On Sunday 22nd July 2018, I presented at the fourth International Conference on Men’s Issues my talk The Prison Sentencing Gender Gap where I looked at, as the name suggests, the sex-discrepancy in prison sentencing. Below is the video of the talk, hosted both on Paul Elam’s YouTube channel An Ear for Men and Mike Buchanan’s eponymous YouTube channel (I recommend clicking both so both receive views).
Presented below are my slides and, directly following, the relevant notes for the relevant slide. There is more content below than what was presented at the conference as I had to edit it down as I went along due to my inability to accurately keep time.
Morning Team, it’s me, your favourite, Jordan at The Screen and today, my darlings, I would like to talk to you about ‘The Prison Sentencing Gender Gap’.
Content Warning: I will cuss a lot so, if you do not like expletives and curse-words, I highly recommend you fuck off.
Today’s talk is borne out of my video series and ever-growing list: Women Who Should Be In Prison. I created the list/series way back in August last year because I was often seeing cases where women were committing what I, as a relatively sane and stable member of society, believed to be prison-worthy offences yet, these women were not being sentenced to Immediate Custody. I would like to thank Mike for his site and for it being the source of inspiration of said list and series, as it is on his site where I was seeing all these cases and becoming more and more irate. Or, as the feminist-left likes to say: an angry white male.
In today’s talk I will give a brief outline of the current situation, I will discuss some of the issues that appear to arise in the courtroom, I will look at how male psychology and offender life history needs to be properly addressed to assist those in the Criminal Justice System, I will look at where the situation is going and what can be done in the mean-time.
So let’s crack on.
Oh, I figured I would have my talk presented in pink as I enjoy adhering to the traditional gender standards of colour.
I will not speak too long on this as Philip Davies MP spoke about this two-years ago.
According to the MOJ Statistics on Women and the Criminal Justice System 2015:
4.5% of the prison population were female, 95.5% were male (1 woman to 21.2 men)
Men accounted for the majority of all arrests (84% in 2015/16) – 5.25x as often
Men were 73% of prosecutions, convictions and sentences (2.7x as often)
For indictable offences, 15% of women sentenced received immediate custody compared with 28% of men (OR = 1.87)
For all offences, only 2% of women sentenced received immediate custody compared to 10% of men. Thus, for all offences, men are five times more likely to receive immediate custody when sentenced. This is irrespective if it is a first-time or repeat offence.
Women are less likely to re-offend (18% vs 26%) – destroys “revolving door” argument, which is employed by the likes of The Centre for Social Justice and others.
Less than 20% of women were serving up to six-months and about 35% are serving more than four years. For men, less than 10% were serving up to six months and more than half are in for more than 4 years.
The Average Custodial Sentence Length (ACSL) for all offences was 16.9 months for men and 9.5 months for women (men’s sentence 1.8x as great).
Finally, for this source:
The likelihood of being a victim of personal crime was less for women in 2015/16 (3.8% v 4.5%. OR = 1.18) and women were less likely to be victims of violent crime in general (1.3% vs 2.4%. OR = 1.85), the only form of violent crime in which women suffered the most was Domestic, which is the least common form of violent crime (0.4% vs 0.2%. OR = 2). The biggest difference was in Stranger violence (0.4% vs 1.4%. OR = 3.5). This destroys the argument women must be treated leniently because they are themselves victims of crime & violence (because men more likely to be victims of crime & violence) – this argument is employed by The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Women in the Penal System and others.
According to the MOJ Associations between being male or female and being sentenced to prison in England and Wales in 2015 report:
The odds of males being sentenced to imprisonment were higher than those of females. The effect was statistically significant and medium-sized (an 88% increase in the odds of imprisonment for males. N = 354,699 offenders).
8% of female defendants were imprisoned when sentenced for their first main offence compared to 18% of men.
The analysis found small increases of 35% in the odds of imprisonment for males within shoplifting or theft (non-motor) but large increases of 267% for violence against the person and public order and harassment offences, and 362% for drug import/export/production offences.
The most common offence for defendants to be sentenced for as their first main offence was violence against the person, representing 22% for men and women (for women this joint-first with theft). However, 20% of men were imprisoned compared with 7% of women (OR = 2.9).
68% of women and 80% of men had one or more prior convictions or cautions.
82% of women and 65% of men received a fine.
As shown in Table 1 (not in the slideshow), the offences men and women are perpetrating are roughly similar (for their first main offence). That is, they are perpetrating, in near identical rates, similar crimes. The largest differences are ‘Theft (non-motor)’ (22% female vs 10% male), ‘Drug Possession/Supply’ (5% female vs 10% male) and ‘Drink Driving’ (15% female vs 12% male). All the other differences are of two-percentage points or less.
Lastly: being identified as Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) was associated with a 49% increase in the odds of imprisonment compared to being White. Being identified as ‘male’ was associated with an 89% increase in the odds of imprisonment compared to being female.
A person’s sex has a greater effect on their imprisonment than does their race (OR = 1.82).
Left to right:
Be warned, these will make you angry.
On the left is Charlie Alliston who in September last year was sentenced to 18-months in a young offender institution for his part in the tragic accident that took the life of Kim Briggs. He was riding a fixed-gear bike with no front-brake at 20mph through London when Mrs Briggs stepped into the road some six-and-a-half metres in front of him. By the time they collided he was travelling at around 14mph – due to the short distance he had less than a second to react. The Highway Code states a stopping distance of 12 metres when travelling at 20mph.
She fell down and hit her head, sending her to the hospital where she died a week later. Upon hearing of her death, Mr Alliston made an attempt on his own life and he spent nine days in Maudsley psychiatric hospital, south London, having been taken there by police who had found him out alone with a rope.
In light of his attempt, consider what Judge Wendy Joseph QC said when sentencing him: “You have throughout sought to put your blame on her. Perhaps one of the most shocking things about this case is that you could not and apparently cannot still see any fault in your cycling or judgement.” Further, she went on to say:
“Your counsel has submitted that you feel remorse but throughout the entire course of the trial I saw no remorse for causing or substantially contributing to Mrs. Brigg’s death. I have seen only self-interested fear as to the difficulties it is causing for you. I accept you have had psychiatric difficulties following this incident, involving a short stay in hospital and ultimately a diagnosis of moderate depression. However the documented causes are stress at the prospect of a trial, fear of being sent to prison, and upset at your girlfriend breaking off the relationship. I accept you have said you wanted to kill yourself – I note your girlfriend’s comment that you are controlling person and that you always say you feel suicidal when she has tried to end your relationship. I have also read a recently compiled pre-sentence report in which it is right to note that you express what appears to the maker of the report to be true remorse. If this is right it is welcome no matter that it comes so very late in the day, but I note that in the same breath you continue to insist that you were not at fault and that you did nothing wrong in your riding. In so far as I can give you credit for some understanding and regret for what you have done, I do.”
You got to love how the Judge takes the girlfriend’s word as gospel but the pre-sentence report “appears” to be right. Also, what a great way to turn an attempt at suicide and a stay in a psychiatric hospital into a stick to beat someone with! I also like how he gets credit for an attempted suicide – that’s exactly what suicidal people want … credit!
Let’s compare this to Jessica Wells, in the middle.
In March of last year, Jessica Wells struck and killed 80-year-old Ian Rose as he was alighting off a bus. She was travelling at 44mph (in a 30mph zone) and had just overtaken a lorry and undertaken a learner driver. In short, Jessica Wells did travel 14mph over the speed limit and attempted to undertake a parked bus as passengers were alighting, only to collide with one, killing him. When sentencing her, Judge Philip Katz QC said: “You are also very conscious of the fact you have taken somebody’s life, a fact you will have to live with for the rest of your life … I accept wholly that you are thoroughly remorseful about what you have done … It seems to me I will cause more damage than justice requires if I sentence you to prison.”
Her sentence? Four-months suspended for 18-months.
That’s right. Similar cases. Same outcome. Different sentences. One could easily argue the Jessica Wells case is worse. You’d have to be a special kind of stupid to undertake a parked bus … whilst speeding.
What irritated me the most was Jessica Wells was sentenced the month before Charlie Alliston. His case blew the headlines but hers did not.
National outcry and demands for the law to be changed following the Alliston case – nothing following Wells.
This last one I put in for all the Father’s Rights Activists in the room – something for them to juxtapose their lived experience with. Speaking of, we all know how easily spurious and frivolous allegations can result in a father not seeing his children for years. Keep that in mind when hearing of this case.
Tania Clarence, from New Malden, South West London, smothered daughter Olivia, four, and three-year-old twins Ben and Max because they were disabled. She was seen by 60 different ‘professionals’.
Tania Clarence was “overwhelmed” with having to care for her children, who all suffered from the muscle-weakening condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type-2, a serious inherited neuromuscular condition that can shorten life expectancy.
Tania waited until her husband was away in South Africa to kill her children, she then attempted a suicide.
SHE WAS ALLOWED HOME JUST 13-MONTHS AFTER HAVING KILLED THREE OF HER FOUR CHILDREN!!! SHE’S ALSO BEEN ALLOWED CONTACT WITH THE FOURTH CHILD!!! SHE WASN’T EVEN SENTENCED TO PRISON, ONLY SENTENCED TO A HOSPITAL ORDER!!! Allowed home on weekends and allowed contact with the remaining surviving daughter.
She was granted a hospital order rather than prison due to mental health. Her illness? Stress, feeling overwhelmed and low self-esteem. According to the Sentencing Remarks, her “personality characteristics both made [her] more susceptible to develop a major depressive disorder and prevented the full extent of the disorder being recognised by others; and that it is a feature of your depression that you have consistently minimised symptoms both before and since the fatal events… In the result you suffered the major depressive episode to which I have already referred – in consequence of which you perceived that the situation could only get progressively worse, and that there was little that you could do about it.”
That’s right, her presenting with few symptoms of depression is itself a symptom of depression. I present with very few symptoms of being a paraplegic therefore, I am a fucking paraplegic, where’s my disabled blue parking badge!?
The report said, in July 2013, consideration was given to involving the police but according to the social care records, St George’s Hospital “did not think that would be helpful”. It said: “The concerns during this period, in the view of the authors, reached the threshold for child protection intervention, but this did not happen, despite references to legal intervention.”
We shall hear some more about thresholds passings not being considered a little later on.
Reference(s) for Images and Stories can be found on my blog (Women Who Should Be In Prison – The List).
A court is required to pass a sentence that is commensurate with the seriousness of the offence. The seriousness of an offence is determined by the culpability of the offender and the harm caused or risked being caused by the offence. Section 143(1) Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides: “In considering the seriousness of any offence, the court must consider the offender’s culpability in committing the offence and any harm which the offence caused, was intended to cause or might foreseeably have caused.” Enter Aggravating and Mitigating Factors.
According to the Sentencing Council, Aggravating Factors are split into ‘Factors indicating higher culpability’ and ‘Factors indicating a more than usually serious degree of harm’.
Mitigating Factors are split into ‘Factors indicating lower culpability’ and ‘Offender mitigation’.
I would list them all but we would be here for literally ever.
Briefly, I will mention the only Statutory Factors (only applies to Factors indicating higher culpability) :
Offence committed whilst on bail for other offences
Offence was racially or religiously aggravated
All the rest are Non-Statutory Factors.
The Custody Threshold, for those who haven’t figured it out from its name, means the threshold at which Immediate Custody should be sentenced.
Considering this, there are a few cases where Judges have been a little confused by what constitutes an Aggravating and a Mitigating Factor.
Ardent followers of my blog and subsequent Women Who Should Be In Prison series/list will be aware of these cases already.
Lauren Fowler, 25, did in two separate incidents crash her car whilst driving under the excessive influence of alcohol. The first incident, which occurred in October 2017, did involve her drinking when out at lunch with friends and concluded with her buying and drinking to the base a bottle of wine, which was found in her car when she crashed her Ford Ka in an area busy with pedestrians.
Two months later, whilst on bail for the first offence, she did drink a half-bottle of vodka before going to the gym, which is when she crashed her vehicle into another car when trying to exit the Stanneylands hotel in Wilmslow, Cheshire. To reiterate, at the time of this second collision, she was on bail for the first offence and tests showed she was over three times the drink-drive limit.
Fowler, a first-year doctor, broke down and wept in court as she was told her offending “crossed the custody threshold”.
According to the Sentencing Council, as Dr Fowler was more than three times over the drink-drive limit, the starting point is 12-weeks’ custody, the range is a High-level community order to 26 weeks’ custody and a Disqualification of 29 – 36 months (extend if imposing immediate custody) but, if it is the second offence in ten years, 36 – 60 months disqualification.
The Aggravating Factors in this case are:
offence committed whilst on bail for other offences [statutory];
commission of an offence while under the influence of alcohol or drugs [non-statutory];
To repeat: the custody threshold had been passed.
Her sentence? Eight weeks jail suspended for a year, ordered to complete 40 hours unpaid work banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay £200 court costs. JP Martin Drake told her: “We have considered all the facts of this case and there are aggravating features; the first offence was committed during the day when there were pedestrians around and the second offence was committed on bail and it was a very high reading. This does cross the custody threshold but the sentence will be suspended and this mean you will not be going to prison today. However, if you commit any offence during the next 12 months, another judge has the right to activate that sentence and can send you to custody.” (Not to spoil the ending but, this future judge totally fucking won’t.)
And to think, the Government are hot on punishing Drink-Driving offenders.
I did have a second case, Karen Eastwood, but, when I did a practice run of this talk a few nights ago, it ran over an hour so had to be cut. She did the same thing and it was the same outcome.
Those were cases where Judges and Justices of the Peace failed to sentence despite the Custody Threshold being passed. Now for one where a Judge was confused about Mitigating and Aggravating Factors and whether they are applicable or not:
Karolina Szumko, 18, from Poland, did hurl a racially abusive tirade at bouncers because they rejected her from a club because she was too drunk. She also slapped the manager. When arrested, she continued her abuse but aimed it at officers and became more violent as well, spitting at them and hitting them. The violence continued even whilst being processed in Charing Cross Police Station.
Such quotes of hers are: “You f***ing black, you shouldn’t be standing between us … You are going to f***ing die, f***ing racists, pretend to be white but wish Merry Christmas to Muslim people … you f***ing b*tch, f***ing pigs … British p*****s, you don’t believe in any f***ing nation, you are going to f***ing die.”
Let’s look at Statutory Factors:
Factors indicating higher culpability:
Offence was racially or religiously aggravated
Other (non-statutory) factors:
Factors indicating higher culpability:
an intention to commit more serious harm than actually resulted from the offence;
offence motivated by hostility towards a minority group, or a member or members of it;
deliberate targeting of vulnerable victim(s);
commission of an offence while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
Factors indicating a more than usually serious degree of harm:
a sustained assault or repeated assaults on the same victim;
offence is committed against those working in the public sector or providing a service to the public;
The Judge remarked: “I dare say you were not aware of what was going on, and I accept what happened wouldn’t have happened apart from drinking, you are genuinely sorry … I’m not going to send a lady to prison for something like this [Emphasis mine].”
Sentence: 150 hours Community Services and £200 Victim Surcharge
I could also remark on Lavinia Woodward, the girl “too pretty to go to jail” but, again, not enough time.
As per the previous slide, information on the cases can be found in The List.
Stories in lefty rags often state women get trapped in a revolving door of crime. They suffer short sentences, are torn from their kids, lose their housing, come back out topside and resort back to crime – only to return to prison! I will not refute this happens, however, do not be fooled into thinking this is a gendered-problem that inherently affects women. As prior mentioned, it is men who re-offend more and are more likely to be caught in the “revolving door of crime”.
“Women as victims”. I do not refute that many of the women involved in the British Justice System have suffered past abuse. What I do take a stand against, is the male-gender blindness! The complete blanking of male life-history.
Consider what the Cuckservative MP Philip Lee had to say in the Guardian at the end of last month:
“On visits to women’s prisons up and down the country, I was struck by how most of the women who get caught up in our criminal justice system are among the poorest and most vulnerable. Just look at the figures – 57% of women in prison have suffered domestic abuse; 49% report needing help for mental health problems, 48% said they had committed their offence to support someone else’s drug use and 24% to 31% have dependent children.”
I will not refute those figures but, in stereotypically MRA fashion I have to ask: but what about teh menz!?
Dr Naomi Murphy from the Fens Offender Personality Disorder Pathway Service at HMP Whitemoor, who spoke at the Male Psychology Conference 2017 & 2018, has been doing some wonderful work with male offenders. She found of the people in her care after six months with her:
66.1% reported childhood sexual abuse
72.6% reported childhood physical abuse
80.6% reported childhood neglect
66.1% reported childhood emotional abuse
59.7% reported parental antipathy
43.5% reported parental domestic violence
54% of the men who were sexually abused were victimized by a woman
The “women as victims” narrative utterly ignores all these men and their lived-experiences. Typical male-gender blindness.
In fact, Topitzes et al (2012), in a longitudinal study of 1,539 low-income minority participants born in 1979/80 in Chicago (US Data) found child maltreatment, ages 0–11, significantly predicted all indicators of violence and in no instance did gender moderate the maltreatment-violence association. Again, the argument of “women as victims” completely ignores the stark reality that both men and women are victims.
Consider now this British Psychological Society quote on male mental health needs:
“The way that men and women articulate and express mental and emotional distress is different; in particular, men are more likely to externalise their feelings. Whereas women are more likely to present with anxiety or depression, data show that men are more likely to turn to substance abuse, aggressive behaviour, violence and suicide (Wilkins, 2010). Such men are thus more likely to be directed towards punitive interventions where their behavioural needs may take precedent over their emotional distress. A recent paper describes how differences in the ways men express depression lead to a substantial proportion of cases being missed by traditional diagnostic criteria (Martin et al., 2013). Fear that their distress might be misunderstood and lead to punitive interventions might also therefore make men reluctant to seek help.”
How many men are in prison when instead they should have been given help for mental health – I do not know. How many men have suffered adverse mental health (or, for a better term: mental distress) and have acted out, only to be sent to prison? How many men have suffered mental distress (lost their kids because of the family courts, lost their jobs, are feeling suicidal) and, in acts of desperation and loss of control, find themselves involved with the Police and Justice System, banged up because they are a “bad man” when really, they just need help!?
I also thought about what Darren said: men are charged –electric- they need to be able to discharge.
Keep this in mind for later on.
A comprehensive review in The Lancet Psychiatry suggests that bumps to the head from falls, assaults or road accidents (things guys suffer from more than women) can lead to neural injuries which affect how the brain operates and may increase the risk of violent offending. They show how many people in the criminal justice system have had a Traumatic Brain Injury – around 20% have had a moderate to serious Traumatic Brain Injury, with another 30-40% having had something less serious. Thus meaning at least half of the prison population (around 40,000) have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. Compare this to 1 in 200 in the general public and we see a vast discrepancy.
Lead author Professor Huw Williams of the University of Exeter said “Addressing traumatic brain injury offers a means to not only improve the lives of those who offend, but also to reduce crime. A range of measures could reduce the risk of crime following traumatic brain injury. These could include any form of neurorehabilitation, and better links between emergency departments, community mental health services, GPs and school systems that might lead to early identification and management.”
Imagine that: if their head injuries had been properly addressed both by the Criminal Justice System and the Health System – up to and beyond 40,000 men today could be either free or not in prison.
Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive, from the Centre for Mental Health said: “Identifying those who have emotional or cognitive difficulties resulting from a brain injury may help to ensure they get the right support to improve their mental health and potentially reduce their risk of later offending.” Over a quarter of male offenders re-offend (around 20,000 men) – they could be diverted away from the criminal justice system if they received adequate care for their injury.
Fig 3.1 shows that the numbers brought to the hospital have risen over the last ten years, from 5,495 in 2005/06 to 22,965 in 2015/16, an increase of 17,470 (318%) over the ten-year period.
As mentioned near the beginning, in 2015/16, women were 16% of arrests but approximately 45% of those taken to the hospital.
Allow me to repeat that BPS quote from a few slides back:
“The way that men and women articulate and express mental and emotional distress is different; in particular, men are more likely to externalise their feelings. Whereas women are more likely to present with anxiety or depression, data show that men are more likely to turn to substance abuse, aggressive behaviour, violence and suicide (Wilkins, 2010). Such men are thus more likely to be directed towards punitive interventions where their behavioural needs may take precedent over their emotional distress.”
So let’s hear it one more time: In 2015/16, women were 16% of arrests but approximately 45% of those taken to the hospital.
How many men have been put into the Criminal Justice System when all they really needed was help?
It would appear the police, when dealing with men, predominantly see the act yet, when dealing with women, predominantly see the person. This has to change.
Ignoring the blatant gynocentrism – the report and its recommendations are actually quite alright.
What does the Government want to do? The main recommendations were:
1. Invest £5million in community provisions for offender’s who have suffered domestic abuse
2. Pilot ‘Residential Centres’ to divert offenders to rather than sending them to prison for short sentences
3. Reduce number of offenders serving short sentences
4. The police are to refer offenders to support rather than punitive measures
5. Address the needs of offenders
I cannot disagree with that but, what I just presented to you, is a heavily redacted version of what they want. They want women out of prison whilst, increasing the “prison population” (hint: male prison population) by 10,000.
Let’s say we took these five points – how many men could be diverted from prison if these recommendations applied to male offenders?
1. Invest £5million in community provisions for offender’s who have suffered domestic abuse … Let’s open up “domestic abuse” to mean all abuse and recall Dr Murphy’s stats from earlier:
66.1% reported childhood sexual abuse
72.6% reported childhood physical abuse
80.6% reported childhood neglect
66.1% reported childhood emotional abuse
59.7% reported parental antipathy
43.5% reported parental domestic violence
A mean average of 65% of the male prison population has suffered some form of abuse or other. That’s just shy of 52,000 men.
Also, let’s hark back to the second slide: the likelihood of being a victim of personal crime was less for women in 2015/16 (3.8% v 4.5%. OR = 1.18) and women were less likely to be victims of violent crime in general (1.3% vs 2.4%. OR = 1.85), the only form of violent crime in which women suffered the most was Domestic, which is the least common form of violent crime (0.4% vs 0.2%. OR = 2). The biggest difference was in Stranger violence (0.4% vs 1.4%. OR = 3.5).
They literally picked the least common form of violence as the reason for letting women go.
2/3. Pilot ‘Residential Centres’ to divert offenders to rather than sending them to prison for short sentences & Reduce the number of offenders serving short sentences … Less than 10% of male offenders are in for six months or less. That’s just under 8,000 men.
4. The police are to refer offenders to support rather than punitive measures. In 2015/16 there were 900,000 arrests of which 16% were female (144,000). In the same year, approximately 45% of those taken to hospital under a Short Term Order were women. How many men could be diverted away from prison if they went to the hospital instead? Considering around 60% of the male prisoners had suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and another 60% have suffered some form of abuse, as shown by Dr Murphy’s statistics, if men were to be offered these diversions away from punitive measures, in other words, if men were to be treated like how women are soon to be treated, at least 3 in 5 men in prison shouldn’t be there.
5. Address the needs of offenders … As mentioned earlier with Dr Murphy’s states, approximately 65% of male offenders have suffered abuse and up to 60% of the prison populated has suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury.
All in all, I can only speculate how fewer men could be in prison if they were to be treated like women – easily 3 in 5 men could be free.
I can’t imagine that will happen anytime too soon, just take a listen to this quote here:
“Sentencing is a matter for the courts, and any shift in emphasis from custody to community sentences must be led by the judiciary. The MoJ will work with judges to develop our understanding of what more might be done to ensure that the particular risks and needs of female offenders are addressed effectively in the court, and to ensure that courts receive all necessary information to inform the sentencing process. Building on previous work with Crown Court judges, we will interview district judges and magistrates in the Magistrates’ Court, where the majority of female offenders are sentenced, to better understand how we can further support them when sentencing women.”
I don’t think either Government nor the MoJ has any intention of treating men like how they treat women.
That leaves it up to us (next slide)…
I would like to tell you now about how I have endeavoured, in my ham-fisted and brutally amateurish manner, to appeal sentences and do what I can to combat improper rulings.
Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme:
I recently started appealing sentences via the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme, with very little luck but, first, some information on it. The Attorney General’s Office can review low sentences given by the Crown Court in England and Wales if they’re asked to and anyone can ask for a sentence to be reviewed – they don’t have to be involved in the case. Also, only one person needs to ask for a sentence to be reviewed. However, not all crimes are reviewed equally.
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, only these sentences are capable of review:
sentences passed in the Crown Court for indictable only offences;
sentences passed in the Crown Court for specified either way offences committed for trial;
sentences passed in the Crown Court for specified either way offences committed for sentence by a magistrates’ court;
sentences passed in the Crown Court committed from the youth court as a grave crime;
the minimum term of an indeterminate sentence.
My biggest obstacle was the ‘specified’ either-way offences stipulations. Summary Offences can only be tried in Magistrates Courts, Either-way Offences can be tried in either the Crown or Magistrate Court and Indictable Only offences can only be tried in the Crown Court. I’ll give you an example where such a review I submitted failed due to that very reason:
Charlotte Laudat, 31, launched a hysterical attack on her husband Simon, 40, after finding on his phone naked pictures of a woman in her 70s (this is the same case Ian McNicholl talked about yesterday). At first, she thought it was a joke but he admitted to having an affair. After discovering the images on a property management course, the pair returned home. It was there when Laudat pulled out a pair of scissors and yelled: “you’re going to die tonight”. She flew into a rage after calling the mistress, as Simon pleaded with her to stop attacking him, grabbing her hair in a bid to wrestle the scissors off her. She slashed her husband’s face eight-times. In order to escape the ferocious attack, Simon jumped out of the first-floor kitchen window of their flat, shattering both ankles. He now uses a Zimmer-frame and wheelchair to get around. Also, she is a Women’s Aid Campaign Champion. Judge Jane Sullivan ordered Laudat to pay £5,000 compensation to her husband as well as £1,800 in court costs and issued a restraining order on her stopping her from contacting him. She was also ordered to complete a community order of 14 days and another 30 days of rehabilitation activities.
I submitted this for review however it was denied on the grounds she was (quote) “sentenced for two offences contrary to s20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. That offence does not qualify for referral to the Court of Appeal because it is not a specified offence for the purposes of Part IV Criminal Justice Act 1988.”
Of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, sections 20, 29, 39, 47 and 89 are Summary or Either Way. These are the main sections we may come across in cases of assault. Section 20 is not a specified either-way offence.
Section 18, however, is Indictable only.
What is the main difference between Sections 18 and 20, I hear you ask!? According to the Sentencing Council, “The difference between [a section 18] offence and a section 20 offence as above is that in a section 18 offence, the offender must have intended to cause serious bodily harm to the victim. It would not involve a situation where someone was very badly hurt unintentionally as a result of a minor scuffle or where during an arrest someone merely intended to resist arrest and in doing so unforeseeably injured the officer arresting him.”
Imagine my fury at the Justice System when I realised my application for the review and appeal of Charlotte Laudat’s case failed because she was sentenced for two offences contrary to section 20 rather than section 18. Apparently, yelling “you’re going to die tonight” whilst stabbing someone in the face eight-times does neither convey nor prove intention to cause serious bodily harm. Please, everyone, a slow-clap for British Justice. When I read about the case I naïvely assumed she had been sentenced contrary to section 18 but, oh no, it was section 20! This is also the same reason Lavinia Woodward’s ruling could not be appealed – the girl too clever to go to jail.
I am not the only person who has had difficulties in having cases reviewed and appealed and, as such, there are calls to the Government to extend the ULS. Our boy, Philip Davies MP, was there with a few others on Thursday 10th May grilling the Attorney General (Jeremy Wright) about extending the ULS. It has already received an extension, including additional terrorism charges but, will be adding more sometime in the future.
Next: Ordering Sentencing Remarks. You can do this in cases where Judges say stupid shit but, my Lord, this is arduous! If ever you want to order Sentencing Remarks, don’t expect them to be quick! I submitted an order nearly two months ago and still haven’t had much luck! It’s simple stuff, you just email the court with the form which you can get off the .gov website and boom! They help set you up!
Under Section 155 Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, the Crown Court has the power to alter a sentence or other order made by the Crown Court within 56 days of the date on which it was made.
The usual reason for altering the sentence is that further information relevant to the sentence has become available to the court; or the court has overlooked some statutory provisions limiting its powers; or the sentence is found to take effect in an unexpected manner. Such a scenario where we can use this is if an offender is found to be “celebrating” after a light sentence thus indicating remorse is not quite so prevalent.
Social Media and Blogging.
In my limited capacity, I have attempted to bring light to these cases through my YouTube, Facebook page, my contributions to The Backbencher, etc. You too can do the same. By raising public awareness and public disapproval of these cases will help to challenge the social narrative.
Contact your MP. Implore them to widen the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme. Raise with them the issues of our so-called Justice System.
I do have documents I will be uploading to my site, sometime in the coming weeks or so, detailing how to go about researching and appealing sentences et cetera. I would like for people to join me on this endeavour to see Justice served as it should be.
Check out my site and email me for more.