Court of Appeal reduces sentences in case where serious physical harm to a newborn was caused or allowed by parents

January 28, 2019

The Court of Appeal last week allowed the appeal of two defendants represented by Richard Barraclough QC and Tanya Robinson for the one and Danny Moore for the other, against a sentence of 8 years imprisonment following a conviction under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 Section 5. The defendant’s child aged 19 days died of sepsis and bronchopneumonia. When examined post mortem a number of significant injuries were discovered. Death was not connected with the injuries.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the sentencing judge was in plain error in using what were then draft guidelines issued by the Sentencing Council and in those circumstances took too high a starting point for sentence, the maximum being 10 years imprisonment. If the Court was minded to consider them then the relevant guidelines were those under CJA 2003 Section 143. Even those would have been of limited assistance. On analysis, insufficient credit had been given for any number of points in mitigation.

The sentence was reduced to one of 6 years imprisonment.