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.
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.
A planned and organised robbery of a travellers’ site fell within Category 1A of the “robbery in a dwelling” sentencing guideline. The starting point was 13 years’ imprisonment, and the range was 10 to 16 years. Although the guideline indicated that a sentence of more than 13 years could be imposed in a case of particular gravity, the reference to 13 years was an error and had to be read as 16 years. The concept of “particular gravity” was not limited to cases in which extreme violence had been used.
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.
Professional criminals who persisted in dealing with Class A drugs, after having been previously convicted and punished by a substantial term of imprisonment, required appreciably longer terms of imprisonment than others when they were subsequently convicted again. Accordingly, a judge was entitled to move into the category 1 range, and specifically, to the top of that range, in relation to an offender with previous convictions for drug offences who had pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug.