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Possible hospital order forms basis of CCRC referral  

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has referred a man’s 2016 sentence for child sex offences to the Court of Appeal after new psychiatric assessments determined the defendant’s mental disorders should be treated with a hospital order.  

Clayton Phillips pleaded guilty at Guildford Crown Court in 2016 to multiple sexual offences involving contact with children over the internet. 

Mr Phillips was sentenced to an extended sentence of 14 years, made up of a custodial sentence of eight years and an extended licence period of six years. 

After sentencing Mr Phillips was transferred to a medium secure unit under s47/49 of the Mental Health Act.  

The CCRC referral is based on whether a hospital order should have been imposed, rather than a custodial sentence. There is no suggestion Mr Phillips is not criminally responsible.  

In October 2022 the CCRC received an application to review his case, along with a supporting psychiatric report, and has since obtained records from Mr Phillips’ registered clinician.  

The CCRC considers there is a real possibility the Court of Appeal will determine that if this new evidence had been available at the time Mr Phillips was sentenced, it is likely the judge would have considered a hospital order appropriate.  


Notes to Editors: 

  1. The CCRC 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.    
  1. There are currently 10 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.  The Chairman, who is also a Commissioner, is not involved in the casework decision-making process. 
  1. The CCRC 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.    
  1. The CCRC considers whether, as a result of new information or a new argument on a point of law, there is a real possibility that the sentence would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New information or argument on a point of law is argument or information which has not been raised during the original sentence hearing or on appeal.  Applicants should usually have appealed first. A sentence can be referred in the absence of an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.    
  1. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the sentence is unfair.    
  1. More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at The CCRC can be found on Twitter @ccrcupdate