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Francesca Whebell successful at the Court of Appeal

25th January 2017

Francesca successfully appealed the length of activation of a suspended sentence. Her client had been given an 8 month sentence suspended for 2 years with a 3 month curfew and 150 hours unpaid work in January 2016. He was brought before Truro Crown Court in December 2016 for breach of his probation order for failing to attend unpaid work. At the hearing she argued that the reasons for his lack of attendance had been due to the hospitalisation of a close family member which placed great pressure upon him and his family. The probation service were of the view the order should continue and a penalty by way of curfew made for the breach. This was rejected by the Judge who activated 6 of the 8 months of the suspended sentence.

Francesca drafted an advice and grounds of appeal following the hearing and leave to appeal was granted by the single Judge. At the Appeal hearing Mr Justice Foskett handing down the judgment said that whilst suspended sentences needed to have meaning it was unjust to activate in the manner that it had been and reduced the 6 month term to 28 days. The Court ordered that the further time he had spent in custody be used to discharge any remaining hours of unpaid work he had which would allow for his immediate release.

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