Immediate custodial sentences could be appropriate for non-violent crimes committed as part of a peaceful protest and such sentences did not breach ECHR art.10. In the instant case, however, the immediate custodial sentences imposed on three protesters who had sat on the cabs of lorries delivering equipment to a fracking site were manifestly excessive. Community orders with a significant requirement for unpaid work would have been appropriate.
A defendant who had been restrained by an injunction from publishing certain videos on his YouTube channel and had been found to be in contempt of court for continuing to publish them and was given a suspended prison sentence, was in contempt of court by publishing further similar videos and was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.246A, which limited the eligibility of prisoners serving extended determinate sentences to consideration of parole at the two-third stage of the custodial element of their sentence, was compatible with ECHR art.14 taken in conjunction with art.5. Although the different treatment of such prisoners when compared to those serving indeterminate or other determinate sentences constituted a ground within the meaning of “other status” in art.14, the situations were not analogous and, even if they were, there was an objective justification for the difference in treatment.
It was plain that the pension policies of a company director convicted of VAT fraud constituted “realisable property” under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 so that his appeal against their addition to a receivership order, on the ground that they had no realisable value and would continue to have none for a number of years, failed.
An eight-year extended sentence, comprising a five-year custodial term and a three-year extension period, was appropriate in the case of a 15-year-old who had been convicted of wounding with intent. The nature of the offence, the stabbing of a woman on the street at night, together with the offender’s lack of self-control and propensity for aggression meant that he was dangerous and an extended sentence was necessary to protect the public.