Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2008] All ER (D) 08 (Jan)
Court: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division

Tuckey LJ, Burton and Saunders JJ

Representation Isabella Forshall (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the offender.
  Adrian Derbyshire (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Attorney General.
Judgment Dates: 14 January 2008


Sentence - Imprisonment - Length of sentence - Blackmail - Attempted blackmail - Interference with contractual relations so as to harm an animal research organisation - Aggravating factors - Offender sentenced to eight months' imprisonment - Whether sentence unduly lenient.

The Case

On an appeal by the Attorney General against a sentence of eight months' imprisonment for blackmail, and a sentence of four months for attempted blackmail and interference with contractual relations so as to harm an animal research organisation, to run concurrently, it was held that, having regard to the authorities, the seriousness of the offences, and the aggravating factors, a starting point of six years would have been appropriate for an offender who had sent threatening letters to several victims, purporting to be from a well known animals rights group. Taking account of the offender's guilty plea, the powerful mitigation on her behalf, and double jeopardy, a total sentence of two years' imprisonment would be imposed for the blackmail. A sentence of 18 months' imprisonment would be imposed on each of the remaining counts, to run concurrently.

If you are a LexisLibrary subscriber you can read more about this case here.