Commission refers the sentence of Kenton Hooker to the Crown Court

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the sentence of Kenton Hooker to the Crown Court.

Mr Hooker was convicted in 2012 at Bury St Edmunds Magistrate Court of allowing a dog to be ‘Dangerously Out of Control in a Public Place’, contrary to Section 3(1) and (4) of the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991). He was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge, ordered to pay £250 compensation (later increased to £500 on appeal) and the court ordered that the dog be destroyed.

Mr Hooker appealed against his sentence later that year but the appeal was dismissed. He applied to the Commission for a review of his sentence in December 2013.

The Commission has decided to refer Mr Hooker’s sentence to the Crown Court. This sentence is being referred on basis of new animal behaviourist reports that are relevant to the issue of ‘dangerousness’ and the imposition of a contingent destruction order and that raise a real possibility the court would, on a rehearing of the case, reach a different sentencing outcome.

This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906 or e-mail

Notes for editors

  1. The 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.
  2. There are currently 12 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 1,500 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year.  Typically, around 3.5%, or one in 29, of all applications are referred 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.