R v B – Isleworth Crown Court – Our client appeared for sentence, having earlier pleaded guilty to offences of racially aggravated harassment and criminal damage, following an incident on board an aircraft.

At the initial hearing our client pleaded guilty to these offences. Despite strong submissions by defence counsel that the matter was suitable to be dealt with by way of a non-custodial sentence, the magistrates saw fit to commit the matter to the crown court for sentence. When the matter was next listed for sentence, the learned judge made it clear that she felt the matters so serious that an immediate sentence of imprisonment was appropriate, before adjourning pending the preparation of a pre-sentence report. This was again despite the submissions of defence counsel that the custody threshold had not been passed.

Following the preparation of the report, the matter was again listed. The facts were opened by the prosecution, following which defence counsel addressed the court at length to submit extensive and powerful mitigation, illustrating why the case did not cross the custody threshold. The judge was taken through the sentencing guidelines and considerable character evidence was called.

In sentencing, the judge stated that he had intended to pass a sentence of 6 weeks immediate custody for each offence. However, he accepted and was persuaded that the case did not pass the custody threshold because of the personal mitigation. As a result, the sentence passed was one of 160 hours community punishment order for each offence concurrently, compensation and costs.

Our client, his family and friends had attended Court expecting the worst, despite the fact that we felt from the outset, as did counsel, that custody was unwarranted here. Thankfully, the right outcome was achieved and the client took the time to contact us after the hearing:

‘Hi Steve. Thank you for your diligence and expertise during such a difficult time for us.  We are relieved to close the case’

Jeremy Wainwright of 3 Temple Gardens http://www.3tg.co.uk/people/jeremy_wainwright/ was instructed by Steve Foster of the CWD Private Crime Team