Law and Rights
Undue lenience and a seriously cruel act
One of the safety valves of the criminal process is that the Attorney-General may refer (under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 s36)
sentences to the Court of Appeal if she considers them to be unduly lenient. It is a most useful provision. The case of Harpal Singh Moore is one where a sentence has been doubled. He had applied (a number of times) a hot iron to his wife's face causing serious injury. Hallett LJ described the offence as a "brutal, sustained act of cruelty." The Court of Appeal considered that a sentence of 5 years imprisonment was right even though Harpal Singh Moore had been described as of "good character" and had no previous convictions for violence. This increase of sentence is to be welcomed. See the Attorney-General's website for details.
The present government has, rightly in my opinion
, mounted a strong campaign to tackle the serious issue of domestic violence - see Home Office. Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVC) have been set up based on a number of existing Magistrates' Courts - see Ministry of Justice March 2009. The approach taken to these cases is one involving several criminal justice agencies and is to be welcomed. The message is that domestic violence will be taken seriously.
- Reforming The Criminal Law - Law Commission Report On Offences Against The Person
The Law Commission has recommended modernisation of the law on violence - Law Commission Offences against the person: Modernising the law on violence New rules are needed to tackle violent offences and make better use of court time, according to the...
- R V Stuart Hall ~ Sentencing
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- Unduly Lenient Sentences: A Useful Power; Well Used
Rt. Hon Dominic Grieve QC MPThe Criminal Justice Act 1988 s.36 - (1) If it appears to the Attorney General - (a) that the sentencing of a person in a proceeding in the Crown Court has been unduly lenient; and (b) that the case is one to which this Part...
- Another Case Of Leniency For A Violent Offence?
?What justice? ? asks the Daily Mail (30th October) in response to the sentence imposed on Reece Kent (aged 19) who, it is said, repeatedly punched a terminally ill man (Mr Oliver). The Independent (30th October) also reports this case. It...
- Burglary: Undue Leniency And Policing Cuts
The latest sentencing statistics available are for 2008 and may be accessed on the Ministry of Justice website - here. The Telegraph 11th September said - "Revealed: not a single burglar gets maximum jail sentence". The maximum...
Law and Rights