Lees

Citation – [2015] EWCA Crim 1779 

Date – 2nd October 2015

Keywords – Sentence, s25, illegal entry, smuggling

Overview – Appeal against sentence of 43 months for s25 offence allowed for a one-off and unsophisticated smuggling.

Summary – L was stopped bringing an Iraqi woman and her child into the UK. On the day of trial there was a guilty plea on a basis that this L had randomly met the two women in Europe and felt sorry for them. He agreed to bring them over for 100 Euros.

Although there was an element of scepticism about the basis, no Newton was held and so he fell to be sentenced on that basis. The Judge was right to say that a deterrent sentence was called for, however this was not sophisticated and there was an immediate confession.

In light of this, the appropriate starting point was 2 years rather than 4, with a 10% discount for the late plea. 

Comment 

Although the appeal was allowed, on the basis of plea it could still be considered to be a slightly harsh sentence being far removed from the professional people smuggling operations that are often seen. There is also a further reminder of the importance of being clear as to whether a basis of plea is accepted or not. 

Judges – Macur LJ, Jay & Goss JJ

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