Nathaniel Flynn jailed for life

Nathaniel Flynn jailed for life

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We looked at the case of Nathaniel Flynn, who pleaded guilty last month to the murder of his grandmother, as well as stabbing a boy in a separate incident the next day, was sentenced on 18th December 2013. We remarked that it was a strange and unexplained attack and that it would be likely that he would get a tariff in excess of 15 years due to the brutal nature of the attack and the attempted murder of the boy.

The sentencing remarks have been published. It seems clear that the exact motivation for the  attack is still not known. Mr Flynn had various complex issues and he stated that the murder was effectively a ‘mercy killing’ which was rejected as being correct (the Judge saying that the only conceivable motivation was that he found her a nuisance).

The Judge took the starting point as 15 years (which is correct). He then took account of the vulnerability of the victim, the ferocity of the attack, and the fact that there was some level of premeditation. The only mitigation available was that he pleaded guilty (and had indicated that he had killed her at early stage).

The sentence for the Attempted Murder would have been 14 years, so the Judge added the 7 years of that on to the tariff (perhaps slightly discounted to factor in ‘totality’). Doing our best to guess, we would imagine that the Judge increased the minimum term from 15 to about 20 years to reflect the aggravating features, then reduced that by 10% to reflect the plea of guilty, before adding 6 years for the Attempted Murder. But, as we say, there is a fair amount of guesswork in that.

Our view is that that is on the high side, whether because the starting point was too high, or insufficient credit was given, but I would expect that there would be an appeal.

 

******************************************************************************************************** Note – this is how the piece originally ended. Shows what we know …

The sentencing remarks have not been published, so we are none the wiser as to what the motivation was. It has been reported that the tariff was set at 24 years. That is slightly higher than we were expecting (around 20 years) but there may be matters that we don’t know about.

We will look again at the sentence if the sentencing remarks are published. This is unlikely however (it tends to be only in high profile cases) which is unfortunate as it makes it difficult to give any real explanation at to why the sentence was passed. How are the public expected to understand the criminal justice system if details about how it works are not accessible?

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

3 COMMENTS

  1. “How are the public expected to understand the criminal justice system if details about how it works are not accessible?”

    The public are not expected to understand how the criminal justice system works! If they did most members of the public would be appalled.

    The adversarial system is not designed to get at the truth or to get justice, but is a game played mainly for the benefit of the lawyers.

    The removal of juries for most prosecutions gives the judiciary far too much power to further their personal prejudices and their view of society.

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