26th March, 2024

Success in the Court of Appeal for Beth Caunce – R v Mbatijua Murise

Beth Caunce appeared in the Court of Appeal and successfully appealed against sentence.

Mr Murise was sentenced in November 2023 to a term of 2 years’ imprisonment. He had earlier entered guilty pleas at first opportunity to two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs (heroin and crack cocaine). The starting point after trial taken at first instance was 3 years.

Beth secured permission to appeal and at the hearing in February 2024 saw the sentence quashed and replaced with a term of 20 months’ imprisonment. The Court determined that the starting point of 3 years after trial was wrong in principle and ought to have been reduced to account for the mitigating features. The Court further noted that, whilst the Judge had been appropriately persuaded into the Lesser Role category at first instance, this was correct not for the reasons that the Judge gave, that Mr Murise was 20 and made early admissions, but because of Mr Murise’s limited role, limited financial gain and naivety.

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