Due to our reputation for delivering positive results and always trying to secure the most favourable outcome whatever the circumstance, when our client and his family were dissatisfied with the outcome of the case undertaken by their original solicitors, we were instructed to advise on an Appeal against Sentence.
Our client had pleaded guilty to the very serious offence of Causing or Inciting a Child Under 13 to Engage in Sexual Activity, whereby he received a 2 Year Custodial Sentence.
Upon reviewing the case, it was clear that the previous legal team had failed to note that the Sentencing Guidelines had been incorrectly applied. The Sentencing Guidelines are complex and prone to misinterpretation and expert representation is vital to ensure that mistakes aren’t made. The offence had been put into Category 3A where the starting point was 5 years Custody with a range of 3-8 years. We noted that the offence should in fact have been placed in Category 3B with a starting point of 2 years with a lower range due to the low level of grooming. It was also noted that this was a matter of ‘inciting’ rather than ‘causing’ which involved a lesser degree of harm.
We were successful in pursing our client’s Appeal against Sentence in the Court of Appeal when his case appeared before Sharp J, Holgate J and Kerr J and the sentence was reduced from 2 years to 18 months.
This case goes to illustrate just how important it is to have Experts dealing with the case from the outset and what a difference it can make when a specialist team of lawyers are involved with the experience to deal with these type of serious sexual assault cases.