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.
ABUSE OF POSITION OF TRUST
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.
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.
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.
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.