Transparency, Finality and Crediting Time Spent in Custody on Remand: R v Leacock (Mark) [2013] EWCA Crim 1994

AuthorPhilip Rule
Date01 August 2014
Published date01 August 2014
Subject MatterCourt of Appeal
286 The Journal of Criminal Law (2014) 78 JCL 286–299
Court of Appeal
Transparency, Finality and Crediting Time
Spent in Custody on Remand
RvLeacock (Mark) [2013] EWCA Crim 1994
Keywords Remand time in custody; Correction of errors; Slip-rule; Open
justice; Finality
Leacock appealed against sentence on the basis that a mistake had been
made in his favour in relation to time spent on remand and he resisted
the correction of that error. The mistake arose from the failure to leave out
of account time spent serving an earlier sentence of imprisonment
concurrently with the period of the remand.
Leacock pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and sentencing
was adjourned. At a sentencing hearing on 6 September 2012 Leacock’s
advocate asked the judge to credit 120 of 184 days spent on remand whilst
Leacock had been serving another sentence. It was proposed that this be
done by reducing the sentence to be imposed by three months, bearing in
mind the provisions of s. 240(4)(a) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 that
make it impermissible to give credit for that time under the statutory
scheme. The judge invited the parties to agree the period spent on remand.
The following day the judge reduced the sentence by two months to
take account of the time on remand whilst serving the other sentence. The
judge adopted the standard rubric and stated:
It is my intention that all defendants should receive credit for time served and
such periods as have already been calculated and stated in this court or whatever
period subsequently appears to be the right calculation of the period served on
remand prior to sentence. (at [9])
Leacock was sentenced to 29 months’ imprisonment and the order of the
court stated 184 days would be credited. That was an error no one
identied at the time. From the discussion the previous day it ought to
have been understood that the period of 184 days should in fact have been
reduced by the time spent serving the other sentence.
The prison authorities realised the mistake on 17 September 2012.
Leaving out of account the period spent serving the other sentence, the
amount of time spent on remand was 115 days. The order of the court was
thereafter amended by the clerk at the Crown Court to provide that 115
days should count against sentence. That was done without any hearing
and Leacock’s date of release was altered. Leacock sought leave to appeal
on the basis that, following the decision in R (on the application of Hicks) v
Crown Court at Snaresbrook [2012] EWCA Crim 2515, [2012] EWHC 3348
(Admin), there was no power to amend an order in this way.
Applying the decisions in RvNorman [2007] 1 Cr App R (S) 82 (p. 509);
RvGordon [2007] 1 WLR 2117; and RvNnaji and Johnson [2009] 2 Cr App
R (S) 107, numerous sentences were corrected administratively. It was not

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