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The role of the prosecution in Court is to prove that there was an expressed, implied or assumed ‘agreement’ to do the act between those accused. The prosecution must also show that there was an intention to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) through either direct or circumstantial evidence.
The offence of conspiracy to commit GBH is taken very seriously by the courts. If you are tried, found guilty and committed, you’re likely to be handed a hefty prison sentence. The sentence that the Judge decides upon will be based on what happened, what your role was and what the outcome of any crime is.
We have collected some of the questions that our conspiracy to commit GBH clients ask when we defend them. We have also included the answers, but if you have any other questions or need further information, don’t hesitate to call us on 0208 888 5225 or complete our contact form.
It’s important to know that any proficient and experienced solicitor who has defended other conspiracy to commit GBH cases may be able to get your sentence reduced, or quashed entirely.
Being part of an investigation for conspiracy to commit GBH can be very frightening. If you don’t have a knowledgeable, competent and experienced solicitor to support you throughout the case, you could find yourself getting into deeper water that may conclude with a more significant sentence.
It’s vital to get legal help right from the beginning of any investigation. Your initial police interview will be where the police put you under pressure to answer a set of probing questions. They will most likely have evidence on you, of which you won’t be informed. The purpose of this is to use it to get you to trip yourself up, and then this evidence will also be used against you in Court.
It’s imperative that as soon as you discover that you could be under investigation, you seek competent legal advice immediately.
Examples of conspiracy to commit GBH are:
Conspiracy to commit GBH is a grave offence in law. If found guilty and convicted, your punishment may be anything up to a life sentence. A life sentence in the UK is typically fifteen years before it can go before the Parole Board for review and a potential release.
The information that judges are given with regards to sentencing are only guidelines, and each case will be looked at individually. The Judge will consider your lifestyle, what you have done with your life with regards to work, volunteering, caring or supporting your family.
Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating aspects which can influence the sentence that a judge gives. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.
The following are some of the other factors considered when the Court decides which sentence to give. They will look at:
In recent years, several changes have been made to the sentencing system in the UK to save the court time and cost and to protect witnesses from the stress of needlessly going through a trial. For offenders aged 18 and over, pleading guilty early on in a case can reduce a sentence by as much as one third (maximum). The later the plea is entered, the smaller the reduction.
‘Early on’ refers to ‘the first stage of the proceedings’ and means anytime up to and including the first hearing at the Magistrates Court or Crown Court for indictable offences.
If a plea is entered 14 days after the first hearing, for example, the maximum level of reduction is just 20% or one fifth of the sentence. For indictable offences, the limit for a guilty plea to be made is within 28 days after the prosecutor has stated compliance with section 3 of CPIA 1996 and serving disclosure; although the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Judge who has discretion to apply whatever credit is deemed appropriate.
After these times there is a sliding scale of credit applied. This goes down to one tenth on the first day of the trial and to zero if entered during the course of the trial. In theory, the ten percent could be given if the plea is issued after the opening speeches on the first day, but prior to any witness evidence being heard.
If the accused does not want to plead guilty, then it’s important for the solicitor to regularly inform the Court throughout the trial of the reasons why the client’s plea is not guilty.
A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of a conspiracy to commit GBH offence. These are extra elements of punishment that can be added to a sentence and include additional restrictions or requirements that can affect a dependent’s finances, your property or business or financial activity.
Ancillary orders that are typically added to the penalty for those who are found to be guilty of conspiracy to commit GBH include:
As part of your investigation, you may also have your assets frozen with the possibility of having cash or other assets seized.
In addition, the Court may demand payment of the following if the accused is convicted:
Payment of costs applied for by the prosecutors
Although the police meet some of the costs involved in the prosecution, the costs of investigation are typically sought from the convicted. These may include the costs of:
The term victims’ surcharges can be explained as paying compensation to a fund for victims and can range between £20 to £170 depending on what sentence you were given at conviction.
How sentences can be added to national information databases
There are several national databases that hold information about individuals and any allegations made about them, their criminal and court records. These include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) and the Police National Computer (PNC). Depending on what happened, whether the accused is convicted and what sentence was issued, the accused may be added to one or all these databases. Their purpose is to provide information to potential employers and to regulate the ability to take part in certain activities.
If your case progresses to Court and you are convicted of conspiracy to commit GBH, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.
Below are details on how long you will be listed as holding a criminal record if convicted. This is something very serious to consider when it comes to future employment. The term ‘spent’ refers to when your name can be removed from the databases.
(the time it takes for the sentence to become ‘spent’)
|Sentence||Adult (aged 18+) at time of conviction||Young person (aged under 18) at time of conviction|
|Prison sentences of more than 4 years||Sentence is never spent||Sentence is never spent|
|Prison sentences of more than 2.5 years (30 months) but less than 4 years||Sentence length 7 years||Sentence length 3.5 years|
|Prison sentences of more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years (30 months)||Sentence length +4 years||Sentence length +2 years|
|Prison sentences of less than 6 months||Sentence length + 2 years||Sentence length +18 months|
|Conditional Discharge||Length of order||Length of order|
|Conditional Caution||3 months||3 months|
|Simple Caution / Youth Caution||None – immediately ‘spent’||None – immediately ‘spent’|
|Other Including Compensation Order, Supervision Order, Bind Over, Hospital Order||Length of the order / once compensation is paid||Length of the order / once compensation is paid|
Every case that Stuart Miller Solicitors takes on benefits from our experience that we have accumulated over the last thirty years of defending claims in Court. We have taken on some of the most elaborate conspiracies to commit GBH cases and brought them to a more than satisfactory conclusion.
We understand how challenging it can be to have to attend Court for a case such as this. Family and friends need to be updated on proceedings and their progress.
Arrest & Interview
As soon you hear that you’re going to be part of a conspiracy to commit GBH investigation, you must seek the legal advice of experienced lawyers. The police will want to interview you and ask you some very high pressure probing questions. They will be trying to get more evidence from you that they can use against you in Court. Everything you say will be recorded with the hope of being able to use some of it as evidence.
By having a lawyer at your side, you can afford yourself the best protection. They will tell you what to say and what not to say so that you don’t get yourself into deeper water. Many court cases are in effect decided in the police interview. By ensuring that you know how to handle the interview for your specific circumstances, you’ll give yourself the best chance at getting a favourable outcome at your trial.
The lawyer can also ask the police to produce any further evidence they may have on you. Once your lawyer sees the evidence, they can begin to craft a very robust defence strategy that will give you some protection in Court. They will work with the barrister and casework on your case in addition to expert witnesses and forensic analysts.
If you don’t use a competent solicitor, you could be given sentences that are lengthy and keep you separated from family for an extended period.
Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?
We invite you to get in touch with us now for a free no-obligation thirty-minute consultation so that we can discuss the best approach for your unique circumstances. You can express your concerns, ask questions, and you can get to know more about why we are the best solicitors to represent you in your conspiracy to commit GBH case.
To make an appointment for your consultation, complete our contact form or call us on 0208 888 5225. In the case of an emergency, for example, if you’ve arrested or charged, call us on our 24/7 emergency line on 07980 000 076.
Get in touch with us now for conspiracy to commit GBH legal help.