This was a case concerning possession of an imitation firearm and possession of a prohibited weapon which was allegedly a taser where our Mr Titchener was instructed from the outset on a privately funded basis. The circumstances of the case involved our client being in his car one afternoon and brandishing the imitation firearm and threatening another motorist with it in what the Prosecution referred to as a “road rage” type incident.
As with all cases, things weren’t necessarily what they seemed.
When the decision was made to prosecute our client, Mr Titchener, from our Private Client Team, was able to establish that the item alleged to have been the prohibited weapon was not in fact one. The Prosecution was persuaded to review that aspect of the case and that charge was withdrawn. Our client admitted he had brandished the imitation firearm and a detailed Basis of Plea was drawn up by Mr Titchener, providing context. This was accepted and the client pleaded guilty on that limited basis.
The Recorder at the Crown Court sitting at Chelmsford proceeded to Sentence our client to 12 months in Prison. In our expert view and that of Counsel, Miss Drea Becker from 9 Bedford Row, this was manifestly excessive as a result of the Judge’s incorrect application of the Sentencing Guidelines. The matter was immediately the subject of an Appeal to the Court of Appeal, at the Royal Courts of Justice, where three Judges proceeded to consider the matter, and the detailed submissions, as to why the Crown Court Recorder was incorrect.
In accepting many of the submissions made, the Court of Appeal proceeded to reduce our client’s Sentence from 12 months to 8 months, meaning he would be eligible in a matter of weeks to apply for early release on the Home Detention Curfew Scheme.