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CCRC refers the sentence of Gavin Trendell to the Court of Appeal

2 September 2021

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (‘CCRC’) has referred to the Court of Appeal the sentence which Mr Trendell received for causing grievous bodily harm with intent and false imprisonment.

On 6 July 2018, Mr Trendell pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and false imprisonment. On 12 October 2018 Mr Trendell was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 8 years. The minimum term was later reduced to 6 years on appeal. In cases, such as Mr Trendell’s, where an indeterminate sentence is imposed, the minimum term must be adjusted by the judge to take into account any time spent on remand in custody, in accordance with section 82A(3)(b) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. Mr Trendell spent 203 days on remand, however this was not addressed at either the sentencing hearing or, later, on appeal.

The CCRC has decided to refer Mr Trendell’s sentence to the Court of Appeal, on the basis that there is a real possibility that the Court will correct the legal error which has occurred with Mr Trendell’s sentence and will deduct 203 days from the minimum term which he has to serve before he can be considered for release.

The CCRC notes the possibility that this same sentencing error may have occurred in other cases. If anyone believes that they have been similarly denied the credit to which they are entitled for time spent in custody on remand, then they should consider challenging their sentence. Guidance on the relevant sentencing law principles is available here: www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/sentencing-overview (‘Time Spent on Remand’).

Ends

This press release was issued by the Communications Team, Criminal Cases Review Commission. They can be contacted by phone on 0121 232 0900 or by email press@ccrc.gov.uk.

Notes for editors

  1. The Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
  2. There are currently 11 Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
  3. The Commission usually receives around 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.
  4. The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal.  Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
  5. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.
  6. More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk The Commission can be found on Twitter using @ccrcupdate