Last and others v Regina; Attorney General’s Reference No 108 of 2004: CACD 25 Jan 2005

Appeals were heard on the application of new sentencing guidelines to the defendant’s cases retrospectively. They had pleaded guilty to murders, and the issues was as to the minimum terms set.
Held: The judge had to set the minimum term in open court. Guidelines had now been issued to the effect that if a whole life term was appropriate, no reduction could be applied. Otherwise the maximum reduction should be one sixth and should not exceed five years. Any adjusted sentence should then be checked again to make sure it remained appropriate. The guideline was no more than it said, and did not alter the law. No guidance had previously been in place, and it was right for courts to have regard to its contents even in retrospect. As guidance the court could still in such cases exercise its own proper discretion.


Lord Woolf LCJ, Silber J, Rafferty J


[2005] EWCA Crim 106, Times 31-Jan-2005




Criminal Justice Act 2003, Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Sullivan; Regina v Gibbs; Regina v Elener; Regina v Elener CACD 8-Jul-2004
The appellants, each convicted of murder, challenged the minimum periods of detention ordered to be served.
Held: As to the starting point for sentencing, judges should have regard to the published practice directions, and not the letter from . .

Cited by:

CitedJones, Regina v CACD 30-Nov-2005
The court considered appeals against tarriffs set for defendants convicted of murder in the light of the schedules to the 2003 Act.
Held: ‘The guidance given by Schedule 21 is provided to assist the judge to determine the appropriate sentence. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 29 June 2022; Ref: scu.222090