Regina v Drew: HL 8 May 2003

The defendant was mentally ill. He had been convicted of a second serious offence, and now appealed the life sentence imposed. Psychiatrists had recommended a hospital order, but such an order could not now be made by virtue of the 2000 Act save in exceptional circumstances. It was said to be wrong automatically to impose a life sentence on the mentally ill and not criminally culpable, being ‘inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ within the unqualified prohibition, and the sections requiring imposition of such sentences where the offender is mentally ill, would be incompatible with article 3.
Held: The advantage of the life sentence is its flexibility. A determinate sentence would eventually result in release with no control. Courts had been reluctant to impose life sentences, and the Act was a response to that. It was not arbitrary, but proportionate and compliant.
L Bingham of Cornhill, L Steyn, L Hutton, L Millett, L Rodger of Earlsferry
[2003] UKHL 25, Times 09-May-2003, Gazette 03-Jul-2003, [2003] 1 WLR 1213, [2004] 1 Cr App R (S) 8, (2004) 75 BMLR 34, [2003] 2 Cr App R 24, [2003] 4 All ER 557
House of Lords, Bailii
Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 109, Mental Health Act 1983 37, Crime (Sentences) Act 1977 2, European Convention on Human Rights 3
England and Wales
ApprovedRegina v Offen; Regina v McGuillard; Regina v McKeown; Regina v Okwuegbunam; Regina v Saunders (Stephen) CACD 15-Nov-2000
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 . .
CitedX v United Kingdom ECHR 5-Oct-1972
A complaint by a prisoner that as a mentally disordered person he should have been held in a psychiatric hospital rather than a prison was rejected as inadmissible. . .
ApprovedRegina v Birch CACD 1989
Even where there is culpability, a hospital order with a restriction order may well be the appropriate way to deal with a dangerous and disordered person.
Mustill LJ discussed the effect of a restriction order: ‘In marked contrast with the . .
CitedRegina v H (Special measures) CACD 28-Mar-2003
The defendant had learning difficulties, and sought permission from the court to have a support worker. He appealed an order made by the judge as to the steps to be taken.
Held: The courts should be flexible and ready to assist where necessary . .
CitedRegina v London South West Region Mental Health Review Tribunal, Ex Parte Moyle QBD 10-Feb-2000
An application for the discharge of a mental patient under section 72, was to be based on the same criteria as would found the original decision to authorise detention under section 3. The criteria would mirror each other save that the burden of . .
Appeal fromRegina v Drew CACD 19-Dec-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 . .

Cited by:
CitedGray v Thames Trains and Others HL 17-Jun-2009
The claimant suffered severe psychiatric injured in a rail crash caused by the defendant’s negligence. Under this condition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the claimant had gone on to kill another person, and he had been detained under section . .
CitedFort, Regina v CACD 13-Dec-2013
The defendant had been found guilty of manslaughter by virtue of diminished responsibility. He had been 17, and a technically incorrect sentence of life imprisonment had been passed. There had been conflicting diagnoses of his condition between . .
CitedHenderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust CA 3-Aug-2018
Upon the allegedly negligent release of the claimant from mental health care, she had, while in the midst of a serious psychotic episode, derived from the schizophrenia, killed her mother and been convicted of manslaughter. She now sought damages in . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 January 2021; Ref: scu.181923