THE COURT of Appeal, having obtained the advice of the Sentencing Advisory Panel, gave guidelines in relation to extended sentences.
The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of Patrick Alan Nelson against his sentence of five years' imprisonment with an extended period of licence of five years for an offence of indecent assault, after an adjournment for the advice of the Sentencing Advisory Panel.
Isabel Dakyns (Registrar of Criminal Appeals); David Thomas (Treasury Solicitor) as amicus curiae.
Lord Justice Rose VP said that there was no doubt that the complexity of the legislative provisions had inhibited courts from using their additional sentencing powers in relation to violent and sexual offences appropriately.
By virtue of section 80(2)(a) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 a custodial sentence normally had to be commensurate with the seriousness of the offence. However, section 80(2)(b) of the 2000 Act permitted the court, when dealing with a violent or sexual offence, to impose a longer than commensurate sentence if that was necessary "to protect the public from serious harm from the offender".
Section 85 of the 2000 Act made an extended period of licence available for violent as well as sexual offences. Extended sentences under section 85 might be used when the normal period for which the offender would be on licence would not be adequate for the purpose of preventing the commission of further offences and securing rehabilitation. The section made no reference to "serious harm to the public".
By virtue of section 85(2), an extended sentence had two components: the custodial term, which was the sentence the court would otherwise have imposed, and the extension period of licence beginning when the offender's normal period of licence expired, or when he was released from custody if he would not otherwise be on licence. …