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Release! “Out of the blue”

Client’s indeterminate sentence overturned

Immediate release!  

On 27th October 2011, we appealed against a sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) from 2005.

R v Pritchard – Court of Appeal Criminal Division (27 October 2011)

We convinced the court that the circumstances did not indicate that she posed a significant risk of causing serious harm.

The IPP sentence was quashed and we had substituted a determinate sentence, which resulted in the client’s immediate release from custody.

The facts

Our client was sentenced in 2005 to the IPP for an offence of robbery.  Her appeal against sentence was lodged long out of time. This was after she had come to James Murray Solicitors.

She wanted only advice on parole proceedings.

But one of sharp sharp eyed lawyers saw that our client had been sentenced before the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 amended the IPP regime on 14th July 2008.

Originally, the court was required to impose an IPP for robbery if they found that the defendant was ‘dangerous’ with a significant risk that they would cause serious harm in committing of further offences.

However, we argued that the leading case of Lang [2006] 2 Cr App R (S) 3 in the Court of Appeal had shown that ‘dangerousness’ meant causing ‘serious harm – death or serious personal injury’. Thus the facts of our client’s case just did not justify this … and the Court of Appeal agreed with us!


Ms Pritchard was astonished to have her sentence quashed and substituted with a determinate sentence, which meant her immediate release from custody

Spotting injustice

All praise then for the Prison Law Team who spotted the injustice as soon as they looked at this case.

James Murray – Your Experts on Sentencing