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Local News

CPS defends handling of case after Sheffield Crown Court judge’s criticism

today02/09/2021

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The Crown Prosecution Service has defended its handling of the case of three teens who took part in gang violence following a judge’s scathing criticism.

Judge David Dixon, sitting at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday, said the offence of affray that the trio had admitted, rather than an original charge of robbery, was due to the complainant’s failure to turn up as well as three failings on the part of the CP S.

Judge Dixon added: “When I read the papers without looking at the charges, even at your ages, I was considering years because that is what you all deserve. But because of the crown’s approach, that is not going to happen.”

READ MORE: The Yorkshire criminals locked up in August including killers, paedophiles and rapists

He also said that the CPS had “yet again failed to provide appropriate information” including the harm caused by the stabbings during the street brawl and any long-term consequences.

Judge Dixon added that the CPS had failed in not making the complainant turn up, their failure to charge the three teens appropriately and their failure to get the evidence against them.

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Teens Nathan Cockayne, Ryan Hallam and Lewis Parker were part of what Judge Dixon described as a “mob” or “pack” who attacked two rivals in Sheffield in 2018 and left them with stab wounds to their legs.

Judge Dixon told all three of them that having looked at the case without knowing about the charges they faced, he was considering substantial prison sentences for their roles.

He added he was somewhat surprised to see the teens originally charged with robbery rather than any grievous bodily harm offences.

He also said that all three ran the risk of “many years” in jail even at their young ages.

However, Hallam, 19, and Walker, 18, were handed community orders with unpaid work elements while Cockayne, 19, will find out his fate on September 8 owing to the need for pre-sentence reports.

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The CPS responded by saying they had noted Judge Dixon’s comments but stated they felt an original charge of robbery was sufficient enough given the circumstances.

A spokesperson said: ““The CPS was satisfied the evidence supported a charge of robbery. We remain satisfied that the offence of robbery adequately reflected the seriousness of the offence, provided the court with sufficient sentencing powers and allowed the case to be presented in a clear way.

“Before the trial hearing, one of the victims informed the police he would not attend court or give evidence if called. CPS made an application to the court for a witness summons to get the victim to court. The other victim attended court but refused to give evidence.

“In relation to the injuries, statements were provided from medical staff that confirmed the general nature of the injuries and treatment given to the victims. This placed the court in a position to sentence.”

Hallam, of Beck Road, Sheffield, was handed an 18-month community order and must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

Parker, of Bellhouse Road, Sheffield, was given a community order for the same duration but must carry out 40 hours of unpaid work and 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

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Written by: Rother Radio News


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today02/09/2021