We didn’t actually cover the case of Marlon King, the former footballer who was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on 15th May 2014 for dangerous driving. He had caused a three car pile up that left one man in hospital for weeks when weaving in and out traffic, and undercutting another driver, all whilst eating an ice cream.
Mr King tried to appeal the sentence on 9th September 2014, saying that it should have been suspended. This didn’t get very far, with the Court of Appeal saying “It was an unusually bad offence of its kind with episodes of extremely aggressive driving and sudden changes of lane and speed on a busy road culminating with him stopping, blocking the path of a vehicle and causing the collisions which followed. It was, in truth, deliberately dangerous driving, which may have resulted in far more serious injuries or worse“.
We don’t have the transcript, so we don’t have full details, It seems that the basis that Mr King was saying that the sentence should be suspended so that he could join his family who recently moved to Zambia and were struggling to settle.
The actual sentence itself, of 18 months, doesn’t seem to have been challenged. Given that the maximum sentence for Dangerous Driving, the sentence was certainly high, but given that he had only pleaded guilty shortly before the trial was probably not ‘manifestly excessive’.
There is, infuriatingly, no guidance as to when a sentence should be suspended. Hopefully when we have the full judgment we will an inkling of a kind of test that could be used in these sorts of cases. Hopefully. I won’t be holding my breath though.