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article imageOdious cases in the Court of Appeal

By Alexander Baron     Feb 6, 2014 in Crime
London - In the UK, the Court of Appeal can not only quash convictions or reduce sentences, it can increase sentences, as it did this week.
A sentence can be increased if on a reference by the Attorney General, the three Lords Justices believe it to be unduly lenient. This happened in the case of Stuart Hall; public outrage over his 18 month sentence led to a referral to the Court of Appeal on which it was doubled.
Last October, husband and wife Ilyas and Tallat Ashar were sentenced to 13 years and 5 years respectively for the enslavement and repeated rape of a woman who had been trafficked from Pakistan as a child specifically for that purpose.
in view of the horrendous nature of their crimes over a period of more than a decade, they should be grateful their sentences have been increased only minimally.
Two cases which had a much higher profile will be heard at some point in the near future, those of Ian Watkins and one of the men who murdered Lee Rigby. The crimes of the former are unspeakable, but as this is an appeal against sentence only, it has some chance of success.
Watkins lodged his appeal on January 21; even if it is reduced minimally, he may face further charges because there are ongoing investigations into his activities in both Germany and the United States.
The other case, that of Michael Adebolajo, has no chance even of being heard. Neither he nor his co-defendant Michael Adebowale have yet been sentenced; this is because there is soon to be a Court of Appeal ruling on whole life tariffs; the trial judge said he would wait until that before sentencing the two men.
Adebolajo's grounds of appeal are that he was a soldier of Allah, and that the murder was an act of war. Which are no grounds at all. It remains to be seen if he was granted Legal Aid, but in cases in which an accused is "obviously guilty", the system will often bend over backwards to be fair in order to ensure there are no technical mishaps. Whatever, the appeal will be given short shrift; the only thing to be decided now in this case is what tariff will both convicted men receive.
It is possible though that his co-conspirator won't be in prison for much longer because there are strong suspicions that he is criminally insane. Recently it was revealed that he was taken to hospital to be treated for a leg infection. It remains to be seen why this was deemed necessary because all prisons have medical facilities. Whatever, although he had a heavy escort which included two prison officers handcuffed to him, he attempted to gouge out the consultant's eye with a pen while signing a treatment consent form.
If in their perverted Weltanschauung the beheading of an of-duty "enemy combatant" can be reconciled as an act of war, can the same really be said for an attack on a doctor, a man who is carrying out a humanitarian act?
Police photographs of Michael Adebolajo (L) and Michael Adebowale (R). Both men were found guilty of...
Police photographs of Michael Adebolajo (L) and Michael Adebowale (R). Both men were found guilty of the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby
Metropolitan Police Service
More about ian watkins, Michael adebolajo, Murder, Slavery, Ilyas Ashar
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