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Sentencing in contempt—factors affecting the length of an immediate prison sentence (Lockett v Minstrell Recruitment)

Sentencing in contempt—factors affecting the length of an immediate prison sentence (Lockett v Minstrell Recruitment)
Published on: 04 February 2021
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Sentencing in contempt—factors affecting the length of an immediate prison sentence (Lockett v Minstrell Recruitment)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Case details

Article summary

Dispute Resolution analysis: This case looks at the factors which might affect the length of an immediate prison sentence, imposed for contempt of court. It is of particular relevance during the current global pandemic, as the conditions within the prison estate were seen to be a significant factor in the circumstances of the case. The High Court had imposed a sentence of 12 months’ immediate imprisonment, duly reduced to eight months by the Court of Appeal. The salient factors were the impact of current prison conditions on Mr Lockett’s mental health, and the misconduct of Minstrell Recruitment Ltd (Minstrell) in seeking to entrap Mr Lockett, both of which were underappreciated by the court below. The case is a useful reference for those involved in contempt proceedings who seek to rely on the case of R v Manning [2020] EWCA Crim 592 as justification for the principle that the effect of the pandemic on prison conditions should result in a downward adjustment of any immediate sentence of imprisonment. Written by Alexander West, barrister at Albion Chambers, Bristol. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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