Regina v Piggott: 2 Dec 1994

The offender had pleaded guilty to two offences of robbery. He sought to rely on information he had provided to the police in mitigaion. At a hearing before the sentencing judge on 4 November 1993, the police provided the court with a text. At a further hearing on 24 November 1993, defence counsel indicated that there was further relevant material not set out in the text. Prosecuting counsel said he did not know if there was any more information. The judge adjourned sentence for 14 days to enable the defence to put matters before the prosecution. When the case was listed for sentence, there was no new material and the judge proceeded to sentence. The offender appealed and was granted leave on the basis that he had provided material to the court which, if confirmed by the police, would be relevant to sentence. The court directed that the prosecution attend on the appeal and that it should put itself in a position where it could confirm or not confirm the material put forward by the offender. When the appeal was brought on for hearing, no more information had been provided; after argument, the court directed that any relevant information be provided. When the court next sat for the hearing of the appeal, information was provided that broadly confirmed the matters that the offender had sought to have confirmed before the trial judge.
Held: The court was critical of the position taken by the police. It observed: ‘More important the sentencing judge was not made aware of matters of potential relevance to his sentencing decision when the interests of justice required that he should have been given the information now available to this court.
The position facing police officers in the present context is never straight forward and requires careful judgment. However, we reject any suggestion that the decision whether to provide a text or not is simply a matter for the discretion of the police. In principle, if a defendant seeks to put material before the court by way of mitigation, which the court will not begin to consider unless confirmed in writing by the prosecution authority, then accurate information in the appropriate form confirming or refuting, in whole or in part, the assertions made by or on behalf of the defendant should be made available to the sentencing court by the prosecution.’


Unreported transcript 2 November 1994

Cited by:

CitedAXN v The Queen CACD 27-May-2016
The defendant argued that greater note should have been taken on his sentencing to allow for the assistance he had given to the police after his arrest.
Held: The current accepted practice is that the text of the letter from the police to the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Sentencing, Police

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.564848