Further Unjust Sentences for Gaza Protestors – Friday 19th February

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All the young men sentenced at Isleworth County Court yesterday afternoon for Violent Disorder during Gaza protests started harsh stints behind bars last night…

All the young men that were sentenced at Isleworth County Court on Friday received custodial sentences.

Two people had their cases adjourned awaiting pre-sentence reports. One man got a suspended sentence because it was accepted by the Judge that imprisonment would have a severe impact upon his health due to his long term mental illness..

My friend from Leeds got 12 months… for throwing one glass bottle ! This is despite following mitigation: fact that it was accepted he did nothing else during the entire demonstration (it came out in court he was monitored by police for hours following the throwing of the bottle). It was accepted by the Judge that he had intended to hit the gates of the Israeli embassy in a symbolic protest and that he did not intend to hit a police officer’s shield. Also fact that pre-sentence probation report recommended non-custodial sentence, and his “exemplary character” attested to by countless family (including mother in law) and community references. Lowest sentence I am aware of from sentencing thus far.

SENTENCING BREAKDOWN

– ADULT AT TIME OF OFFENCE
Sentencing starts at 2 years for all adult guilty pleas (revised use of R v Chapman)
Sentencing (after supposedly factoring in mitigation) ranged from 12 months to 2 years

– UNDER 18 AT TIME OF OFFENCE*
Sentencing ranged from 8 to 12 months detention and training orders
Argued by one defence Barrister that entencing cannot go beyond 18 months because 18 months established as maximum for more serious offence of Riot.

*based on R v Ghafoor which says time of offence is more important than time of conviction (in this case time of guilty plea) when deciding whether someone is a youth or an adult for purposes of sentencing

COVERAGE
http://fitwatch.blogspot.com/2010/02/harsh-sentences-for-gaza-protesters.html

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