Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Wainwright & Cummins News

Clea Topolski, barrister at Wainwright & Cummins, succeeded today before the Court of Appeal on an appeal against sentence.

Our client, Ms B, pleaded guilty late last year to arson, being reckless to whether life is endangered. In October 2014 she was given a custodial sentence of 64 months. She was subsequently granted leave to appeal against sentence by the Single Judge.

Ms Topolski appeared before the Court of Appeal and argued that the starting point used by the learned Judge in sentencing Ms B was excessively high. This is a difficult area of sentencing as there are no official guidelines, only case law. Each case turns on its own facts and so it can be challenging to find clear authority for the sentencing of individual offenders. However Ms Topolski successfully applied the case of R v Myrie [2008] EWCA Crim 3188 (no relation to Wainwright & Cummins’ Solicitor Advocate, Curtis Myrie!) and convinced the court that the sentencing Judge used too high of a starting point when sentencing Ms B.


Ms B’s sentence was varied from 64 months to 42 months; with remand time and time served on her sentence thus far, Ms B can expect to be released in eight months’ time. Without Ms Topolski and the efforts of the Criminal Law Department here at Wainwright & Cummins, Ms B would not be released for a further 19 months.

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