postman to facilitate the theft of mobile phones, a sentence of 16 months’ imprisonment was not excessive given the breach of the high degree of trust that society placed in the postal system. However, the costs order imposed needed to be payable within a reasonable amount of time and was quashed for being unduly burdensome, as even if he were to find employment upon release, it would take three years to pay off.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1483

A sentence of 15 months’ imprisonment imposed for 14 historic indecent assaults was unduly lenient and was increased to one of 30 months. Even though the offender, a highly regarded television and radio presenter with no previous convictions, was 83 years old, in poor health, and had not offended for over 25 years, the original sentence did not reflect the offences’ criminality given their lifelong impact on the victims and public concern over sexual crimes against children and young victims.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1450

Depending on the circumstances, deception as to gender could vitiate consent to sexual activity. Accordingly, a girl who had engaged in sexual activity with another girl while claiming to be a boy was guilty of assault by penetration.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1051

A judge had been entitled not to suspend a sentence of two years’ imprisonment for an offender’s conspiracy to burgle her employer’s house in breach of trust. Although the defendant would be separated from her two-year-old son with medical problems, the judge had engaged properly in the necessary balancing exercise and had been entitled to conclude that the seriousness of the burglary justified the separation.

[2013] EWCA Crim 1036

A total sentence of three years’ imprisonment imposed following pleas of guilty to 15 offences of fraud and two of theft was reduced to two years. The defendant had stolen from her own children, in breach of trust, over a significant period of time, but there had been no good reason to increase the sentence above the starting point of three years for offences which fell into the most serious category specified in the sentencing guidelines for thefts in breach of trust.

[2013] EWCA Crim 625

A sentence of two years’ imprisonment was appropriate in the case of the appellant, a former bank employee who had pleaded guilty to transferring criminal property after transferring £93,300 from his parents’ accounts with the bank to his own account.

[2013] EWCA Crim 143

A reference by the Attorney General that the sentence imposed on an offender for sexual offences against a child was unduly lenient was dismissed, as although there was an element of breach of trust involving an adult male who had limited contact with a girl, it was not in a category such as a step-parent or teacher relationship.

[2012] EWCA Crim 3119

A sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment imposed for 12 counts of committing indecent assault was reduced to 12 years in the light of the maximum sentence for each offence, the sentencing guidelines, the offender’s age and disability, and the fact that for a historic offence he would serve two-thirds of his sentence in custody.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2599

Concurrent sentences of eight-and-a-half years’ imprisonment imposed for three counts of indecent assault against a male contrary to the Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.15(1) could not stand as they were well outside the range indicated by the relevant sentencing guidelines and no explanation had been offered for that departure. Concurrent sentences of three-and-a-half years’ were appropriate.

[2012] EWCA Crim 3110

A sentence of three years’ imprisonment imposed after a guilty plea to theft from a garage was manifestly excessive despite the offender’s numerous previous convictions. A sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment was appropriate.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1875

A conviction for theft was safe where, on the evidence, it had not been necessary for the trial judge to give a full direction in relation to dishonesty. Unless the question of a subjective element was properly raised, it was not incumbent upon the judge to direct the jury as to the objective and subjective elements of the Ghosh test for dishonesty.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1850

A sentence of eight years’ imprisonment was the very minimum that the court could impose following a plea of guilty to the rape of a young boy, which had been committed in breach of trust and against a background of repeated and regular sexual abuse. The court would be sympathetic to those who had been abused themselves, but such abuse could not excuse a child victim turning adult predator. The sentence of four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment was unduly lenient.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1688

A total sentence of seven-and-a-half years’ imprisonment imposed on a long-serving police constable following his guilty pleas to three counts of misconduct in a public office, involving the provision of police information to a known criminal and an accused, and six counts of possession of Class C drugs with intent to supply, one of which concerned a supply to a fellow police officer, was not manifestly excessive.

[2012] EWCA Crim 1604

A sentence of eight years’ imprisonment which had been imposed on the offender for a number of sexual offences committed against his stepdaughter and two of her friends was not manifestly excessive.

[2011] EWCA Crim 3257

Although the judge had erred in directing the jury, a conviction for offences of sexual assault was not unsafe in light of all the circumstances, particularly the compelling DNA evidence.

[2010] EWCA Crim 1639

A suspended sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment was unduly lenient where a serving police officer had pleaded guilty to two offences of misconduct in public office and conspiracy to defraud after accessing police computer records and passing information to criminal friends. The message had to be clear that deterrent sentences would be passed for such offences.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2219

A total sentence of seven years’ imprisonment imposed in respect of offences of sexual activity with two pupils aged 15 and 16 committed by a classroom supervisor was manifestly excessive, despite the vulnerability of the victims and the grave breach of trust involved. Taking account of the offender’s guilty pleas, a total sentence of four years’ imprisonment was appropriate.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2196

A total sentence of 11 years’ imprisonment imposed on an offender for rape, sexual assault and causing a child to watch a sexual act was unduly lenient, and was replaced with a sentence of 16 years’ imprisonment. The offender, a foster carer, had abused a vulnerable child in his care repeatedly over a two-year period.

[2009] EWCA Crim 2125

A notional determinate sentence that equated to 30 years’ imprisonment before a one-third reduction for guilty pleas, which had formed the basis for calculating the specified minimum term of a life sentence imposed for 28 counts relating to the sexual abuse of five boys, was excessive and reduced to 20 years.

[2009] EWCA Crim 1857

Sentences of imprisonment of six years and six months and six years and three months, imposed for offences that arose from a fraudulent conspiracy whereby a husband and wife staged the husband’s death in order to claim under insurance and pension policies, were not manifestly excessive, as the facts had been unique and the judge had properly assessed all the circumstances.

[2009] EWCA Crim 860

A sentence of six years’ imprisonment imposed on an offender who had been found guilty on two counts of rape against his ex-wife was unduly lenient having regard to the grave breach of trust involved in the attacks and the offender’s enjoyment of his ex-wife’s discomfort at trial, and was increased to a sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.

[2009] EWCA Crim 87

Minimum terms of 25 years were appropriate for offenders sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder that had taken place in the course of a robbery which had followed a consensual sexual encounter between the victim and one of the offenders.

[2008] EWCA Crim 2826

A sentence of three years’ imprisonment for the theft of money from an employer was not manifestly excessive where the offender had abused the trust placed in her as manager of a newsagent’s and where she had persisted in her actions knowing the harm that she was causing her employer and fellow employees.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1948

A sentence of six years’ imprisonment imposed following a guilty plea to an offence of assault on a child by penetration was manifestly excessive as, despite the abuse of a position of trust, the penetration had been minimal and there had been no physical harm caused to the two-year-old victim.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1806

There was no logical inconsistency between the appellant’s conviction for kidnap, for taking a teenage girl in his licensed taxi to a secluded place without her consent rather than to her home as requested, and his acquittal for sexual offences in relation to the sexual activity that occurred between them in the secluded place.

[2007] EWCA Crim 3472

Sentences of four and two years’ imprisonment were appropriate in the case of a husband and wife who had involved two 14-year-old girls in sexual activity.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2316

A schoolteacher’s convictions for sexual activity with two 17-year-old students as an abuse of his position of trust were unsafe as the judge had failed properly to direct the jury as to the risk of innocent contamination when considering the cross-admissibility of the complainants’ evidence even though on the evidence there had plainly been room for concern about such a risk.

[2007] EWCA Crim 1766

A minimum term of three years’ imprisonment for public protection imposed on an offender who had pleaded guilty to 17 counts comprising offences of indecent assault together with the taking and making of indecent photographs of children was not manifestly excessive where the offences had involved the planned, premeditated targeting of young children and a grave breach of trust over a prolonged period.

[2007] EWCA Crim 616

Seven years’ imprisonment was not manifestly excessive upon conviction for sexual activity with a child which had been committed over a three-month period and in breach of a position of trust.

[2007] EWCA Crim 845