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Affray or not Affray

Published: 24th September 2012 at 15:41:42



Affray or not Affray?

In the Crown Court our Higher Court Advocate filed a written Legal Argument against a charge alleging Affray raised by CPS after D. had pleaded Guilty to causing criminal damage to an occupied car. The facts of the Affray were identical to the Criminal Damage charge already pleaded to. The Argument alleged that to do so was 1. 'Autre Fois Convict', or, 2. An Abuse of the Criminal Justice Process, or, 3. Invalid because it was not (on the facts) a Public Order offence.

The significance of the Argument lies in the maximum sentence available which for an Affray is 3 years. This could be in addition to the maximum for criminal damage which is 3 months.

After vigorous negations with the CPS, D. pleaded guilty to a S.4 Public Order offence which capped his maximum sentence at 6 months, instead of 3 years (although still with the addition 3 months for the criminal damage guilty plea.)