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.
The court considered the safety of the convictions of two victims of human trafficking, for cultivation of cannabis and controlling prostitution for gain respectively, and whether it had been in the public interest to prosecute them.
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 sentence of 72 months’ imprisonment for misconduct in a public office imposed on a prison officer, who had engaged in sexual and inappropriate conduct with several prisoners and had brought Class B drugs into the prison, was severe but appropriate. The prison officer had passed on information concerning the security measures being taken at the prison, which merited a severe deterrent sentence.
The court quashed a sentence of imprisonment for public protection imposed for wounding with intent and replaced it with hospital and restriction orders under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 and s.41 respectively. The offender had served more than twice the minimum term ordered and the s.37 and s.41 regime was the most effective way of protecting the public and of monitoring his continued treatment.