Legal news update – January 2020

Introduction of televised sentencing

This week it has been announced that judges sentencing in high-profile cases, such as murders and rapes, will now be televised in the hopes of developing a greater public understanding. However, the Bar Council has announced it’s criticisms of the plan by stating that showing only part of a trial could instigate unjustified criticism of judges and turn the sentencing procedure into a “spectator sport”.

You will be able to watch the sentencing procedure online from the 16th of January however there will be a 10 second delay on the broadcast to eliminate any disturbances etc. However, there will be restrictions on what can be filmed these include the court staff, jurors, witnesses and victims.

Reynhard Sinaga life sentence information

Reynhard Sinaga, a 36 year old student from Indonesia, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 30 years for 136 counts of rape at Manchester crown court on the 6th January. This means that Mr Sinaga is going to have to serve a minimum of 30 years before he is considered for parole.

Geoffrey Cox QC has referred Reynhard Sinaga’s sentence to the court of appeal under the unduly lenient sentence (ULS) scheme as he thinks a “whole-life order” should be considered.

Cox also said: “After carefully considering the details of this case, I have decided to refer the sentence to the court of appeal”.

Cox also stated that, “Sinaga carried out an egregious number of attacks, over a prolonged period of time causing substantial pain and psychological suffering to his victims. It is now for the court to decide whether to increase the sentence.”

The sentencing judge Suzanne Goddard QC stated that she believed that Mr Sinaga was a “highly dangerous”, “cunning” and “deceitful individual “and that he would never be safe to release, she also questioned whether she had the authority to ensure he was never released.

Dan Vernon

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