Success Stories

Court of Appeal Refuses to Interfere with Sentence Following Attorney General Reference

By Amy Cox  |  08.03.2021

Sonn Macmillan Walker represented the respondent in a hearing to determine whether the sentence he received was unduly lenient.

Our client had been sentenced to nine years for a section 18 wounding with intent and received two years alongside for possession of a bladed article in a public place. This sentence was subsequently brought to the attention of the Attorney General by a member of the public and it was referred to the Court of Appeal. The Attorney General’s position was that our client should have been found to be dangerous and that the length of his sentence was insufficient to reflect the seriousness of the offending.

Despite a number of aggravating features surrounding the circumstances of the offence, we successfully argued that the sentencing judge was correct to conclude that our client was not dangerous based on relevant factors available to him at the time. These included: our client’s age; lack of relevant previous convictions; attitude towards the offence; engagement with probation; and response to his custodial sentence. Furthermore, it was our position that the sentence was reasonable in length based on the relevant sentencing guidelines.

The three-judge court refused to accept that the sentence was unduly lenient on the basis that the sentencing judge had imposed a sentence that was open to him. The court held that it was ‘clear the judge carefully considered all relevant factors including the issue of dangerousness which he took particular care to have addressed within the reports prepared for the assistance of the court’.

Our Head of Litigation, Amy Cox, had conduct of this case and was assisted by paralegal Anna Leathem. Matthew Pardoe of Drystone Chambers was instructed.

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