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Downing Street

Driver who crashed into Downing Street receives suspended sentence


Charles Hannaford secured a two-year suspended sentence for a client charged with dangerous driving and possession of indecent images.

The defendant drove his vehicle into the gates of Downing Street in May of this year, whilst experiencing a mental health breakdown. Following arrest by armed officers his phone was examined revealing a number of Category A and C images.

The court considered the offence specific guidelines alongside ‘the imposition of community and custodial sentences’ and ‘sentencing offenders with mental health disorders, developmental disorders or neurological impairments’ guidance published by the Sentencing Council. The court were also assisted by a psychological report and a separate pre-sentence report.

Mr Hannaford submitted that the defendant’s acceptance of his underlying difficulties, previous attempts to seek help and subsequent arrangements made to engage in offence specific programmes on his release meant he had a realistic prospect of rehabilitation. This was supported by a positive assessment by the National Probation Service who recommended a community-based sentence.

In passing sentence, the court was persuaded to apply a reduction to reflect the period the defendant had spent in custody.

Alphege Bell and Charles Hannaford were instructed by Joan MitchellClifton Solicitors & Advocates.

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