The Commission has referred the firearms sentence of Hainsley Dixon to the Court of Appeal.
Miss Dixon pleaded guilty in November 2010 at Birmingham Crown Court to unlawful possession of a firearm. She was sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of five years' imprisonment.
Miss Dixon sought leave to appeal against her sentence in December 2010, but the Court dismissed the application. She applied to the Commission in August 2011.
The Commission has decided to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal because it believes there is a real possibility that the Court will reduce the sentence because it will conclude that the imposition of the mandatory term on Miss Dixon was arbitrary and disproportionate within the meaning attributed to that phrase in R v Rehman and Wood  1 CR App R (S) 77 and R v Boateng  EWCA Crim 861.
Miss Dixon is represented by Mr Maslen Merchant of Hadgkiss Hughes & Beale, 83 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham. B13 8EB. Tel: 0121 449 5050
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906.
Notes to editors:
- The Criminal Cases Review Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for 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.
- There currently ten 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.
- The Commission receives around 1,000 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Our current rates of referral are around 4%, which means around one in 25 of all applications are referred to the appeal courts.
- 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'.
- If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.