AGGRAVATING FEATURES

The court quashed an 18-year minimum term attached to a life sentence imposed on an offender following his conviction for murder and replaced it with one of 21 years. Notwithstanding that the offender had taken a sword only a short distance outside the premises into the garden, he had taken a weapon to the scene and used it to kill within the meaning of para.5A of Sch 21 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 such that a starting point of 25 years was appropriate.

[2018] EWCA Crim 1775 [2018] EWCA Crim 1775

There was no support for a change to the principle that consecutive sentences should not be imposed for offences arising out of a single incident. A starting point of 14 years’ imprisonment was appropriate for two counts of causing death by dangerous driving where the offender had killed two young children while disqualified from driving, run away from the scene, denied driving the vehicle, taken a mixture of drugs before driving and had several previous convictions for driving while disqualified.

An offender was sentenced to three and a half years’ imprisonment for robbing a convenience store. A three-year community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement had been unduly lenient, given the offender’s previous convictions and the fact that he had been on bail at the time of the robbery.

A sentence of detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure with a minimum term of 17 years for murder was not manifestly excessive; whilst the offence was not premeditated and the young offender had had no intention to kill, he had taken a knife to the crime scene and some premeditation was inherent.

A 16-year extended sentence for the rape of an ex-partner was neither manifestly excessive nor wrong in principle where the judge had been entitled to conclude that the offender was dangerous and a post-sentence report documented no change in mentality. There could also be no proper complaint about a concurrent 12-year sentence imposed for a second count of rape against the same victim.