The court summarised the general principles to be considered by those representing and those sentencing offenders with mental health problems that might justify a hospital order under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 and s.41, a finding of dangerousness and/or a s.45A order.
Given the aggravating factors involved in the sexual assault and subsequent rape of the same victim, a judge had been entitled to set the minimum term of a life sentence at over twice the upper limit of the respective sentencing guideline range. However, the sentence was too high and was reduced from nine-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half years.
A minimum term of 30 years imposed in connection with a life sentence for murder was justified where the offender had been convicted on the basis of a joint enterprise. A case would normally fall within the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21 para.5 if it was a murder involving the use of a firearm, and the wording of that provision was not confined to the person who had pulled the trigger.
A total sentence of seven years and eight months’ detention was appropriate in the case of a young offender who had pleaded guilty to possessing Class B drugs, a sub-machine gun and compatible ammunition, having been pressured into holding them for a third party. Those who looked after lethal weapons for others had to expect severe sentences.
The appropriate sentence where an offender who had attacked police officers with a hammer had pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, was life imprisonment with a minimum term of three years, taking into account the offender’ guilty plea, the early release provisions, and the time that he had already spent in custody.