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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71051
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My husband, who was sent to prison for 14 months recently for

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My husband, who was sent to prison for 14 months recently for downloading indecent images, was contacted by the solicitors who had represented him in court stating that they would support him if he wanted to appeal. However, he is reluctant to do this as he was told that although his sentence may be reduced if the appeal was successful, if it failed, it would either stay the same or his original sentence could be increased. With this in mind, he wants to let the original sentence run its course.
I would be very grateful for your advice on this matter.
Yours faithfully
C Rivers (Mrs).
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My husband is worried that his sentence may be increased. What advice and questions should he ask his solicitor? Should he go ahead? He showed complete remorse all the way through his case, it was his first offence. he tried to commit suicide and was sectioned for 3 weeks whilst on bail. He completed 5 weeks of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation Course voluntarily, he joined AA, he lost his job, we've lost our house and despite that, he was working in a charity shop prior to going to prison. The pychologist he saw as a condition to going on the sex offenders course, said he presented no danger to the public. He is now a complete wreck, hes on a large dose of anti-depressents and in the vulnerable prisoners wing at Winchester. He also broke his ankle 2 weeks prior to being sentenced. He saw a probation officer who looked at his case and said she could work with him and suggested a community service order. She said the worst case scenario for his crimes would probably be 6 months.

He has great character references and I also wrote a letter which the solicitors said may help his case as I felt prison was not the way forward for him. He is so remorsefull, he punished himself for the 6 months he was on bail. He's even turned to God. I just want the man I have been married to for 28 years who gave honest reasons as to why he commited the crime to everyone, back, without prison life mentally destroying him. He fell down some stairs and the prison officer did not help him. Later in prison when he was being searched a prison officer told him to f off out of it and take the crutches with you, they're getting on my nerves. He's only been outside once in 3 weeks and he is locked in a cell 18 hours a day. For someone who was mentally fragile in the first place, prison is destroying him even more. He knew he had to be punished, but to be told that his sentence may increase should he appeal ( he was approached first about this as appealing did not enter his mind) he feels he does not have the strengh to face a set of judges. We do qualify for legal aid at the moment. If you require any further details, I will be pleased to assist. Thank you for spending time to read this e-mail

Yours sincerely

Christine Rives

Are you asking what sentencing he wil get?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Jo,

Could his sentence be increased should he loose the appeal and what could this be?

Kind regards,

Chrissie Rivers

Yes, it could.
It is fairly rare. Generally speaking the court of appeal will not disturb a sentence unless it is unduly lenient in which case the crown should have attorney general reference appealed it.
However, you cannot rule out the risk. Obviously I haven't had full vision of this case. If the solicitors are advising an appeal then there is probably a concern that this was manifestly excessive. 14 months on a first offence is not common although it depends on the level of images and the volume.
It is possible that it could be increased though to a much longer custodial sentence. The advantage he has here realy though is that it cannot get any worse than custody. People on community orders face the risk of prison as a deterrent.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C. and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Jo. My husband Richard has decided not to appeal. He did download quite a large volume of still and moving images in all 3 categories. He didn't use a chat room and did not distribute them. He said he didn't see many of them and when the cat A images were listed and what they were in his case notes, he was absolutely distressed and said he never even looked at them. I looked him in the eye and I could tell he was not lying. A combination of alchohol and anti-depressants at the time numbed his brain as well as other mitigating and agrivating factors. He was receiving treatment for all the problems voluntarily before he went to prison. He is now on the vulnerable prisoners wing as he has been thinking of suicide. I hope they will transfer him soon as I live too far away to visit and have two dogs to look after. No family nearby and money is tight until the money comes through from the sale of our house.

Thank you for your reply, it was helpful. I wish I could afford to leave you a tip.

Kind regards

Chrissie Rivers

No problem and all the best.

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