02/05/24

Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme | Burglar’s Sentence Doubled

Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme | Burglar’s Sentence Doubled
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The Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme (‘ULS’) enables any person to request a review by the Attorney General of a Crown Court Sentence if they feel the sentence passed is considered too lenient. However, an Unduly Lenient Sentence only applies to a sentence that is unduly lenient, as opposed to lenient:

‘… where it falls outside the range of sentences which the judge, applying his mind to all the relevant factors, could reasonably consider appropriate’ (Attorney General's Reference No 4 of 1989 [1990] 1 WLR 41, Lord Lane CJ).

In a recent Case, the term of imprisonment imposed upon an armed burglar was doubled by the Court of Appeal. Mohammed Ahmed of KANGS outlines the Reported Case and explains the nature of Unduly Lenient Sentences.

The Reported Case | Term of Imprisonment Doubled

A group of masked men, which included a male wielding a machete, broke into a property in Bradford on 25 July 2023 resulting in a pregnant woman fleeing the property. High value items were stolen including designer items, watches, and money.

The machete wielding burglar, Creddy Taylor originally received a four-year custodial sentence, but upon referral to the Court of Appeal, under the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme, his sentence was doubled to eight years imprisonment.

The Solicitor General, Robert Courts KC MP, said:

"I was appalled to learn of this horrific robbery and extend my sympathies to the victim who went through a traumatic ordeal.

The court’s intervention is a welcome one and this case should send a stark warning that those who commit violent burglaries will face the full extent of the law for their crimes."

The Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme Process

Referrals can arise directly to the Attorney General or via the Crown Prosecution Service from interested parties such as victims, peers, or members of the public. Once a referral is received, it must be reviewed as part of the decision-making process to see if it falls within the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme.

A review will be conducted by the Attorney General or Solicitor General and, if considered that the sentence passed was too lenient, it can be referred to the Court of Appeal for review provided:

  • the offence falls within ULS triable only in or sentenced in the Crown Court,
  • it was referred within twenty-eight days of sentence being passed,
  • the sentence appears to be unduly lenient.

Court of Appeal Powers

If the Court of Appeal finds that the sentence is not unduly lenient it will refuse the application and the matter will not proceed any further.

However, if the Court of Appeal agrees that the sentence is unduly lenient, leave to refer the sentence will be granted. The Court of Appeal will have a discretion as to whether to exercise its powers.

How Can We Help?

The Team at KANGS have a vast amount of experience in the preparation and presentation of appeals on behalf of clients to all appellate criminal courts in respect of criminal sentences of every nature.

Should you wish to lodge an appeal, whether it be against conviction, sentence, or both, it is essential that you seek immediate legal advice as very limited time periods for lodging an appeal are in force.

The Team at KANGS would be delighted to hear from you and to advise and assist, we welcome enquiries by:

Tel:       0333 370 4333

Email: info@kangssolicitors.co.uk

We provide initial no obligation discussion at our three offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. Alternatively, discussions can be held through live conferencing or telephone.

Mohammed Ahmed

Mohammed Ahmed
Associate

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Helen Holder

Helen Holder
Partner

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Sukhdip Randhawa

Sukhdip Randhawa
Legal Director

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