R v Brown (Garry)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of Appeal (Criminal Division)
Judgment Date26 January 1995
Date26 January 1995

Court of Appeal

Before Lord Taylor of Gosforth, Lord Chief Justice, Mr Justice McKinnon and Mr Justice Judge

Regina
and
Brown (Garry)

Criminal sentencing - mitigation - remorse

Sentence increased despite remorse

Personal elements of mitigation and matters such as acute feelings of guilt and depression of a temporary nature should not deflect the court from passing a sentence appropriate to the gravity of a case.

The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, so held on a reference by the Attorney-General (No 39 of 1994) of an 18-month sentence passed on Garry Brown, aged 34, by Judge Harkins at Newcastle upon Tyne Crown Court on a plea of guilty to causing death by driving without reasonable consideration for other road users, with twice the legal limit of alcohol in his breath, contrary to section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, as inserted by section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1991.

Mr Mark Dennis for the Attorney-General; Mr Christopher Walton for the offender.

THE LORD CHIEF JUSTICE, giving the judgment of the court said that the offender, driving a car on a road in Jarrow, at a speed exceeding the 30mph speed limit at 8.25pm in January 1994 collided with Michael Mullen, aged 72. He was able to walk only slowly and was on a pedestrian crossing, walking towards the near-side kerb. He had reached within five feet of it when the collision occurred. He died 51/2 hours later.

In mitigation the court had heard that the offender had suffered remorse to a remarkable degree. Reports from two psychiatrists showed that he had taken his guilt and...

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