Philip Rule succeeds in quashing of two life sentences

Tue, 17 Jan 2017

In the very first judgment of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) this year ([2017] EWCA Crim 1), Lord Justice Burnett, Mr Justice Wyn Williams and Mr Justice Supperstone have allowed an appeal against two concurrent life sentences imposed upon the appellant Y.

Mr Rule was instructed solely for the appeal.

The Court of Appeal accepted that the court below had been wrong in its interpretation of the amended dangerousness provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and that sentence should properly have been imposed only in respect to the matters stated in the indictment and to which the appellant had pleaded guilty.

The Court accepted the submissions that the case should be dealt with by means of a determinate sentence rather than an extended determinate sentence, and imposed sentences of ten years’ imprisonment in substitution for the life sentences.

The judge below had taken a notional determinate term of a length of 12 years in setting the minimum term to the life sentences, but the mitigation – advanced on appeal by Mr Rule - was accepted to indicate that that term was too long applying the relevant sentencing guidelines.


Philip Rule is a specialist in criminal appeals and a member of the Crime group at No5 Chambers.

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