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R v (1) Michael Evans (2) James Carney

A sentence of 10 years’ detention for an unprovoked attack on an elderly Asian man that caused his death was justified on the basis that the offence was racially motivated, and offences of that kind had to receive longer sentences in order to deter others.

14 July 2006

The appellants (C and E) appealed against their sentences of 10 years’ detention imposed for offences of manslaughter, and C appealed against his conviction. C and E had been involved in an attack on an elderly Asian man, who had died as a result of his injuries. Both denied striking him and each blamed the other. C had told the police that he had been present during the attack, but that E had been the assailant. E initially confirmed C’s account, but later changed his defence statement, arguing that C had threatened him into making that admission. The evidence given had been inconsistent: one witness indicated that he saw E strike the first blow, but he could not be sure who struck the next; a woman at the scene had heard C and E having a conversation that suggested that E alone had attacked the man; another man who came forward some weeks later recalled that both men were equally involved; and a pathologist stated that the injuries indicated that it was a one-man attack. C sub...

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