Man who told Judge to ‘suck my cock’ after sentence loses appeal

Man who told Judge to ‘suck my cock’ after sentence loses appeal

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Photo from the Manchester Evening News

Introduction

Remember the Sledden brothers? The drug dealing brothers who got a suspended sentence and celebrated it in a slightly unwise fashion?

As an overview, Daniel Sledden, 27, and his 25 year old brother Samuel, appeared in front of HHJ Lunt for sentence for cannabis dealing on 10th February 2016.

They both received 2 years, suspended for 2 years. And that’s where matters would have been left were it not for the fact that Daniel Sledden got out of Court and posted on Facebook –“Cannot believe my luck 2 year suspended sentence beats the 3 year jail yes pal! Beverly Lunt go suck my cock.”

Samuel commented “Bet we wouldn’t get a chance like this agen [sic], thumbs up’.

This seems to have got in the papers, and shortly afterwards the Judge called them back. After consideration, she re-sentenced them to two years immediate imprisonment under the ‘slip rule’

 

Photo from the Manchester Evening News
Photo from the Manchester Evening News

 

Appeal

At the time we commented that a Judge cannot re-sentenece someone merely because she has had second thoughts. The question for the Judge was “do the Facebook posts demonstrate that the remorse and contrition relied upon as mitigation at the original sentencing hearing were false“?

If so, then it would be proper to re-sentence them. As would be expected in the circumstances, there was an appeal.

It was presided over by the Lord Chief Justice. It didn’t go down too well. It was concluded that the Judge had suspended the sentence due to the expressions of remorse. Expressions that were shown to have been false. In light of that, the Judge was perfectly entitled to revisit the sentence.

That wasn’t all. He said that the brothers “were guilty of ‘disgraceful conduct’ and could well have been punished more harshly“.

Further, “Any right-thinking person would regard the conduct of these two men as disgusting, if that’s not too light a term to use.” He didn’t pull any punches – “This appeal is wholly and totally without merit. The judge was plainly entitled to do what she did, because she had been misled”.

 

Comment

In light of what had happened, we are not surprised that the appeal was dismissed – once it was concluded that the sentence was passed on a false basis, the Sleddens were always at risk.

It is probably a bit unfair to describe the appeal as being ‘wholly and totally without merit’, at least in the sense that given what happened was very unusual an appeal would surely have followed. We understand it was referred to the Full Court by the Registrar.*

But, yet again, a reminder to anyone who goes near social media – be careful what you write, as you never know who is reading.

 

*Thanks to those who have provided information.

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

7 COMMENTS

  1. In fact, it was referred directly to the full court by the Registrar so no refusal by the Single Judge. Felt like it was a renewed application mind…

  2. Can’t have a loss of time direction given that the original sentence was a SSO.

    Seems a little unfair on Samuel. Don’t really know what he did wrong other than to recognise that he wouldn’t get that chance again.

  3. “Wholly and totally without merit” is a phrase from the civil side – it can lead to a CRO. The “totally” bit always reminds of of Dave Spart!

  4. It’s brilliant! A story to warm the heart – put a big smile on my face. Well done Beverley and well done appeal court. Own goal for dumb and dumber – superb.

  5. It would be interesting to get some more of the facts about this case, which appears to be similar:

    http www dot bbc dot co dot uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-36427873

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