||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 208 (Jul)
|| EWCA Crim 1955
||Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Smith LJ, Nelson and Henriques JJ
||Charles Bott (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the defendant.
||Gillian Etherton (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
||15 July 2005
Criminal law - Trial - Plea - Advance indication of sentence by trial judge - Whether indication of likely sentences on guilty plea and conviction breach of guidance - Whether breach rendering plea a nullity or conviction unsafe.
In the instant case, where the defendant had pleaded guilty to one count of rape on re-arraignment on the day of his trial for a number of offences, the judge's indication that a guilty plea to that count would result in a sentence of between six and seven years, but that on a conviction a sentence of at least 12years would be imposed, amounted to improper pressure on the defendant. In the circumstances, the pressure had played a significant part in causing the defendant to plead guilty. The conviction would be quashed, and retrial ordered under s7 of the as the old practice of declaring a plea to be a nullity where it had been induced by improper pressure was not only unnecessary, but was something of an anachronism.
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