A man has had his prison sentence extended – by four years and six months – after a successful challenge by Suffolk Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Police and the CPS challenged the sentencing of Mark Lee after he was given a 54 month concurrent sentence for a robbery in Southwold last year, on the basis it had been unduly lenient.
The sentencing came about after Lee, of Romany Lane, Kessingland, committed separate offences in Norfolk and Suffolk.
On October 1, 2015, he appeared at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court charged with the robbery in Southwold on March 3, 2015, in which two men forced their way into the home of a disabled man and pushed him around before stealing a holdall containing £8,000 to £10,000 in cash.
However, Lee had also been charged with other offences in Norfolk and was jailed for five years at Norwich Crown Court on December 22, 2015, for two counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child, assault by beating the same child, and possession of cocaine.
On May 3 this year, the first day of his scheduled trial at Ipswich Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to the Southwold robbery. At this stage he was sentenced to 54 months imprisonment but this was ordered to run concurrent – at the same time as the five year sentence he was already serving for the Norfolk offences.
Suffolk Police made representations to the CPS and it was agreed the sentence should be referred for review on the basis it was unduly lenient.
The appeal was heard at The Royal Court of Justice in London today (July 15), where it was agreed the 54 month sentence should run consecutive to the existing sentence – effectively adding four years and six months to the term Lee will now have to serve in prison.
Detective Inspector Simon Bridgland said: “Both the sexual activity and the robbery were serious crimes and we felt the concurrent sentence was unduly lenient under the circumstances. The robbery was fully investigated, leading to prosecution of Lee who admitted stealing the resident’s cash. Officers liaised with CPS to carry out a joint challenge and we’re pleased with the decision today.”
Detective Sergeant Matthew Adams said: “Because Lee’s 54 month sentence for the robbery had been ordered to run concurrently to the one he was already serving, he was effectively given no additional punishment for the robbery offence.
“We believed that he should face further imprisonment due to the serious nature of the offences committed and, with the support of CPS, this has been successfully challenged, resulting in Lee being ordered to serve the 54 months as well as the five years given for the Norfolk offences.
“While three people - two men and a woman – were also previously jailed for conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with the Southwold incident, there remains one unidentified male who carried out this crime and we would urge anyone with information regarding who that other male was to call Lowestoft CID on 101 quoting crime reference BE/15/264.”
Anyone with information can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously if required, on 0800 555111.