Court of Appeal allows appeal against sentence in Operation Silk in a case involving serious sexual offending

Erim Mushtaq was instructed as junior counsel for AJD in Operation Silk, which was the third operation of its kind arising out of the historical grooming offences in and around the Oxford area. AJD appeared in Operation Silk trial 2.

Erim Mushtaq represented the appellant, AJD, and successfully appealed against the minimum term of the sentence imposed following trial by HHJ Ross at the Crown Court at Oxford.  The Court of Appeal [Lord Justice Fulford the Vice President of the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, Mr Justice Edis, Mrs Justice Steyn DBE] accepted the submissions that the sentence imposed was manifestly excessive and reduced the minimum term from 20 years to 15 years.

This case raised significant issues regarding the meaning of ‘grooming’, ‘submission’ and ‘consent’ in the context of these types of historical cases. In addition, this case highlighted the particular difficulty faced by judges when dealing with defendants already serving indeterminate sentences.

Only AJD’s appeal was successful from Operation Silk 2.