Court of Appeal hears challenge to 25 year starting point for murder

Today, Edward Fitzgerald QC appeared in the Court of Appeal on behalf of Peter Morgan. This was a well publicised case involving a man who killed his younger, escort girlfriend after being subjected to humiliation and blackmail by her. The Court will have to decide whether the carrying of an adapted piece of twine to be used as a ligature is covered by 25 year starting point reserved for a ‘knife or other weapon’ (paragraph 5A of Schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003). The argument put forward by Edward Fitzgerald is that section 5A does not extend that widely.

 

Edward’s further point is that the sentencing judge, when applying paragraph 5A, fettered his discretion when he effectively treated himself as bound. This is an important point as to the extent of starting points being treated as mandatory, contrary to will of Parliament. 

 

You can read about this case in the press here.

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