Friday, 12 February 2016

Court of Appeal Appearance 12/02/16

We are delighted to announce another Wainwright & Cummins success in the Court of Appeal, in which our client Mr M’s sentence was reduced from 10 years’ imprisonment to 8 years’ imprisonment. The effect of this reduction is that Mr M will be released from prison a year earlier than previously expected.

The legal arguments in the appeal were based around the learned sentencing Judge’s use of the aggravated burglary Definitive Guidelines, when sentencing our client for a robbery carried out in the victim’s dwelling. The Crown did not indict our client on a charge of aggravated burglary; yet these were the guidelines adopted by the learned Judge when sentencing Mr M. The Judge found that the Definitive Guidelines for Robbery did not assist, as they did not at that point cover robberies carried out in the victim’s dwelling, except for very violent examples of such robberies, a category into which our client’s case did not fall. As such the Judge looked elsewhere for sentencing guidance and found it in the Definitive Guidelines for Aggravated Burglary, which suggested that a sentence of approximately ten years would be appropriate. We successfully submitted in the Court of Appeal today that the Judge should not have relied on those Guidelines, and should instead have looked at a line of case law which suggested that approximately 7 years’ imprisonment would be an appropriate sentence for a robbery such as the one committed by Mr M and his co-defendants. The Court agreed with those submissions and quashed Mr M’s sentence of ten years. It was substituted with a sentence of eight years, taking into account aggravating factors.

We are delighted with this outcome and particularly pleased at how quickly this appeal was granted: oral submissions were made for only a few minutes before the Court granted the appeal, and it was very clear that they had already decided to allow the appeal based only on the papers. We always enjoy appearing in the Court of Appeal and look forward to next time!

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