Published 19th January 2024

Court of Appeal quashes mandatory minimum term prison sentence of pregnant woman in Landmark Ruling

The Court of Appeal has quashed the prison sentence of a pregnant woman resulting in her immediate release so that she can safely give birth in the community. The young woman had previously been sentenced to the mandatory minimum term of 5 years imprisonment for possession of a firearm and ammunition.

An out of time appeal was lodged after it had come to light that the woman had been pregnant but did not know this at the time of her sentencing hearing. Fresh evidence was filed showing that the Appellant developed serious complications in the pregnancy that placed her and her baby at risk particularly in a prison environment. The Court of Appeal agreed that there were “exceptional circumstances” justifying the departure from the mandatory minimum sentencing terms for firearms offences. They replaced her original sentence with a two-year suspended sentence with a rehabilitation requirement which led to her immediate release from prison.

Read coverage of this story in the Guardian.

Michela Carini of Bhatt Murphy acted for the Appellant, with Counsel Pippa Woodrow of Doughty Street Chambers.

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