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April 3, 2024

The appellant had been sentenced to 40 months imprisonment for her involvement in a conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

At the time of the sentence she was 36 weeks pregnant. Charley Pattison argued on appeal, that the Judge at first instance wrongly took the appellant to have played a significant role in the conspiracy, when in fact she played a lesser role. The Judge wrongly took into account features of the appellant’s previous employment in order to increase the sentence, and that as a heavily pregnant woman, her time in prison would increase the risk of birth related health complications.

The Court of Appeal noted that there was force in Charley’s written arguments and at an expedited oral hearing, accepted all of Charley’s submissions. The sentence was reduced from 40 months to a suspended sentence of 20 months. This was an important case, following the recent inclusion by the Sentencing Council, of pregnancy as a specific factor to consider when sentencing.