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R v B [2003] EWCA Crim 3213

Criminal Procedure - Sentencing - Offences of indecent assault - Consecutive sentences for series of offences could be passed that exceeded statutory maximum for single offence - Judge had properly balanced need to protect public with need to ensure that total sentence was not out of proportion to nature of offending - Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, s 80(2)(b)

5 December 2003

Over a period of 18 months the appellant (B) had engaged in a campaign of violent premeditated sexual assaults on women walking alone at night in Torquay. All the victims had been convinced B was going to rape them and had feared for their lives. The attacks had had devastating effects on each victims' ability to lead a normal life. On the first day of trial, B pleaded guilty. HHJ Cottle concluded that it was appropriate to exercise his powers pursuant to s 80(2)(b) Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 and imposed longer than commensurate sentences on all the counts. The judge considered that a sentence of four years on each count would have been commensurate and increased that to six years on each count. He ordered the sentences in respect of the first six offences to run concurrently and consecutively in respect of the final incident, which had almost amounted to an attempted rape. B appealed against the total sentence of 12 years' imprisonment and contended that: (i) ther...

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