Gayle Newland gets 6 years after her conviction at a re-trial

Gayle Newland gets 6 years after her conviction at a re-trial

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Photo from the BBC/PA

Introduction 

We have looked on several occasions at the curious case of Gayle Newland (here’s the piece on conviction, and a Guardian article from earlier this week) who was convicted on a re-trial.

We won’t repeat the facts here, but on 20th July 2017 she came to Court for her sentence. After a lengthy hearing, the Judge sentenced her to 6 years.

There was also a separate fraud offence to which Ms Newland pleaded guilty. In relation to that, the Judge said “You used passwords to authorise false payments to fictional bloggers who you yourself had created. You had to create false blogger profiles to commit the fraud“. For this she received 6 months, consecutive to the 6 years she received for the sexual offences.

 

Sentencing Guidelines

The Judge started with the Guidelines (see page 13) and stated that it was a 2A offence, probably on the basis of the vulnerability of the victim and the abuse of trust. This gave a starting point of 8 years.

The news report from the Liverpool Echo give some good details of what the Judge said in sentence, and you should definitely read that to get an idea of what was said. Because of the background, and her personal circumstances, the Judge felt able to reduce it. But not be much, and certainly not to the extent that it could be suspended.

In addition, a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (see here for details of what this is) was made banning Ms Newland from :

  • befriending or seeking to befriend a person while using a false identity, and
  • owning or accessing a device which is capable of accessing the internet unless it is capable of storing browsing history, chatlogs and other data, she does not refuse a request from the police or Probation to view such a device or it’s contents.

As a consequence of the sentence, Ms Newland will be on the Sex Offenders Register for life (something that seemed to have caused her great distress) – this is mandatory, and not something that the Judge had any discretion over.

For completeness, the Guidelines for Fraud are here.

 

Comment

This case is an extremely difficult one, both in terms of the underlying legal issue as to how the criminal law should approach cases of deception like this, and how you should sentence them.

For that reason alone, it is to be hoped that the Court of Appeal look at the sentence and give some guidance as to when, and under what circumstances, a Judge should go outside of the Guidelines.

The time that Ms Newland spent in prison prior to her conviction being quashed will count towards her sentence. But even accounting for that, she will be in prison for a long while.

 

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7 COMMENTS

      • The parole eligibility date is set for three years so she didn’t get much allowance for the ~12 months already served, it seems: she’ll still be inside for four years, it just means that the time between the original judgement being quashed and the retrial will push back her release date. :/

      • Yes, sorry. According to a poster last time this was blogged she did 18 months; if she serves half this sentence with that credited that leaves 21 months. I hope she gets some of it on HDC.

        • So basically she would have been better off simply serving her 8 year sentence to begin with despite the fact that she’s received a lower sentence at the re-trial…. British “justice” sucks.

          • Looking at the guidelines, it seems that the release date is determined by the prison service, not the court system. I hasten to add this is all new to me so I speak as a completely clueless layman in that regard, but from what I understand, the new sentence will have the same start date as the old sentence, the time already served will count towards it and the time on bail obviously doesn’t, so she’ll be released some time in the second half of 2019, the exact date depending on whether or not concurrency or consecutivity of the fraud sentence is determined to be a thing.

            But that’s neither here nor there. The accusation was ludicrous, prosecution was ludicrous, the sentences were both ludicrous and she was thrown to the wolves. She shouldn’t be in prison at all IMHO. British “justice” does indeed suck if this is a typical example of its execution: I feel terrible for Gayle and we all have good reason to be scared.

  1. Sexually confused Gayle has been dealt a “death sentence”… due to kafkaesque levels of aspergic thinking.

    This case is so indicative of the problems that the BCL and the judiciary has with this type of case.

    I’m starting to think somebody would have to do some think really bad to me for me report them to the police. I wouldn’t wish the “judiciary” on my worstest enemy ever!

    It all reminds me of the 1992 film “Bad Lieutenant” with Harvey Kietel except this actually for real.

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