Impact on children of the offender
R. v Bozkurt (Safak Sinem) (Attorney General's Reference (2017))
CACD: 22 June 2017
B was a prison officer who admitted smuggling drugs and mobile phones into a young offender institution in return for payment. She was the sole carer for two dependent children. She was initially given a suspended sentence. The Attorney General referred the sentence to the CACD on the basis that it was unduly lenient. The CACD held that whilst the sentencing court had to take into account the interests of B's children as a primary consideration, under both the common law and ECHR art.8, the legitimate aims of sentencing and the gravity of the impact of B's offending meant that an immediate term of imprisonment should have been imposed.
Commentary: See also R. v Shahadat (Zaydene)  EWCA Crim 822 as to the supply of drugs in prison by a non-prison employee and R. v Markham (Stan Lucas) (Also known as: R. v Edwards (Kim Rose))  EWCA Crim 739 regarding the judge’s sentencing duties where the defendants are children.
Extended sentences and dangerousness
R. v Chiriac (Dumitru)
CACD: 22 June 2017
Two offenders had been found guilty of rape. Where neither offender had exhibited any pattern of sexual offending and there was no evidence that they continued to pose a significant risk the judge had erred in imposing extended sentences of 18 years' imprisonment. However, a determinate sentence of 13 years' imprisonment was not manifestly excessive.
Commentary: The Court noted that there whilst there are cases in which the offence itself indicates that the offender poses a significant risk – even when he is of good character – this was not one of them. [For examples of such offences see Attorney General’s Reference (R v Terry Smith)  EWCA Crim 252; Attorney General’s Reference No 5 of 2011 (Troninas)  1 Cr App R (S) 20 – thanks to David Rhodes for identifying these authorities].
Use of newspaper reports as basis for sentencing levels
R. v Sandhu (Amandeep)
CACD: 21 June 2017
Sentencing for breach of health and safety regulations. It was not appropriate to use newspaper reports in court as evidence of sentences for similar breaches as they were not full or authorised reports of the cases.
If you have questions about any of these cases please do get in touch with Paul Taylor.