Court of Appeal makes crystal clear when a guilty plea must be indicated in serious cases to get a full reduction in sentence.
Tom Little QC was instructed to represent the Prosecution and the Attorney General in three unrelated cases that were heard together. Two were appeals against sentence and one was an Attorney General’s Reference. The Court of Appeal has made clear, in accepting Tom’s submissions, that the first reasonable opportunity to indicate a guilty plea will be at the first appearance in the Magistrates’ Court and that stating that a guilty plea is ‘likely’ at such a hearing is insufficient. It would appear that the uncertainty around this question which has pervaded for sometime has now been resolved.
A copy of the judgment can be found here.