Regina v Benfield; Regina v Sobers: CACD 21 Jul 2003

The defendants appealed life sentences for second serious offences under s109. They had been convicted of robbery.
Held: The offence of robbery existed at the time when the 200 Act was created, and it was inconceivable that the new Act required in effect a creation of a secand variant of the offence involving the use of a firearm. It should therefore be necessary to spell it out in the indictment. The defendant must still however have opportunity to obtain a verdict which clarified any factual issues relevant to the Act. The issue would be determined in his favour unless the offence established that he had a firearm as envisaged. Because the fact could lead to an automatic life sentence it was necessary that the fact should be settled clearly, and any doubt given to the defendant.


Lord Woolf LCJ, Penry-Davey, Aikens JJ


Times 01-Sep-2003, [2004] 1 Cr Aoo R 8


Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 109


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Flamson CACD 2002
There is no need for an indictment to set out the facts which would need to be established to allow an offence to be treated as a serious offence for the purposes of sentencing under the Act, if those facts were clearly not at issue. . .
CitedRegina v D CACD 1993
. .
CitedRegina v Newton CACD 1982
Where there is a plea of guilty but there remains a conflict between the prosecution and defence as to the facts, the trial judge should approach the task of sentencing in one of three ways: a plea of not guilty can be entered to enable the jury to . .
CitedRegina v Courtie HL 1984
The House considered how to frame an indictment in a case of buggery where the prescribed punishment differed depending on the particular factual ingredients.
Held: Lord Diplock said: ‘Where it is provided by a statute that an accused person’s . .

Cited by:

CitedHylands, Regina v CACD 25-Nov-2004
The defendant had been convicted of robbery. Evidence suggested that he may had had with him a firearm. He appealed an automatic life sentence for a second serious offence.
Held: In order for an offence to come within the section, either the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.186030