Court persuaded that terms for three unprovoked and “vicious” assaults on prison gaolers should run concurrently to forty-year minimum term

S pleaded guilty to three counts of unprovoked and “vicious” violence against three members of staff while S was resident at Broadmoor Hospital. 


S was described by witnesses to the attacks as “uncontrollable” while stamping repeatedly on the faces of two female gaolers, one of whom lost consciousness, and assaulting a third gaoler.  


The attacks followed S having lost control on being requested to submit to routine drugs testing. 


In 2009, S was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of forty years, for the murders of two students, their false imprisonment, and burglary. 


The question for the Court was whether to exercise its discretionary jurisdiction so as to impose consecutive terms for the assaults, consecutive to the minimum term of forty years.  


Leading and led counsel for S sought to distinguish S's case from the authority of Ezra Taylor [2011] EWCA Crim. 2236. 


Taylor established that courts have power to impose terms to run consecutively upon expiry of an indeterminate term. 


In S’s case, the Court was persuaded against imposition of a consecutive term or terms upon expiry of the existing indeterminate term. 


It was agreed between the parties that it was incumbent on the Court to reflect the fact of previous convictions for two murders, a further previous violent matter of unprovoked wounding by stabbing, robberies, and firearms offences. 


The Court accepted defence submissions that there was no pre-meditation; there had been sudden loss of control; and the length of the existing indeterminate term is sufficient to provide for rehabilitation. 


Concurrent sentences of 7 years, 12 months, and 4 months, were ordered to run concurrently with the existing indeterminate term. 


Joe Stone, Q.C. and Abigail Bright defended S. 


Correna Platt at Stephensons Solicitors LPP instructed Joe Stone, Q.C. and Abigail Bright. 

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