R v Darren Lewis [2017] EWCA Crim 946

30th June 2017

The appellant pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 7 years and 6 months. His co-defendants received long determinate terms (18 years, 13 years and 13 years).

No appeal was brought against the life sentence, but complaint was directed against the length of the minimum term. The case involved a particularly serious instance of aggravated burglary perpetrated against an elderly couple. The appellant had been responsible for the violence inflicted on them.

“In determining the minimum term to be specified, it is not surprising that Judge Bright followed the lead of the trial judge who had earlier sentenced the three co-accused with a bench mark of 18 years after trial. Judge Bright increased that term by two years on account of the appellant’s previous convictions, which were much worse than those of the co-accused. This produced a sentence after trial of 20 years. Allowing credit of 25 per cent the judge arrived at a determinate sentence of 15 years and a minimum term of seven years six months, less time on remand.” 

It was argued on appeal that a starting point of 15 years’ (after a trial) was appropriate in calculating the minimum term. The Court therefore reduced the minimum term to 6 years 4 months.

 

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