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Tag: Sentencing

10 June 2021

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Court Bill: Extensive and Controversial Proposed Changes to the Youth Justice System

This Bill proposes significant change across the criminal justice system, including how children and young people are sentenced and how they are managed in the community. Whilst in some areas the Bill's proposals represent progress for children caught up in the criminal justice system, many practitioners are concerned that if passed in its current form the new measures may lead to increased numbers of children in custody and exacerbate existing disparities and injustices.

26 May 2021

Young adults convicted of murder – what is the appropriate discount for youth?

The defendants, BN and HS were aged 19 at the time of the incident for which they were later convicted of murder. BN was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years. HS was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 16 years. The Attorney General appealed the sentences as being unduly lenient. The Court of Appeal upheld BN’s sentence but increased HS’s sentence to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years. This case reiterates the well-established principle that attaining the age of 18 does not represent a cliff edge between being sentenced as a youth and being sentenced as an adult.

26 May 2021

R v Beyonce Parkes: A reminder that turning 18 is not a “cliff edge”

The Court of Appeal reiterated the importance of ensuring that a defendant’s age is given proper weight and consideration during the sentencing process. The COA considered the decisions in R v Clarke (2018) EWCA Crim 185 and R v Peters (2005) EWCA Crim 506.s The case is a reminder that age and consequent lack of maturity must be actively brought to the attention of the sentencing court, particularly in cases concerning young adult offenders.

28 April 2021

R v VT: Children should not be sentenced simply as ‘cut-down’ adults

The Solicitor General appealed against the imposition of a youth rehabilitation order for a 15-year old convicted of wounding with intent. Dismissing the appeal, the Court of Appeal confirmed that when sentencing children, the court should not approach children as ‘cut-down’ versions of adults and, in the particular circumstances of this serious case, a non-custodial sentence was just within the range of appropriate orders. The case demonstrates the impact that a detailed Pre-Sentence Report can have.