R v Cecil Charles Hollywell

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
Judgment Date16 Dec 1966
Judgment citation (vLex)[1966] EWCA Crim J1216-5
Docket NumberNo. 1846/66

[1966] EWCA Crim J1216-5



Royal Courts of Justice


Lord Justice Winn

Mr. Justice Lawton


Mr. Justice James

No. 1846/66

Cecil Charles Hollywell

MR. R. INSALL appeared as Counsel for the Appellant.


This is one of these cases where the Court has to think very carefully and approach the problem with an entirely open mind asking itself the basic question: what can be done to salvage the life of the man now before them, who is Cecil Charles Holeywell. On the 9th June of this year he pleaded guilty at Northampton Quarter sessions to a count of house breaking and larceny and another count of obtaining goods by false pretences. He then asked for no less than 56 other offences to be taken into consideration and many of those offences were themselves serious natters. There were 35 cases of false pretences, obtaining goods or money by false pretences, 13 of larceny and six of breaking and entering and other matters. In fact the sum of £1,221 was involved in those matters.


He is 48 years of age and he has had virtually no time at liberty in the last twenty years – some 20 months, it is estimated in the last 20 years. In 1941 he received a sentence of penal servitude when he deserted from the Army. He has had a number of other convictions and sentences. In 1952 for burglary with as many as 61 – 62 cases taken into consideration he was sentenced to seven years Preventive retention. In 1958 for false pretences and house breaking with 41 cases taken into consideration he was sentenced to 10 years and it is now reported by the Secretary of State that he is fit for Preventive Detention. It is not surprising that at Northampton Quarter Sessions he was sentenced to 10 years Preventive Detention even though that form of detention could very well be nearing its end.


Now he comes before the Court and the choice is a simple one, one that can only he taken with a full sense of responsibility, and it is this, is this man to stay in prison for another ten years? If so, what earthly good will he be to himself or anyone else when he comes out? On the other band is a risk to be taken, a grave risk, that he may become a further menace and mischief to the general community? This Court has had the assistance of a report from the Governor of Bedford Prison which speaks very highly indeed of this man. He says in prison he has been exceptionally well behaved, very co-operative in act and manner and always industrious and responds very favourably to the supportive regime of prison.


It is quite plain to the Court this man needs to be supported and he has confided in a number of members of the staff of the prison. He has suffered a recent tragic loss for his mother died: that has had the advantage of bringing his brother, his only surviving relative, in touch with him: he at one time thought he might well be able to marry. The Governor says in his opinion there is an element of anticipation and desire to plan for the future which he regards as encouraging and as giving some ground for hope that this man might settle down. The probation service was asked by the Court to add to what they...

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