A term of two years imprisonment suspended for two years imposed for seven counts of sexual assault of a child over 13, which occurred 20-25 times over a five-month period on an eight-year-old girl was unduly lenient. Although the judge had given reasons for departing significantly from the relevant sentencing guidelines by reference to the offender’s “childlike mentality” and vulnerability, that did not justify such a departure and the appropriate sentence was one of three years’ imprisonment.
There had been no inconsistency in convicting a company of failing to ensure that work at height was properly planned contrary to the Work at Height Regulations 2005 reg.4(1) and acquitting it of failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and failing to ensure, as far as reasonably practical, the health and safety of its employees. The judge had been wrong to assess culpability as being high; the fine imposed was reduced from £900,000 to £135,000.
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.
Sentences of three years, nine months’ imprisonment for an offender who pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm, and four years, six months’ imprisonment for an offender who had been found guilty after trial for the same offence, were unduly lenient.
A sentence of four months’ imprisonment for assault by penetration by an individual against his partner of 23 years was unduly lenient; offences committed in the domestic context were no less serious than those committed in a non-domestic context. The sentence was quashed and was replaced by one of 21 months’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months.