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Successful appeal against sentence

View profile for Correna Platt
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In 2002, our client was convicted of S.18 GBH. It is alleged he shook his baby which resulted in brain damage and life-long disabilities for his child. The client received a 4 year sentence of imprisonment  for this offence.

In 2016 the child died and the client was subsequently convicted of manslaughter based on the same facts.

The defendant was sentenced to an additional 3 year term of imprisonment.

The sentencing judge highlighted the following aggravating factors when passing sentence:

  • The significant mental or physical suffering caused to the deceased
  • The vulnerability of the deceased due to their age  

The sentencing judge took the following mitigating factors into consideration when passing the sentence:

  • No previous convictions
  • Attempts to assist the deceased
  • Lack of premeditation
  • Good character since the original conviction
  • Age and/or lack of maturity of the client at the time of the incident
  • Grief and loss
  • Effect of delay of the prosecution

After carefully considering the sentence imposed we lodged an appeal on the basis that the sentence was manifestly excessive as the sentencing judge had given too much weight to the aggravating features and not enough to the mitigating factors.

It was felt that the judge had failed to indicate a starting point or indicate with clarity the weight given to the aggravating and mitigating factors.

In the grounds of appeal we also highlighted the relevance of our client’s earlier sentence.

We evidenced that the sentence for the manslaughter conviction was not accurately reduced in order to sufficiently account for the sentence our client had previously served.

The Full Court recently considered our grounds of appeal. They noted that this was a highly unusual and difficult case.

The Court of Appeal were hesitant  to interfere with the sentence however after hearing detailed submissions advanced on our clients behalf they did agree that the sentence was manifestly excessive and reduced the client’s sentence to two years imprisonment.

At Stephensons we have a dedicated appeals team who specialise in overturning convictions and reducing sentences imposed at the Crown Court. If you do require assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 696 6188 or complete an online enquiry form.

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