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Simon Rippon Succeeds In ‘Significant’ Suspended Sentence Appeal

Simon Rippon Succeeds in ‘Significant’ Suspended Sentence Appeal

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R v Faris Uddin [2022] EWCA Crim 751

Simon Rippon successfully opposed the Crown’s application to increase Faris Uddin’s sentence, and  successfully argued for a change in the law concerning the lawfulness of suspending a sentence of imprisonment under the ’two strikes’ legislation.

Westlaw has described the decision a ‘significant judgment’ made by a fully constituted court presided over by Holroyde LJ.

Faris Uddin was convicted after trial of knife-point robbery. It was his second conviction for possession of a bladed article. This engaged the provisions of Section 315 of the Sentencing Act 2020, namely that the sentencing court had to impose a minimum of 6 months’ detention.

In sentencing Mr Uddin, the Learned Judge imposed what the Attorney General later submitted was an unduly lenient sentence – 24 months detention, suspended for 2 years for robbery and 6 months suspended for 2 years for possession of a bladed article.

In his judgment Holroyde LJ observed that the submissions to the court were of ‘high quality on both sides’. He concluded the proper sentence for the robbery should have been one of 30 month’s detention, and that the sentence of 6 months for the second conviction for possessing a bladed article should not have been suspended. The sentence imposed by the Learned Judge had, therefore, been unduly lenient.

However, following submissions made on Mr Uddin’s behalf as to how he had taken advantage of the exceptional opportunity given to him to turn his life around, the Court of Appeal concluded that, ‘by a very narrow margin’, they were persuaded that it would be unfair on him to increase his sentence.

In a change to the legal principle set in the 2018 case of R. Whyte, the Court of Appeal held that it was possible to suspend the mandatory period of imprisonment for a second conviction of possession of a bladed article.

This change is likely to have significant repercussions when defence advocates are mitigating in a case to which the two-strike provisions of section 315 of the Sentencing Act apply.

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