Appeal against sentence allowed due to double counting and too high an uplift for aggravating factors

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Shahida Begum of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team was assigned by the Registrar to represent the applicant who had lodged his own grounds of appeal.

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PW entered guilty pleas to robbery and possession of a bladed article. PW was found to be dangerous and an extended sentence was imposed. PW was advised by his representatives there were no grounds to appeal sentence. PW lodged an appeal significantly out of time stating he had not been adequately represented. Shahida was assigned the case by the Court of Appeal. Grounds of appeal were lodged that the custodial term imposed was too high due to the sentencing judge using aggravating factors, including possession of the knife which had already been accounted for in a high culpability categorisation, to uplift the sentence by three years and the dangerousness finding was not warranted. PW had mental health issues. An extension of time should be granted as the primary consideration was the merits of the application. The Court held that the sentencing judge had the discretion to make a finding of dangerousness on the facts of the case but there had been double counting and too high an uplift. The custodial term was reduced by 14 months.

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