Teen locked up for knife crime offence after Chief Constable intervenes

A 17-year-old sentenced to community service after being convicted of a city centre stabbing will now be sent to a Young Offenders’ Institution after the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police intervened in the case.

Jul 26, 2019
By Tony Thompson
Chief Constable Craig Guildford

The teenager – who cannot be named for legal reasons – had carried out an attack on a man in Trinity Square, Nottingham, on March 8. Witnesses described people screaming in panic as the youth swung and thrust a knife towards his victim, who suffered a cut to his arm that needed four stitches.

In May he pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to wounding with intent and possessing a bladed article. He was sentenced 240 hours of unpaid work, an 18-month supervision requirement and a range of other conditions including a six-month curfew and a ban from entering the city centre for three months.

However, Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Guildford asked Andrew Baxter, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor (DCCP), for his professional opinion on the sentencing outcome. Mr Baxter had been working on a similar stabbing case in Northampton and compared the sentencing approaches in each matter before concluding the sentence should be referred to a Higher Court.

He therefore referred the sentence to the Attorney General, whose office agreed that the sentence should be referred to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme.

Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “Following the sentencing in May, both my officers, myself and the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor felt exceptionally that a formal review should be sought of the original sentence.

“Nottinghamshire Police treats knife crime seriously, as demonstrated by the fact we have a dedicated Knife Crime Team and have invested in Schools and Early Intervention Officers to work with schoolchildren to try to prevent knife crime from happening in the first place.

“To have a long-term impact on reducing knife crime it is important that the police, the justice system, partner agencies, parents and communities take a stand together. Today’s sentencing decision underlines our collective commitment and sends the right message to those who carry and use knives in Nottinghamshire.”

Andrew Baxter, DCCP, said: “The ability to ask for certain sentences to be reviewed is really important in ensuring people who commit crimes like this face the full force of criminal justice.

“This case involved a significant amount of violence, occurred in broad daylight in front of members of the public, and was committed by a defendant who routinely carried a knife on his person.

“Having carefully considered the approach taken, my view was that the seriousness of what occurred was not reflected in the sentence given, hence my decision to refer this case. Knife crime is sadly too often in the headlines and the crown prosecution service is committed to our part in tackling it and reducing the impact it has on our community.”

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