We covered the case of Myles Bradbury, the paediatrician who was sentenced to 22 years for various child sex offences.
When we were looking at the total sentence, we said that although the sentence seemed higher than it should be, it was hard to say whether an appeal would be successful, “but you will realise from reading this blog, sentences for sexual offences are not getting any shorter.”
Well. On 12th June 2015 we saw the headline in the BBC that “Abuse doctor Myles Bradbury has sentence reduced”. The first paragraph said that Dr Bradbury saw “his 22-year sentence reduced to 16 years on appeal“.
So far so good. This would seems to indicate that a determinate sentence of 22 years was reduced to 16 years.
However, at the end it said that his sentence was “to be “restructured”. His jail term has been reduced to 16 years with an additional six years on licence. Bradbury will have to serve at least 12 years before being considered for release.”
This sounds like an extended sentence of 16 years with a six year extension period.
The sting is this. If a determinate sentence of 22 years is replaced with an extended sentence of 22 years (16 years plus 8 years extra on licence), although the custodial element of 16 years is lower, the amount of time actually spent in prison may be longer.
Dr Bradbury would be released from a 22 year sentence after 11 years, but would not be able to be released from a 16+8 Extended sentence (that’s my bid for how it should be reported) until he has served at least 2/3 of the sentence – 10 and 2/3 years.
But as he would have to go in front of the Parole Board, the actual time spent may be longer.
A further complication is that the report says he can be considered for release after 12 years. Why is that? We don’t know. Hopefully it will be clearer when we have the transcript of the appeal.
The news report raises more questions than it answers. It is a basic rule that the Court of Appeal cannot increase a sentence on appeal, and it would seem to be arguable that this is what they have done here.
Given the confusion in the BBC report however, we will hold judgment until the facts are clearer.