Court of Appeal Success
Nottingham solicitor advocates Phil Plant and Jon Hullis had a successful visit to the Court of Appeal this week. In February of this year, their clients had been sentenced to 13 years and 4 years 8 months respectively at Nottingham Crown Court.
Phil’s client was initially arrested for an allegation of supply of heroin to Jon’s client, our other client being arrested for possession with intent to supply the drug. The transaction involved the purchase of £7000 of heroin.
While on bail for this offence, Phil’s client was then arrested in possession of twelve packages of 1 kilogram of heroin, and faced a separate charge of possession with intent to supply heroin.
Unsurprisingly, the sentencing guidelines for these offences mean that it is almost inevitable that lengthy custodial sentences will be imposed.
As a result, the fact that prison sentences of some length were imposed came as no surprise to either client. We, however, were concerned that taking into account the guidelines and the stage at which the guilty pleas were entered the final sentences were simply too long.
Phil and Jon drafted positive advices on appeal and the necessary grounds of appeal, arguing that the sentences imposed were ‘manifestly excessive’. The papers were favourably reviewed by a single judge at the London Court and the matter was listed before the full court for argument.
In delivering the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Burnett shared the view that the sentences were too long in all the circumstances of the case. The sentences were reduced by 2 years and 8 months, and 8 months, respectively.
A third appellant, separately represented, was unsuccessful in a similar appeal.
Cases such as this show that our solicitor advocates properly identify the issues of importance in a client’s case, and are able to provide representation from early stages of proceedings through to the conclusion of a case at the Court of Appeal.