Successful opposition to AG reference in serious sexual offence / indecent images case

Case of YZ (and A.N.other) 2019 EWCA CRIM 466 judgment handed down on 19 March 2019. Our client sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 6 years after entering guilty pleas for sexual assault of a child and the making and distribution of indecent images.

The Attorney-General submitted on appeal that the sentence imposed was unduly lenient. A-G submitted that the starting point after trial should have been in the region of 16 years which would have meant that applying full credit the aggregate sentence should have been in the range of 10.5 -11 years (upon entering guilty pleas). We submitted to the contrary that the sentencing exercise had been complex and nuanced and had been conducted by a very experienced judge. We further submitted that the approach contended for by the A-G amounted to no more than a  ’tick box’ exercise and would lead to injustice and the imposition of a wholly disproportionate sentence. We submitted that the aggregate sentence imposed of 6 years was lenient but it was not UNDULY lenient. We noted that no issue  could properly be taken with the learned judge’s rationale, nor could the A-G point to any material failure to take into account relevant factors or the taking into account of irrelevant factors. The CA agreed with our analysis and rationale and did not disturb the aggregate sentence which remained at 6 years imprisonment.

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