Monday, 12 March 2012

Pleading guilty for a lesser sentence? Really? Who says this?

 (c) Emory Douglas
The following information has been collated and published by our friends at the Legal Defence Monitoring Group, which we are pleased to circulate to supporters of the Glasgow Defence Campaign. It contains interesting and somewhat definitive vindication that pleading guilty in the hope of getting a lesser sentence is NOT a good tactic in political trials. This is a point we have repeated ad nauseam, to those who have argued that pleading guilty will somehow either result in a lesser sentence – or halt police harassment.  

We would like to thank the Legal Action Monitoring Group for bringing this information to our attention – it is our hope that by making it more widely available that these hard lessons be learned and understood – so that in the future we do not repeat these mistakes of the past.

SENTENCING SUMMARY FROM RECENT STUDENT AND ANTI CUTS PROTESTS


Collated by Legal Defence and Monitoring Group 
http://ldmg.org.uk/ 
Up to date as of March 2nd 2012 but this will change every week...
Keep checking LONDON ABC website for update - https://network23.org/londonabc/prisoners/ 
 

Notes:

  • This list is the sentencing results of all known [by LDMG] cases of violent disorder plus a few other cases. This list is comprehensive but by no means complete.
  • Some 180 people (that we know of) have been arrested since Millbank (excluding the Fortnum and Mason 145...)
  • There are at least 20 plus who are currently preparing for trial after pleading not guilty to violent disorder – many trials are taking place between now and April 2012.
  • There are dozens and dozens of others who have either had their charges dropped, accepted cautions or bind-overs.
  • There are many other sentences that were not as harsh as many of these below, though no other violent disorder cases that we know about. These were some of the most serious sentences that we have pulled out so far.
  • Sometimes lists like this do not reflect the differences between the cases. Although some people who have very similar cases have a very different outcome you also need to note that some people charged with the same thing may have very different circumstances in the details of their case.
  • The most important thing is preparing your case well! Don't assume that your legal team will do all the work – you need to do as much as you can.
  • While the earlier results look depressing at first glance – they are – please remember that it was the people that pleaded guilty that were the first to go through the court process. But now that people who pleaded not guilty are going to trial the large majority are being found NOT GUILTY. This is a repeat of Gaza trials. Please read this recent article by Matt Foot from Birnbergs where he highlights the shocking statistic about muslim Gaza protestors charged with violent disorder - 'More than 60 of them pleaded guilty and went to prison while six of the seven who were tried were acquitted.' http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23993788-get-protest-in-perspective-and-free-charlie-gilmour.do
  • If anyone thinks that having more background info on any of the above cases might help their case or their appeals then please get in touch with LDMG – you can email them at: ldmgmail@yahoo.co.uk & / or courtsupport@riseup.net
  • Don't forget to check out London ABC for list of prisoners who could do with our supporthttps://network23.org/londonabc/prisoners/
  • Where there is no name or number given this is either because they did not want our help, didn't wish for their name or number to be publicised, or we are still waiting for confirmation to do so. Again keep checking for updates.
  • Please write to them!
NB - The information is correct as far as we know but that does not mean that we have not been given incorrect information or made mistakes, yes it has been known. If you notice any errors then please let us know, e.g. we may have the wrong solicitors down as a few people changed firms during the court process.  

Violent Disorder sentencing so far from student and anti cuts protests: 
 
Male (JD)
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder 26/3/2011
Kingston – Judge Dodgson – March 2nd 2012 
Sentence: 12 months custodial, suspended for 2 years. 120 hours unpaid community work, £250 costs
Solicitors: Bindmans; Barrister: Tom Stephens
 
 
Male (OF), 19 years old
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at student protest (24/11/10)
Jury found him guilty
Sentenced Kingston – Judge Price – March 2nd 2012
Sentence: 12 months custodial, suspended for 2 years. 125 hours unpaid community work, 3 months curfew
Solicitors: Matt Foot (Birnberg Pierce), Barrister: Nick Wrack
 
 
Male (MO)
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at student protest (9/12/10)
Kingston – Judge Campbell – February 27thJudge directed jury to give not guilty due to lack of evidence
Solicitors: Matt Foot (Birnberg Pierce)     
 
 
Male (PA) 
pleads guilty to charge of criminal damage, sentencing in June 2012
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at the student protest (10 Nov 2010)
Kingston – Judge  Dodgson – February 23rd 2012
Verdict: Found NOT GUILTY by jury
Solicitors: Matt Foot (Birnberg Pierce)
 
 
Male (GF)
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at student protest (9/12/10)
Kingston – Judge Mitchell – February 20th 2012
CPS’s witnesses didn’t show up at trial, judge was too annoyed to adjourn it, not enough evidence present, case was dropped
 
 
Male (PF) 
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at the student protest on 9 Dec 2010
Charges were dropped before trial, after 14 months
 
 
Male (OA)
Pleased not guilty to violent disorder at student protest (Nov 10 2010)
Jury found him guilty
Sentenced Kingston – Judge Dodgeson – February 9th 2012
Sentence: 12 months custodial, suspended for 2 years. 120 hours unpaid community work, £1000 fee
Solicitors: Matt Foot (Birnberg Pierce), Barrister: Nick Wrack
 
 
Male (AJ H)
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder (26/3/2011)
Kingston – Judge Southwell – February 7th 2012
Verdict – Found NOT GUILTY by jury 
Solicitors: Matt Foot (Birnberg Pierce)
 
 
Male (LB)
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder and affray at student protest 9 Dec 2010
Kingston – Judge  Southwell ? - January 26th 2012
VERDICT – Found NOT GUILTY on both charges by jury 
Solicitors: Matt Foot (Birnberg Pierce); Barrister: Mr Nereshraa 
 
 
Male (EF)
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at student protest 9 Dec 2010
Kingston – January 23rd 2012
Charges were dropped at last minute before start of the trial
Solicitors: Bindmans
 
 
Male (JJ) 
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at student protests 2010
Kingston - Judge Tapping -  Dec 14th  2011
VD Jury returned 45 minutes later with a NOT GUILTY verdictSolicitors: ITN?
 
 
Female (SE)
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at student protests 2010
Kingston – Judge Tapping – November 24th 2011
VERDICT - Found NOT GUILTY by jurySolicitors: Matt Foot at Birnbergs, Barrister Nick Wrack
 
 
Male Age unknown (MS)
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder on March 26th
Sentenced – Kingston – Judge Tapping – November 18th 2011
Sentence: 100 hrs unpaid work and 12 months community order 
Solicitors: HJA
 
 
Male under 21 (NE)
 
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at student protests 2010
Kingston – Judge Dodgson – November 17th 2011
VERDICT - Found NOT GUILTY by jurySolicitors: Noble/Tank?NB 2 people linked with this case pleaded guilty and received non custodial sentences on Nov. 4th 
 
Matt Robinson 21+ 
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder on March 26th
Sentenced - at Kingston – Judge Tapping – November 16th 2011
Sentence: 12 months custodial
A5988AZ, HMP Wandsworth, Heathfield Road, Wandsworth, London, SW18
GT Stewart initially then swapped I think
 

Male under 21 (NH) 
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder at student protests 2010
Sentenced - at Kingston – Judge Tapping – November 16th 2011
Sentence: 9 months suspended for 2 years and 160 hours community payback
Solicitors: Julian Younge & Co 
 

Male – (JS) under 21Pleaded guilty 2 violent disorder at student protests 2010
Sentenced - Kingston - Judge Dodgson - November 11th 2011 
Sentence - 6 months custodial (hopefully out by now on tag if not Feb 11th at latest?)
Bindmans
 
 
Male (AG) – aged 21
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder at student protests 2010
Sentenced – Kingston - Judge Dodgson - November 9th 2011 
Sentence - 120 hours unpaid work and 18 weeks tag and curfew – He threw a traffic cone underarm about 3 feet with nobody nearby
Solicitors: GT Stewart
 
 
Male over 21 (DB) 
Pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at Millbank
Kingston – Judge Dodson – 7th November 2011
VERDICT - Unanimous NOT GUILTY by juryNB 1 person with very similar case pleaded guilty and received 12 month custodial
 
 
Male aged 18 
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder 
Sentenced at - Kingston – Judge Dodgson - Nov 4th 
Sentence - Curfew and tagged for three months and 100 hours unpaid work.
Solicitors: 


Male aged 17 
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder
Sentenced  - Kingston – Judge Dodgson - Nov 4th 
Sentence - 8 month custodial suspended for 2 years. Curfew for three months and £400 costs.
Solicitors: 
 
 
Omar Ibrahim 
Found guilty of VD from March 26th  
Sentenced - Kingston - Judge Price - Nov 4th 
Sentence -  18 months custodial
You can write to him c/o London ABC (Anarchist Black Cross), Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84B Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX
Solicitors: Bindmans


Oguz Ornek 19 yrs old 
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder at student protests 2010
Sentenced – Kingston - Judge Price - Nov 4th 
Sentence - 18 months custodial at YOI. 
You can write to him: A6914CH, Glen Parva YOI, 10 Tigers Road, Wigston, Leicester, LE18 4TN
Solicitor: CPL?
 
 
Male 
19 yrs old 
Pleaded guilty to VD
Sentenced – Kingston - Judge Price - Nov 4thSentence - 8 month custodial suspended for 18 months plus 90 hours community payback and £350
Solicitors:


Zenon Mitchell-Kotsakis - 20 years old Male Pleaded guilty to violent disorder
Sentenced - Kingston - Judge Tapping - Nov 4thSentence – 15 months in YOI 
You can write to him: A6970CH, HMYOI Portland, 104 Grove Road, Portland, Dorset, DT5 1DL


Benjamin Sunderland - age 19 – Now out (Feb 2012)Pleaded guilty to violent disorder at student protests 2010
Sentenced at Kingston on Nov 4th – Kingston - Judge Tapping 
Sentence - 
12 months YOI (Feltham and Portland)


Female (DW) 18-20 years old – Now out on tagPleaded guilty to violent disorder  at student protests 2010
Sentenced at Kingston on Nov 4th - Kingston - Judge Tapping
Sentence 
– 10 months custodial 
Solicitor: HJA


Joseph Binney – age 20+Found guilty of violent disorder at trial Kingston Crown Court on Monday 31st October from March 26th   
Sentenced on 25th November – Judge Dodgson 
Sentence – 2 year custodial (had other unrelated charges as well
You can write to him Joseph Binney, A5569CH,  HMP Wandsworth, Heathfield Road, Wandsworth, London, SW18
Solicitors – Harrison Bundy Leeds


James Heslip - 21 year old – Now out on tag (Feb 2012)Pleaded guilty to violent disorder at Millbank Student protests – pushing sofa towards window
Sentenced 28/9/11 – Kingston – Judge Southwell ? -
Sentence - 
12 month custodial
Solicitors: Gerard May?


19 year old male (CS)Pleaded guilty to violent disorder at Millbank – pushing sofa towards window
Sentenced 28/9/11 – Kingston - Judge Southwell ? 
Sentence -
12 month custodial
No contact details as yet


Female (LM)Pleaded guilty to violent disorder
Sentenced 28/9/11 – Kingston - Judge Southwell? 
Sentence -
 6 months custodial suspended for 2 years includes 2 year plus supervision order
Please note that there were extenuating circumstances that led to a less harsh sentence


17 year old maleFound guilty of VD at student protests
Sentenced 22/9/11 at West London youth court 
Sentence - 3 months tag and curfew, 100 hours community service – plus £480 costs.
Many reasons given for non custodial but mainly age and being tried in youth court and having good family support (in court) – they are appealing


Harry Webb - 22 year old malePleaded guilty to violent disorder March 26th Trafalgar square - police began an unprovoked attack
Sentenced 15/9/11 – Kingston 
Sentence - 
12 month custodial
You can write to him Harry Webb A4895CG, HMP Wandsworth, Heathfield Road, Wandsworth, London, SW18 3HS
Solicitors: Whiskers


Charlie Gilmour-  Aged 21 Male - Now been released on Tag Pleaded guilty to 2 counts of violent disorder on student protests 2010
Sentenced - Kingston – 15/7/11?
Sentence -16 month custodial
You can write to him c/o London ABC (Anarchist Black Cross), Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84B Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX
 
 
Frances Fernie – 20 yr old Now been released on Tag 
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder from March 26th – threw two placard sticks at a line of fully tooled up riot police. Sentenced 7/7/11 –Kingston - Judge Price 
Sentence -
12 months custodial.
 
 
Edward Woollard - 
Pleaded guilty to violent disorder at Millbank 110/11/10– dropping object from roof
Sentence – 2 years and 8 months custodial
You can write via c/o address here: http://support4edwoollard.wordpress.com/contact-ed/ 
 
 
Michael Newton - 
J30 action and other minor charges. 
Sentence  - 12 month custodial 
Michael welcomes letters, posters and pictures.
A6611CE, HMP Preston, Wing C4 17, 2 Ribbleton Lane, Preston, Lancs., PR1 5AB

 
A few other non VD sentences
 
 
Male (CE)
Pleaded not guilty to Section 1 Theft Act
Kingston – Judge Southwell - 2 March 2012
Verdict: found NOT GUILTY by jury
 
 
Female (ZM)
Pleaded not guilty to assault of police officer at OccupyLSX 15/10/2011
West London Youth Court – February 29thJudge threw case out half-way through trial due to lack of evidence
Solicitors: Sashy Nathans (Bindmans)
 
 
Male (NS)
originally charged with VD he had been offered a plea and pleaded guilty to assault 9/12/2010
Kingston – Judge Dodgson – February 27thSentence: 60 hours community service, no fee
Solicitors: Bindmans
 
 
Male (JW)
originally charged with and pleaded not guilty to VD on 9/12/10, was offered a plea and pleaded guilty to affray (Goodyear)
Sentenced Kingston – Judge Southwell – February 23rd 2012
Sentence: 6 months custodial, suspended for 12 months, 100 hours unpaid community work 
Solicitors: Matt Foot (Birnberg Pierce)
 

Male (NP)Arrested for VD, downgraded to theft by finding (a police hat) at police station (26/3/2011)
Pleaded not guilty
Kingston – Judge Dodgson – February 21st 2012
Verdict – Found NOT GUILTY by jury
Solicitors: duty solicitors
 
 
Female (HS/R)
Pleaded not guilty to going equipped (waterpistol with red paint and spraypaint), 30/6/2011
Southwark - Judge – February 22nd 2012
Verdict – Found NOT GUILTY by jury
Solicitors: Hodge Jones and Allen
 

Male (RW), 20 years oldoriginally charged with VD he had been offered a plea and pleaded guilty to affray
 – threw bottle in direction of police line, fell short and nobody was hit (26/3/2011)
Sentenced Kingston – Judge Southwell – February 13th 2012
Sentence: 8 months custodial, suspended for 12 months; 120 hours unpaid community work; curfew and tagged for 2 months
Solicitors: Matt Foot (Birnberg Pierce), Barrister: Piers Mostyn (Tooks Chambers)
 
 
Male (AK)
Pleaded not guilty to charges of Going Equipped (eggs + lighter fluid) 9/11/11
Westminster Magistrates, then Crown Court?
Charges dropped
Solicitors – Hodge Jones & Allen
 
Female (RR)
Pleaded not guilty to going equipped, 26/3/11
Feb 8th – Kingston – Judge Dodgeson
Found NOT GUILTY by jury   
Solicitors - 
Bindmans
 
Male 
(GA)
Pleaded guilty to affray 
Dec 23rd 2011 – Kingston – Judge?
Sentence – 
80 hrs of community service and £750 costs

Male (DA) 
Pleaded guilty to affray (original charge of VD)
December 12th 2011 – Kingston – Judge?
Sentence – 
100 hours of community service
Solicitors – JD Spicers

Male (TM) From Nov 30th 
Pleaded guilty to carrying an offensive weapon
Dec 7th 2011 - Westminster – Judge Snow
Sentence -
  6 week CUSTODIAL!!!!
Solicitors – Bindmans

Male (SMc) From Nov 30thPleaded guilty to carrying offensive weapon
Dec 5th 2011 - Westminster - Lay bench
Sentence - 50 hours community service,  £50 costs, 1 year community order
Solicitors - Bindmans 

Male (SD) – Interesting case
Originally charged with VD but juge decided it was not VD or affray and he eventually accepted a bindover for breach of the peace
pleaded guilty to BoP
7th December 2011 - Kingston - Judge: Dodgson
Sentence: 
bound over to keep the peace for 6 months, £100 costs? 
He got 165 pound refund for travel/court costs 
Prosecution had to admit that they couldn't link him to black block and that his behaviour didn't amount to affray or vd
Solicitor. Matt Foot, Birnberg + Pierce 
  
Male (RB) originally charged with violent disorder he had been offered a plea and pleaded guilty to affray
Gave a no-comment interview
Sentenced at Kingston on Dec 5th 2011 Judge Birts
Sentence 
200 hours community service and £400 fine
Solicitors – Hayes Law

Male (CF) 40+ Pleaded guilty to affray 
Sentenced - at Kingston – Judge Tapping – November 16th 2011
Sentence: 8 months custodial
Solicitors:
 Bindmans

Bryan Simpson – originally charged with violent disorder he had been offered a plea and pleaded guilty to affray
Sentenced at Kingston on Nov 4th 2011 Judge Tipping
Sentence:
 4 months suspended for 2 years – 120 hours unpaid work – no costs
Solicitors: HJA

Male - Richard Bacon age 20+
Pleaded guilty to affray from March 26th 
Sentenced at Southwark Oct 28th 
Sentence - 10 months custodial
You can write to him A5156CH, NEW PRISON – NEED TO CHECK – in meantime write c/o  ABC
Solicitors: Bindmans
 
18 year old female -
 throwing sticks at police lines
Pleaded guilty to Affray from 11/10/10
Sentenced 21/6/11
Sentence - 6 weeks custodial suspended for 2 years, 80 hrs unpaid work, tagged curfew for 8 weeks 10pm-5am, and £185 fine and/or costs
 
21 year old Male
Pleaded guilty to criminal damage on student protests 24/11/10
Sentence - 3 months custodial - recommended for deportation after sentence served.

FemaleFound guilty of aggravated trespass at Millbank
Sentenced 23/8/11 – 150 hours of community service - tag and curfew from 8pm– 5am until Jan 2012 plus £350 costs

MaleFound guilty of agg tress at Millbank -
Sentenced 29/7/11 – 100 hours comm service and £200 costs – judge admitted he caused no damage but was part of larger group that did
 
Male
Found guilty of two counts of crim damage at treasury on student protests
Sentenced 8/7/11 - to 8 weeks electronic tag and curfew £1,600 and £500 for damage done to window and lampost and £350 costs,

FemaleFound guilty of assaulting a police woman when in a kettle on November, trial in the magistrates court 15/9/11. Sentence £750 fine instead of unpaid work, and there are extenuating circumstances that prevented a custodial and the work.

Male Pleaded guilty to having articles with intent to cause criminal damage for having 2 dry wipe markers and two tubes of super glue.
Sentenced - Kingston  Judge Price - Nov 4th 
Sentence -150 hours unpaid work and £350 costs

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