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Judgment handed down in Sherwani v The Queen

23 February 2017

The Court of Appeal has today refused leave to appeal against a sentence of 6 years for recklessly causing serious injury. The applicant, who was a member of, or associate with, an outlaw motorcycle gang, together with a co-offender had punched a victim to his head, and kicked and punched him while he lay motionless on the ground of his workplace. The victim suffered two broken arms and facial injuries.

The Court considered that there were a significant combination of features of the applicant’s offending, which informed the objective gravity of the offending. These included the fact that the attack was premeditated; that it occurred with a co-offender; that the attack was carried out either as a member of, or at the behest of, a motorcycle gang; the injuries inflicted were serious; the attack continued while the victim lay motionless on the ground; the applicant showed no signs of remorse; he was on bail for violent offending at the time of the attack; and his prospects of rehabilitation were ‘guarded’.

Having examined a number of cases for similar offending for the same offence, the Court reiterated that in order for a complaint by an offender on the ground of ‘manifest excess’, it must be shown that the sentence imposed was ‘wholly outside the range of sentencing options available’ to the sentencing judge. The Court said that having regard to the objective gravity of the offence, and the personal circumstances of the applicant, it could not be said that the sentence was excessive, let alone manifestly so.

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