The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred for appeal the life sentence for attempted murder imposed on Mr C when he was 16 years old.
C was a minor when he pleaded guilty in 2013 to the attempted murder of another minor. He was sentenced to detention for life with a minimum tariff of seven years.
C was granted leave to appeal his sentence but the Court of Appeal concluded that it was not manifestly excessive. He applied to the CCRC for a review of his sentence in 2018.
The CCRC has decided to refer C’s sentence for appeal because it considers there is a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will replace the sentence with an order under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act 1983.
The referral is based on new medical evidence relating to C’s mental state at the time of the offence which in the Commission’s view means there is a real possibility the Court of Appeal will conclude that a discretionary life sentence was wrong in principle and that a restricted hospital order would have been, and remains, the most appropriate sentence.
C was represented in his application to the CCRC by Dr L. Janes, Scott-Moncrieff & Associates, Solicitors, 88 Kingsway, Holborn, London, WC2B 6AA.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 633 1806 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors
- 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.
- There are currently 13 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 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.
- 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.
- 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