Aspects of violence

Published date01 March 2021
Date01 March 2021
Subject MatterIn court
PRB977980 124..138
The Journal of Community and Criminal Justice
Probation Journal
In court
2021, Vol. 68(1) 124–137
ª The Author(s) 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/0264550520977980
Nigel Stone, Visiting Fellow in the School of Psychology, University of East Anglia,
reviews recent appeal judgments and other judicial developments that inform sen-
tencing and early release.
Aspects of violence
Affray: Viewed in the round
Aged in his late 30s I. had spent a day in a bar, becoming heavily intoxicated, loud
and aggressive. He became threatening and aggressive when refused further ser-
vice and was asked to leave. An altercation ensued in which others joined and a
door supervisor received a deep, penetrative injury near his eye, believed to have
been inflicted by glassing. I. was prosecuted for wounding with intent (s18) and
affray. He had three sets of prior convictions, all 12 years prior to the current
offending, for matters including breaches of an antisocial behaviour order, dis-
orderly behaviour and resisting a constable. As the jury were not certain that I. had
inflicted the victim’s injury he was acquitted of the s18 allegation.
On I.’s appeal against sentence of 12 months’ immediate imprisonment for
affray it was argued on his behalf that the judge should have applied the Magis-
trates’ Court Guidelines covering affray, a course that would have indicated a lower
sentence. The Court of Appeal was firm that those guidelines do not apply in the
Crown Court save on appeal or committal for sentence. Further, the Court was
critical of the judge for appearing to have focused on I.’s own conduct in the epi-
sode. ‘A sentence for affray has to reflect not merely the individual’s own conduct,
but the affray as a whole, especially in the case of someone [such as I.] who started
the incident’ and where the affray episode had involved conduct causing risk of
serious injury, as was evidenced by the injury actually sustained in this episode.
The Court additionally saw no merit in the ground for appeal that the judge
should have ordered a pre-sentence report (PSR). He had been entitled to conclude
that a report was unnecessary, ‘not least because he considered that immediate
custody was...

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