The Home Secretary has the power to fix the tariff sentence for a lifer at her whole life where that was needed in order to satisfy the requirements of retribution and of deterrence.Lord Bingham of Cornhill CJ said: ‘I can see no reason, in principle, why a crime or crimes, if sufficiently heinous, should not … Continue reading Regina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Hindley: Admn 18 Dec 1997
The Home Secretary has an extraordinarily wide discretion to refuse to release a mandatory lifer after the punitive part of sentence if there was a remaining risk to the public. . .
1267 – 1278 – 1285 – 1297 – 1361 – 1449 – 1491 – 1533 – 1677 – 1688 – 1689 – 1700 – 1706 – 1710 – 1730 – 1737 – 1738 – 1751 – 1774 – 1792 – 1793 – 1804 – 1814 – 1819 – 1824 – 1828 – 1831 – 1832 … Continue reading Acts
The court had to decide the extent to which the Parole Board could rely on hearsay evidence in a case in which a discretionary life prisoner’s licence had been revoked. The evidence was crucial to the issue of risk. Held: (majority) The Board’s decision which had relied upon the hearsay evidnce was upheld. Kennedy LJ: … Continue reading Regina on the Application of Brooks v The Parole Board: CA 10 Feb 2004
The applicants had been convicted of murder. The Home Secretary had to fix sentence tariffs for their release. They contended that it was a breach of their rights for that tariff to be set by a politician. The distinction was made between offences carrying mandatory and discretionary life sentences. The decision as to what measure … Continue reading Regina (Anderson) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Regina (Taylor) v Same: CA 13 Nov 2001
The appellant, a mentally disordered offender appealed the imposition of an automatic life sentence. He asserted that it was a breach of his human rights. Held: Although courts had repeatedly encouraged the use of orders under the Mental Health Act, parliament had made its wishes clear, and such an order would provide greater protection for … Continue reading Regina v Drew: CACD 19 Dec 2001
The Home Secretary had recalled a prisoner under emergency powers who had been released on licence. He was advised by the Parole Board, in an interim report, that the prisoner should be released. He rejected the advice and continued the detention. Held: The powers he exercised were emergency ones. The Board’s interim recommendations could at … Continue reading Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Cummings: CA 22 Feb 2001
A defendant was convicted of a repeat offence of dealing in Class A drugs. The minimum term to be applied was seven years. However, in this case the defendant’s previous conviction had been dealt with by way of a probation order, and that alone was a sufficient ‘particular circumstance’ which would operate to allow a … Continue reading Regina v Stenhouse: CACD 11 Apr 2000
The applicant had been a discretionary life prisoner. His minimum period of detention had passed, but he continued to be detained under a transfer order for his treatment as mental health patient. Held: The absence of any means for him to challenge his continued detention infringed his rights. Had the Mental Health Review Tribunal decided … Continue reading Regina (D) v Secretary of State for the Home Department: QBD 19 Dec 2002
There are clearly circumstances under the new regime for the passing of mandatory sentences for repeat offenders which were offensive to a judge’s sense of justice. It was possible that such laws would lead to applications under the Human Rights legislation. Nevertheless, the court must interpret the term ‘exceptional circumstances’ restrictively. Provocation or the passage … Continue reading Regina v Turner (Ian): CACD 4 Apr 2000
A defendant had been previously convicted of a non-consensual buggery. On conviction for a later offence, the question arose of whether this was a serious sexual offence requiring the application of a mandatory life sentence. Buggery had not been on the list of serious offences, but non-consensual buggery had later been defined as equivalent to … Continue reading Regina v Wood (Stephen Robert): CACD 21 Apr 2000
When sentencing a young offender to a discretionary life sentence time spent on remand should be credited by making allowance before fixing the notional determinate part of the sentence, and specify the time before parole. Citations: Times 07-Apr-1998 Statutes: Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 Jurisdiction: England and Wales Criminal Sentencing Updated: 10 April 2022; Ref: scu.88548
For the purposes of the Act, where a defendant faced a compulsory life sentence following two convictions for certain offences, a finding by the judge that the defendant did not pose a serious risk to society, could be an exceptional circumstance justifying not imposing the sentence. Such a finding might be based upon there being … Continue reading Regina v Offen; Regina v McGuillard; Regina v McKeown; Regina v Okwuegbunam; Regina v Saunders (Stephen): CACD 15 Nov 2000
Counsel had failed to warn his client that if convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, after a previous conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under thirteen, he would be subject to a mandatory life sentence. The prosecution would have been ready to accept a plea to an alternative charge of causing … Continue reading Regina v Stephens (Michael): CACD 29 Mar 2000
The fact that a defendant had, at the time of committing an offence, been suffering from an acute mental illness, was not sufficient reason to count as an exceptional reason allowing a judge not to pass a life sentence for a subsequent serious offence. The case should be looked at in the light of section … Continue reading R v Newman: CACD 13 Feb 2000
Attempted robbery was not necessarily a serious offence within the Act, but a firearms offence involving an imitation firearm was. Nevertheless the court should look to the overriding purpose of the Act, and where the purpose was served, a lesser sentence than life for a second qualifying offence might be appropriate where such exceptional circumstances … Continue reading Regina v Buckland: CA 13 Feb 2000
Balancing Rights of Prisoner and Society The appellant had been convicted of the murder of three police officers in 1966. His tariff of thirty years had now long expired. He complained that material put before the Parole Board reviewing has case had not been disclosed to him. Held: The appeal failed (by a majority). The … Continue reading Roberts v Parole Board: HL 7 Jul 2005
In 1974 the prisoner had been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimal custodial term of 40 years. That had been completed but he had not been released despite a direction for his release by the parole board to a hostel. Funding had not been made available for the place. Held: The claim failed. The … Continue reading Taylor, Regina v Secretary of State for Justice and Others: Admn 16 Nov 2015
Setting of minimum term for prisoner convicted of murder – transitional effect of provisions. The Honourable Mr Justice Openshaw  EWHC 1819 (QB) Bailii Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 28(5), Criminal Justice Act 2003 269 England and Wales Criminal Sentencing Updated: 10 December 2021; Ref: scu.245092
From 4 April 2005 until 3 December 2012, English law provided for the imposition of sentences of imprisonment for public protection (‘IPP’). The Court addressed the practical and legal issues resulting from the new system. Held: The decision as to whether to impose an IPP senence and whether a prisoner was ready for release on … Continue reading Sturnham, Regina (on The Application of) v The Parole Board of England and Wales and Another (No 2): SC 3 Jul 2013
The prisoner was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of three police officers in 1966. He served a longer time than the recommended minimum and had been transferred to an open prison anticipating release on licence. He now complained of having been returned to a closed prison, but that not all the material on … Continue reading Roberts, Regina (on the Application of) v The Parole Board: Admn 7 Nov 2008
The four claimants, each serving indeterminate prison sentences, said that as they approached the times when thy might apply for parol, they had been given insufficient support and training to meet the requirements for release. The courts below had been bound by decisions of the House of Lords despite those decisions being ruled incorrect by … Continue reading Haney and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Justice: SC 10 Dec 2014
The Court considered whether a whole life sentence under section 269(4) of the 2003 Act was compatible with Article 3. The defendant had been convicted of murdering a policeman and of attempted murder of two others. Held: The whole life tarriff was quashed. The 2003 Act introduced the possibility of a whole life sentence with … Continue reading Bieber (Aka Coleman) v Regina: CACD 23 Jul 2008
The applicants had each been given a life sentence, but having served the minimum term had been due to have the continued detention reviewed to establish whether or not continued detention was necessary for the protection of the pblic. It had not been, and each had claimed there was no basis for his continued detention, … Continue reading Faulkner, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice and Another: SC 1 May 2013
In each case the appellant had been convicted of particularly serious murders and had been given whole liife terms. They now appealed saying that such sentences were incompatible with their human rights after the ruling of the ECHR Grand Chamber in Vinter -v- UK. Held: The appeals failed. Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, CJ; Sir Brian … Continue reading Regina v McLoughlin; Regina v Newell: CACD 18 Feb 2014
The court heard appeals against automatic life sentences imposed under the 1997 Act. It was contended that either the interpretation of section 2 of the 1997 Act was affected by section 3 of the 1998, or that section 2 is incompatible with a Convention right so that the appellants are entitled to a declaration of … Continue reading Offen and Others, Regina v: CACD 9 Nov 2000
The appellant had been convicted of double murder. The judge imposed a mandatory life sentence with a minimum recommended term. The Home Secretary had later increased the minimum term under the 1997 Act. The appellant challenged that increase. Held: The increase in the minimum term to be served was an increase in the sentence. A … Continue reading Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex parte Anderson: HL 25 Nov 2002
The words of the Act imposing mandatory sentences save in exceptional cases are clear, and the word ‘exceptional’ has accepted meanings which are not to be extended by reference to the Convention on Human Rights. Mandatory life sentences were . .
The prisoners appealed saying that the whole life terms set on the imposition of a life sentence for murder were a breach of their human rights.
Held: The continued detention of three defendants who had been made subject to a whole life tariff . .
The claimant was serving a prison sentence for serious sexual offences. He would not be released until he had completed a sex offenders programme, but one was not made available, delaying his release.
Held: ‘The Secretary of State is not under . .
The offence of wounding with intent will almost inevitably attract an immediate custodial sentence and even where the act was an over-reaction in self-defence. The offence was also an offence for which a second conviction would attract a life . .
The sentencing guidelines for sexual assault on children were no longer appropriate because of changes in law. An assault on a daughter’s 13 year old friend after plying her with alcohol justified a two year sentence with extended supervision and . .
A sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon a youth of 14 for the offence of arson with intent to damage property or recklessness as to whether damage would be cause was wrong in principle and manifestly excessive. There is no sentence in such . .
S was serving a term of life imprisonment. After serving the tariff, his detention should have been reviewed. After several serious delays, and a decision that he should instead be transferred to open conditions, he brought proceedings for judicial . .
(Statement of Facts) Prisoners appealed saying that the imposition of a whole life tariff on their life term by the judge, so that they could only be released at the discretion of the Home Secretary, and that this was inhuman treatment. . .
The defendant had been convicted of a series of armed robberies. He had already been sentenced to life imprisonment and committed these offences while released on licence. He now appealed against an additional sentence of imprisonment for public . .
The prisoner, subject to a term of imprsonment for public protection, and had completed thr tariff period. He now challenged the decision of the Board not to direct his relase and or transfer to open conditions.
Held: The appeal failed. The . .
Mandatory Life sentence . .
The prisoner had been released on licence but then recalled. He complained that the procedure infringed his human rights. He had been convicted of manslaughter, and was seen to be a long term danger. The court awarded him compensation saying that . .