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Views of victim concerning sentencing were not a plea for leniency

By: Mark Tottenham BL

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Supreme Court dismisses appeal from Court of Appeal, and affirms a sentence of four years imprisonment, with the final three years suspended, imposed for a charge of assault causing harm (having determined that a fully-suspended sentence was unduly lenient), on the grounds that: (a) views of the victim communicated to the Court of Appeal did not amount to a plea for leniency on behalf of the offender; and (b) a voluntary offer of compensation should not be equated with a statutory order for compensation.

O'Malley J (nem diss): Plea of guilty to charge of assault causing harm - s.4 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 - sentence of four years imprisonment, suspended in its entirety - review by Court of Appeal - substituted sentence of four years imprisonment, with the final three years suspended - views of victim - victim rendered unconscious by punch - coma - surgery - permanent sequelae - plea on basis of recklessness rather than intention - personal circumstances - history of drug use - whether sentence unduly lenient - weight given to views of trial judge - onus on director - whether sentence wrong in principle - whether a substantial departure from appropriate sentence - attitude of victim - offer of compensation.

Concurring judgment also from Charleton J.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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