Trenton Oldfield, who disrupted the Boat Race in a so-called protest against élitism. has been sent down for six months. Here are the Judge's sentencing remarks, setting out with impeccable clarity the reasoning behind the sentence.
We blogged about the case here and here and here.
Mr. Oldfield will probably have woken up this morning in the less than élite company of the other 1200 or so inmates of Wormwood Scrubs.
Musings and Snippets from a recently retired JP. I served for 31 years, mostly in west London. I was Chairman of my Bench for some years, and a member of the National Bench Chairmen's Forum All cases are based on real ones, but anonymised and composited. All opinions are those of one or more individuals. JPs swear to enforce the law of the land, whether or not they approve of it. Nothing on here constitutes legal advice.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Not So Élite
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What it if......ReplyDelete
Emily Wilding Davison, on 4 June 1913, you stepped in front of King George V's horse running in the Epsom Derby. You intended to disrupt the race and you did so. You have been convicted of Public Nuisance. Thousands of people had lined the banks of the river to enjoy a sporting competition. Many more were watching at home on live television............
The main difference here is that Emily Davison had a cause, this guy just has some vague prejudice against a sporting event.Delete
I expect, too, that had Emily Davison survived, she would have been arrested.
That's the part of the summing up i don't agree with - "You acted disproportionately. There were many other ways in which you could have promoted your views more effectively."
Yes, but it likely wouldn't have got the same attention. The only problem here is, as the judge says - "It was not clear to anyone who saw what you did what your views actually were."
Emily Davison's actions were considerably more serious because of the injuries suffered by the jockey. I think she should rightly have been charged had she survived.Delete
Short and to the point - as ever.ReplyDelete
Three months will be served so out in plenty of time for the next boat race then!ReplyDelete
Many violent offences against the person get lesser sentences.ReplyDelete
That may be so, but the relevant case law for Public Order Offences shows the following:Delete
R v Millward 1986 8 Cr App R S 209
D infatuated with female police officer. Substantial phone calls etc. Sentenced on many occasions including custody. 30 months prison upheld on this occasion.
R v Ruffell 1991 13 Cr App R (S) 204
Illegal rave organiser. 12 months prison, suspended, and 7000 fine. Fine overturned on appeal due to means.
R v Ong 2001 1 Cr App R (S) 117
Plan to turn off lights at Premiership football match. D intended to financially gain by placing bets. 4 years.
R v Eskdale 2002 1 Cr App R (S) 28
1000 phone calls in 2 weeks to 15 complainants. Sexual nature. Made one woman stand naked in front of window. Sexual history. Described as dangerous. 9 years.
R v Lowrie  1 Cr App R (S)
G plea to hoax phone calls to emergency services. Numerous pre cons for like resulting in last sentence of 5 years. 8 years upheld on appeal.
So maybe he was lucky to get away with 6 months when you consider the dangerousness of his action.
Millward 1986: many previous convictionsDelete
Ruffell 1991: Custodial sentence suspended without appeal
Ong 2011: A conspiracy with a financial motive
Eskdale 2002: Sexual predator. Previous ?
Lowrie 2005: numerous previous convictions
Net, 'that may be so', indeed, and the sentence is disproportionate..
Bravo (for the accent) !ReplyDelete
Are people seriously saying that Oldfield's actions were SO SERIOUS that neither a fine nor a community sentence could be justified? (That's supposed to be the legal test for imposing imprisonment - the so-called custody threshold). If so, no wonder the prisons are bursting at the seams. Why wouldn't making him do 300 hours unpaid work would have been appropriate?ReplyDelete
Remember, Oldfield was a man of previous good character.
The case has given his "cause" more publicity that it probably deserves.
Of course, he would not have any discount for a guilty plea but please remember that he was charged with a somewhat vague common law offence and, if at all possible, statutory offences should be used in preference. (There's high legal authority for that). Little wonder that, in the circumstances, he ran a trial.
A final though from me. The very charge "public nuisance" with its maximum penalty of LIFE imprisonment probably resulted in the case attracting a greater penalty. This is where the court itself seems to me to have lost a sense of proportion.
Thank goodness; thought I was the only one.ReplyDelete
I can see the deterrent value of a custodial sentence, but Hizonner* did not try to justify the custody threshold in this way. Instead she chose to focus on culpability and harm, and for the life of me I do not see how she has managed to cross the custody line on those two alone.
* Willing to be corrected on this epithet.
Hironner? No, doesn't really work does it?Delete
I have met this judge,and she deserves better then that.
Heronner works fine. Why struggle to insert an alien 'i' when the root clearly calls for an 'e'?Delete
Always place for another political prisoner.ReplyDelete
I think Judges have private guidance about aggravating factors, one of which must be "Was the offence seen on TV?"ReplyDelete
Ho-hum, you get far far less for beating someone up...ReplyDelete
I can't get my head around the judiciary...
I think the point there is that the sentence for violent crime (£50 for punching a copper - personal experience)is too low. not that this one is too high!ReplyDelete
Surey it is now inappropriate to make a reasoned comment about this sentence without risking disciplinary action.ReplyDelete
Only for JOHs, which includes BS.ReplyDelete
To "translate" - only for 'judicial office holders', which includes Bystander.ReplyDelete
MOVG - which may or may include certain personages who now make up the Bystander Team!! :-)ReplyDelete
Oh bottoms which may or may NOT include etc...Delete
I have had to delete a post that tried to suggest the authorship of a particular comment. Any piece might be authored by anyone, JP or not.Delete
It being understood of course that this means "any piece might - at any time in the blog's existence - have been authored by anyone, JP or not."Delete
This is actually beyond Kafkaesque and into the land of the deranged now. Is there any chance of the inner cabal of the Magistrates Assoc. lifting the ban on interesting and purposeful comment, or is it likely to stay? Struggling to stay with your team now, to be honest.Delete
The MA has nothing to do with the blog. As for the 'guidance' we don't know who cooked it up, just that the MA and NBCF tamely nodded it through withthe SPJDelete
pity he hadn't got more than 12 months then they could have considered sending him back to Oz....but I suppose that would have just spurned a lot more litigation!ReplyDelete
Lawyers have never spurned litigation. It may well have spawned some though.ReplyDelete