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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions >> Daniels, R. v  EWCA Crim 296 (06 February 2019)
Cite as:  4 WLR 52,  WLR(D) 62,  EWCA Crim 296
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ATTORNEY GENERAL'S REFERENCES
UNDER SECTION 36 OF
THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1988
The Strand London WC2
B e f o r e :
(The Lord Burnett of Maldon) MRS JUST ICE CHEEMA - GRUBB
MR JUSTI CE MARTI N SP ENCER
|R E G I N A|
|- v -|
|BRANDEN MARC DANIELS|
165 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Mr M Brook appeared on behalf of the Offender
Crown Copyright ©
THE LORD CHIEF JUSTICE:
The Se nte ncing Guide line
i) Previous convictions for motoring offences, particularly offences that involve bad driving or the consumption of excessive alcohol or drugs before driving;
ii) More than one person killed as a result of the offence;
iii) Serious injury to one or more victims in addition to the death or deaths;
iv) Disregard of warnings;
v) Other offences committed at the same time, such as driving other than in accordance with the terms of a valid licence, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance, taking a vehicle without consent, driving a stolen vehicle;
vi) The offender's irresponsible behaviour, such as failing to stop, falsely claiming that one of the victims was responsible for the collision or trying to throw the victim off the car by swerving in order to escape;
vii) Driving off in an attempt to avoid detection or apprehension;
"I accept that you are of low intelligence, immature, vulnerable and easily led."
The offender demonstrated, in the judge's view, genuine remorse, which the judge contrasted with the attitude of many defendants in criminal cases who, in truth, only feel sorry for themselves.
"In my judgment, the proper starting point for this offence for someone more mature and less vulnerable [than] you would be twelve years' detention. I reduce it to ten years, my starting point, because of your youth and vulnerability. I reduce it further because of your guilty plea, and I think it is proper to give you the full credit for that so the sentence is six years and six months."
The Evide nce of the Immaturity and Vulne ra bility of the Offe nde r
"[The offender] does have a few difficulties, his mind being younger than his years for one, and he can find himself easily led."
"In my eyes I would not class Branden as an adult. He does not have an adult view on life. He is still like a child. He still cannot read and write properly and he does not see a danger in things. He is very immature."
"All of the evidence I have available suggests that [the offender] is a highly vulnerable individual who, in the presence or absence of specific disabilities has been bullied throughout his life and has suffered from difficulties with his mental health. He is currently not taking prescribed medication for depression. This is likely to exacerbate his mental health problems."
Dr Hull confirmed his view that the offender is vulnerable.
" Reaching the age of 18 has many legal consequences, but it does not present a cliff edge for the purposes of sentencing. So much has long been clear. The discussion in R v Peters  EWCA Crim 605,  2 Cr App R(S) 101 is an example of its application: see paragraphs  - . Full maturity and all the attributes of adulthood are not magically conferred on young people on their 18th birthdays. Experience of life reflected in scientific research (e.g. The Age of Adolescence: thelancet.com/child-adolescent; 17 January 2018) is that young people continue to mature, albeit at different rates, for some time beyond their 18th birthdays. The youth and maturity of an offender will be factors that inform any sentencing decision, even if an offender has passed his or her 18th birthday."
"It is important to bear in mind any factors that may diminish the culpability of a child or young person. Children and young people are not fully developed and they have not attained full maturity. As such, this can impact on their decision making and risk taking behaviour. It is important to consider the extent to which the child or young person has been acting impulsively and whether their conduct has been affected by inexperience, emotional volatility or negative influences. They may not fully appreciate the effect their actions can have on other people and< may not be capable of fully understanding the distress and pain they cause to the victims of their crimes. … When considering a child or young person's age their emotional and developmental age is of at least equal importance to their chronological age (if not greater)."