Ben Scott recalled to Court and sent to prison after Facebook gloating

Ben Scott recalled to Court and sent to prison after Facebook gloating

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Photo from the West Briton

Introduction 

Oh dear. Seriously, when will people learn?

We looked last week at two drug dealers who celebrated their suspended sentence by posting a derogatory comment about the Judge on Facebook.

Well, on 1st June 2016 the curse of Facebook struck again. This time in Devon as Ben Scott saw his suspended sentence taken away and replaced with an immediate sentence of 12 months.

 

Facts

On Christmas Eve 2015 Ben Scott, a convicted drug dealer, attacked Corporal Marc Jolly in a pub car park. This was an unprovoked attack on Corporal Jolly, a marine, that knocked him unconscious briefly and left him requiring treatment for various head wound.

Mr Scott was charged with ABH and pleaded guilty. On 22nd April 2016 Mr Scott was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

On the face of the Sentencing Guidelines (page 12), this is fair enough. It’s a Category 1 offence probably, and the sentence of 16 months is right what one would expect, given the guilty plea.

What happened next reflects very badly on Mr Scott. He took to Facebook to celebrate not going to prison. Perhaps that is fair enough, but as well as posting images of him celebrating with champagne, he said “:

Real decent people prevail in the end and that scum Marc Jolly can stay at the bottom of my shoe where he belongs.

I win.”

Once this got out, it seems that Mr Scott was summonsed back to Court where, on 1st June, he was sentenced to 12 months immediate imprisonment.

 

Comment

This case is a lot more clear cut that the two drug dealers. It is abundantly clear that the comments completely undermined any pretence Mr Scott had that there was remorse, and so the actual outcome here is pretty unsurprising.

One point that isn’t clear is whether this impacts on the £4,000 compensation order that was made. It looks like it didn’t.

Mr Scott was unfortunate in that this has happened very shortly after the Court of Appeal dismissed the other case referred to above in such trenchant terms. In light of that, the Judge here had very little choice. We doubt that there will be an appeal or, if there is one, that it will get very far.

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

1 COMMENT

  1. Since whether it is suspended or not is supposed to be considered after setting the sentence, and so doesn’t affect the length, why was the sentence reduced from 16 to 12 months?

    Surely if extra evidence comes to light showing lack of remorse (and in this case, worse) that means that the judge, had s/he known the information at sentencing would’ve felt unable to suspend the sentence, and so it is correct to become an immediate sentence, but it couldn’t possibly decrease the length as well, as that was set first.

    In this case, had the comments been made before sentencing, might have been treated as an aggravating factor, and so it might be argued that it should have increased the sentence?

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