Mayers & Ors, R v, Court of Appeal - Criminal Division, July 04, 2018, [2018] EWCA Crim 1552

Resolution Date:July 04, 2018
Issuing Organization:Criminal Division
Actores:Mayers & Ors, R v
 
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Neutral Citation Number: [2018] EWCA Crim 1552

Case Nos: 2017/0543/C5, 2017/0922/C5, 2017/0895/C5

2017/0890/C5, 2017/0781/C5, 2017/0579/C5,

2017/0733/C5, 2018/0566/A4, 2018/0713/A4,

2018/0732/A4

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CRIMINAL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM MAIDSTONE CROWN COURT

His Honour Judge Julian Smith

T20167144, T20167150, T20167154, T20167171

T20167172, T20167238, T20177138, T20177168

T20177129

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 04/07/2018

Before :

LORD JUSTICE TREACY

MRS JUSTICE MOULDER

HIS HONOUR JUDGE STOCKDALE QC, RECORDER OF MANCHESTER

Sitting as a Judge of the CACD

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Between :

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(Transcript of the Handed Down Judgment.

Copies of this transcript are available from:

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Ms Nina Ellin (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service) for the Respondent

Mr Henry Blaxland QC (instructed by Saunders Law) for the 1st Appellant

Mr Tom Godfrey (instructed by Registrar of Appeals) for the 2nd Appellant

Mr Louis French (instructed by Registrar of Appeals) for the 3rd Appellant

Mr Danny Moore (instructed by Registrar of Appeals) for the 4th Appellant

Mr Andrew Baughan (instructed by Registrar of Appeals) for the 5th Appellant

Mr Jay Shah (instructed by Registrar of Appeals) for the 6th Appellant

Mr Ahmed Hossain (instructed by Registrar of Appeals) for the 7th Appellant

Mr Rupert Pardoe (instructed by Registrar of Appeals) for the 8th Appellant

Mr Giles Bedloe (instructed by Registrar of Appeals) for the 9th Appellant

Miss Pippa Woodrow (instructed by Registrar of Appeals) for the 10th Appellant

Hearing date: 14th June 2018

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Judgment As Approved by the Court

Lord Justice Treacy:

  1. This is the judgment of the court to which all members of the court have contributed.

  2. These 10 cases have been heard together because although the appellants were tried in two separate trials, the convictions arise out of the same incident and the challenges which are now made to the sentence of each appellant have certain common themes. Further it is right that in considering the appropriate sentence for each appellant, the court should have regard to the sentences which were imposed on the other appellants and to the extent that any challenge succeeds, any adjustment to the sentence should have regard to the court's findings in relation to the other appellants.

  3. During the hearing we gave leave to those appellants who did not otherwise have leave (in whole or in part) and in relation to Baker, we grant an extension of time (4 weeks and one day) in which to renew his application for an extension of time (3 days) for leave to appeal against sentence and a representation order for junior counsel to Baker.

    The Trials

  4. On 5th January 2017, in the Crown Court at Maidstone, the appellants, Danquah, Mayers, Myers, Jenks, Miller, Baker and Alieu were convicted after trial of conspiracy to rob. Each of the appellants was found not guilty of the offence of carrying a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

  5. In addition, Myers was found guilty of a separate offence of possession of a disguised firearm in the form of a Taser disguised as a torch.

  6. On 13th January 2017 they were sentenced as follows:

    i) DANQUAH, MAYERS, BAKER and ALIEU: an extended sentence of 20 years, comprised of a custodial term of 18 years and an extension period of 2 years.

    ii) MYERS: Possession of a Disguised Firearm -3 years imprisonment and on conspiracy to rob an extended sentence of 20 years comprised of a custodial term of 18 years and an extension period of 2 years, consecutive

    iii) JENKS: 16 ½ years' imprisonment

    iv) MILLER: 16 years' imprisonment

  7. On 24 May 2017 the appellant, Kenny, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and not guilty to possession of a firearm offence with intent to commit an indictable offence.

  8. On 12 December 2017 the appellants, Issah and Smillie (and another) were found guilty after trial of conspiracy to rob and acquitted of the offence of possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

  9. On 19 January 2018 Issah, Smiley, Kenny (and another) were sentenced as follows:

    i) ISSAH: 16 years imprisonment

    ii) SMILLIE: 16 years imprisonment

    iii) KENNY: 10 years eight months imprisonment.

  10. Two other participants in the attack (Dewson and Ali) have separately pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob. Four further alleged participants are awaiting a trial/retrial. This court is not concerned with any of these individuals.

    Facts of the Offence

  11. The facts of the case were that on 26 April 2016 a group of in excess of 17 men attacked a travellers site at Wheat Gratten Stableyard in Kent. The attackers wore dark clothing as well as wearing face masks or balaclavas. They were armed with a variety of weapons. They had prepared in advance a collection of cable tie handcuffs ready to restrain the victims. They stormed the site and attacked victims in their homes. One of the travellers, Mary Powell, was tied up with cable ties and threatened and her husband was punched and tied up. Another, Moses Smith who came out of his caravan when alerted to the attack, suffered blows to his head and stab wounds to his arms and leg: his wife and seven children were in the caravan. The caravan of Mr Connor and his partner Cherry Powell and their four children was attacked, Mr Connor and his partner were tied up with cable ties

  12. The attack had been planned some time before 26 April 2016. It was an agreed fact at trial that the police had information that the site was connected to the unlawful supply of controlled drugs and that large sums of money had been held there. The judge inferred that the attackers expected large sums of money to be on site and hidden.

  13. On 25th April a meeting was held in Tunbridge Wells between a number of participants and a reconnaissance was made of the site.

  14. Purchases of items to be used in the attack were made: CCTV showed appellants, Myers and Jenks, purchasing items, including cable ties, from Poundland in Tunbridge Wells on the day before the attack. Other participants were shown by CCTV purchasing items including demolition bars and wrecking bars from B&Q in North London on the evening of the attack. Items taken to the site included wrecking bars, reinforced tape, cable ties, crowbars, a baseball bat, a machete and knives.

  15. On the day of the attack, the various members of the group, including the appellants, met up converging on Wheat Grattan Stable Yard. The group came from North London, South-east London, Essex, Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells.

  16. The occupants of the site responded to the attack by pursuing the attackers, driving at their cars parked by the side of the road and driving the men from the site.

  17. Moses Smith was treated in hospital for a minor head injury (which was stapled and glued) and stab wounds to the arm and thigh. In his victim impact statement Mr Smith said that the stab wound in his leg still causes him pain and he could no longer work to his full capacity.

  18. As a result of what happened Mary Powell suffered ongoing fear and anxiety (as evidenced by medical reports) and in her victim impact statement Cherry Powell stated that she had suffered anxiety attacks and that her seven-year-old son had been up in the night screaming and not sleeping. Her evidence was that she had been forced to move away from the site altogether as she could not settle.

  19. The taser (the subject of the conviction for possession of a disguised firearm) was recovered from the home address of Myers but was not linked to the attack.

    Individual Roles

  20. We turn to consider the part played by each of the individuals. The judge found they were all ``equally culpable'' and knew what was involved. However in our view it is important to consider the actual roles in determining culpability and arriving at the appropriate sentence.

    Danquah

  21. Danquah was involved in the meeting the day before the attack and in the reconnaissance as well as participating in the attack itself. The evidence showed significant phone contact with a...

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