The court emphasised that while a basis of plea and sensible agreement between parties was encouraged and expected to be weighed carefully by the court before departing from it, such agreement was not binding on the court as a matter of constitutional principle. However, in the instant case, the sentencing judge had had no sufficient justification for departing from the parties’ agreement, and a fine of £475,000 following a company’s guilty plea to an offence under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 reg.3(1)(a) was reduced to £200,000.
A sentence of 11 years and 10 months’ imprisonment imposed in 2016 following a guilty plea to a manslaughter offence committed in 2008 was not manifestly excessive. Although sentences for manslaughter offences such as the instant offender’s which involved a knife and gang violence had substantially increased since 2008, there was no untoward effect where the sentencing judge had approached her task in a measured and reflective manner and had correctly applied the current guidelines while staying within the maximum sentence applicable in 2008.
The court considered the necessity and scope of Sexual Harm Prevention Orders imposed on two offenders convicted of offences contrary to the Protection of Children Act 1978.
A sentence of nine years’ imprisonment was appropriate in the case of an offender who had been convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent after carrying out a sustained assault on his tenant.
When sentencing an offender for burglary, the recorder had been entitled to take into account the offender’s intention to commit grievous bodily harm by breaking into his former girlfriend’s home and attacking her new boyfriend. The fact that the offender was charged under the Theft Act 1968 s.9(1)(b), and was not charged with grievous bodily harm or with an offence under s.9(1)(a), did not preclude the recorder from taking the full facts into account.