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Section 18 or 20 Offences Against the Person Act 1861?

offences against the person act 1861
Crown court litigator Sarah Lees-Collier

Senior crown court litigator Sarah Lees-Collier recently represented a client appearing for Crown Court trial at Leicester Crown Court.  He faced an extremely serious charge of wounding with intent, contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

Negotiation resolved the case to our client’s satisfaction.

Section 18 Offences Against the Person Act 1861

The allegation was made more serious by a number of factors.  Our client had not acted alone but with another to assault the victim.  Although fists were used to begin with, the victim was then assaulted with a knife.  Finally, the offence took place in a student halls of residence, so the victim had been assaulted in their own home.

Some of the incident had been captured on CCTV.

The complainant received two black eyes, a cut above his eye that required stitches, a broken nose and fractured cheek bone.

Sarah’s client was of good character with no convictions or even cautions recorded against him.  He was a student himself.

Sentencing Guidelines

section 20 offences against the person act 1861Following conviction after trial the sentencing guidelines would have suggested that a starting point of six years in prison, within a range of five to nine years.  Arguably this could have been categorised as a ‘sustained assault’ which would have made the sentence even longer.

An alternate plea to a lesser charge

On the day of trial our client was represented by barrister Nick Bechey from Great James Street chambers.  We received instructions to offer a plea to the lesser charge under section 20 Offences Against the Person Act 1861.  This offer of plea was accepted by the prosecution.

As a result, the judge had a greater flexibility on sentence and instead of a lengthy prison sentence our client received a suspended sentence with community elements.  He was very pleased and relieved with the outcome.

Instruct an expert crown court litigator

If you face proceedings before the Crown Court then you will want to know that you are instructing a specialist crown court defence lawyer to fight your case.  You can contact Sarah on 0115 9599550.  Alternatively, we have expert lawyers to help with your Crown Court case at all of our offices.  Find your nearest office here.

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