A judge had been entitled to activate a suspended sentence in full where an offender had committed an offence more serious (perverting the course of justice) than the original offences (possession of class B with intent to supply and possession of class A drugs) during the operational period of the suspended sentence. The court had a statutory duty to follow the Sentencing Council’s guidelines, which had required that course of action, and it had not been contrary to the interests of justice to do so.
As the Attorney General had a statutory responsibility to personally consider whether sentences should be referred to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient, it was inimical to the public interest for judges, when exercising their discretion as to the provision of a transcript of a sentence hearing, to restrict or limit the provision of such information on such a request from the Attorney General.
A total sentence of two-and-half years’ imprisonment imposed on an offender for a robbery at a convenience store whist carrying of a knife and an attempted robbery of a bookmakers was unduly lenient. The judge had significantly understated the gravity of the offending and had overstated the allowance to be made for the offender’s mitigation.
The court examined the level of fines imposed on a car parts manufacturing company following an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease and an explosion on its premises.
A sentence of 12 months’ immediate imprisonment for an offender who had pleaded guilty to affray arising from an altercation between football supporters should have been suspended. Had the judge obtained a pre-sentence report and correctly considered the relevant sentencing guidelines, the sentence would have been suspended as the offender had a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, a strong personal mitigation and immediate custody had significant harmful impact on his dependents.