||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 393 (May)
|| EWCA Crim 1258
||Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Hooper LJ, Fulford and Beatson JJ
||Robin Spencer QC (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the first defendant.
||Andrew Edis QC and Charles Benson (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the second defendant.
||Richard Latham QC (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
||26 May 2006
Sentence - Imprisonment - Length of sentence - Assault occasioning actual bodily harm - Defendant spraying ammonia at victim - Assault occurring in course of affray in which victim's son killed - Victim assaulted whilst tending to son - Whether judge being entitled to take into account surrounding circumstances - Whether sentence manifestly excessive or wrong in principle.
Where the defendant had participated in an affray (during which a man was killed), having sprayed the father of the deceased with ammonia whilst he was trying to tend to the deceased, the sentence of four years' imprisonment on conviction was not wrong in principle or manifestly excessive. Whilst the authorities indicated that sentences of two-and-a-half years' imprisonment had either been approved, or custodial terms reduced to around that level, where a defendant, particularly if acting alone, had unlawfully sprayed a noxious or corrosive substance, longer sentences would be merited, or indeed wholly necessary, where significant aggravating features were present. In the instant case, the judge had been fully entitled to give full weight to the context of the assault, namely, a terrifying episode of violence at a wedding in which a young man had been killed.
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