R v Luke James Maddran [2015] EWCA Crim 174

22nd July 2015

Jason Elliott successfully appealed against concurrent sentences of 14 years imprisonment imposed in relation to 2 counts of robbery.

The Court of Appeal, chaired by the Lord Chief Justice, said –

“The appellant is now aged 28. He has been convicted on 33 previous occasions of 105 offences. They include theft, battery, aggravated vehicle taking, assault on a constable, burglary, racially aggravated harassment, affray, and, in 2005, robbery. For the previous offence of robbery, together with other offences, he was made subject to an eighteen month supervision order, with a three month curfew order. This, like all his other previous convictions, with one exception, had been dealt with by various magistrates’ or juvenile courts. The exception was a case of aggravated vehicle taking, theft and burglary, for which he was sentenced to a total of 22 months’ imprisonment by Lewes Crown Court in 2006.”

In passing sentence, the Judge had not explicitly referred to giving credit for the appellant’s guilty plea. It was argued that this was a fundamental error and also that the starting point from which the sentence had been calculated was excessive. The Court said –

“We agree with Mr Elliott that the appellant was entitled to some credit for his pleas of guilty. Plainly his change of heart came about very late. There also seems to have been powerful evidence against him. However, the judge did not articulate the strength of the prosecution’s evidence as a reason for withholding all credit, and we are not in a position to make any such assessment. It is a shame that neither defence counsel (not Mr Elliott) nor prosecution counsel did not point out this omission to the judge.” 

Accepting both arguments advanced, the Court reduced the appellant’s sentence to 10 ½ years.

 

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