Nottingham Crown Court Sentence
Nottingham solicitor advocate Nick Walsh recently dealt with a sentence before Nottingham Crown Court. Careful mitigation drew distinctions between his client and two others to ensure that he received a suspended sentence rather than an immediate prison sentence.
Struck With a Bottle
Nick’s client, along with others, had pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm. He was one of five people who had attended a house party. Everyone present was drunk.
The behaviour of one of the group led to concerns from the victim that a female party-goer was to be assaulted. As a result, the victim took hold of the aggressor. He was then set upon by the group. During the assault he was punched and kicked and struck over the head with a bottle.
As a result of the assault he received a fractured jaw and had to undergo immediate surgery. He was discharged from hospital two days later.
Negotiation of Lesser Charge
Only three of the five had been charged with offences. They had originally been charged inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to case really serious injury. Negotiation at the Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing persuaded the prosecution to accept pleas to the lesser charge.
The probation service had prepared a pre-sentence report. In that report, Nick’s client had accepted that he was the person who had struck the victim with the bottle.
One interpretation of the Guidelines would have placed this offence as one of greater harm, it being a sustained assault, and higher culpability as a weapon was used in the attack. Had that been the case, the starting point for sentence for a ‘Category 1’ offence would have been three years imprisonment.
Further negotiation with the prosecutor and detailed representations to the Judge allowed the case to be treated as falling within Category 2 of the guideline. This was due to the absence of pre-meditation. As a result there was now a starting point of 18 months custody.
Careful Mitigation at Nottingham Crown Court
Although 17 at the time of the incident, Nick’s client was 18 at the point of sentence. Nick was able to rely upon his client’s youth and more importantly what he had achieved in the ten months since the incident. He had found work and broken off ties with his co-accused. He also had compelling mitigation relating to his upbringing.
As a result, although it was Nick’s client who used a weapon in the incident the Judge at Nottingham Crown Court was able to distinguish between him and the others in the dock. He received a sentence of 8 months suspended for 18 months with community requirements. His co accused, however, each received sentences 14 months’ immediate custody.
Contact Nick Walsh
Nick deals with clients at the police station, Magistrates’ and Crown Courts. As a result he can provide you with continuity of representation. If you wish to instruct Nick in any case then please telephone him on 0115 9599550 or email him here.