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Exceptional Circumstances successfully argued in firearms case

Head of Crown Court Team and Partner, Natalie Berman who was instructed by one of our Partners Kirsty Bishop successfully argue for exceptional circumstances in a peculiar firearms case where the mandatory minimum applied.

Our client faced a 2- count indictment, possessing a prohibited firearm (contrary to section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968) and possessing a prohibited firearm – pepper cartridges (contrary to section 5(1)(c) of the Firearms Act 1968). Peculiarly, the firearm did not attract a minimum sentence, but rather the seven pepper cartridges. 

The Law is such that a court must impose a custodial sentence of at least five years unless the court is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances which related to the offence or offender and justify not imposing the minimum sentence. 

Following the preparation of a detailed sentencing note, supported by expert evidence and character material, and supplemented with additional oral submissions at the hearing, the Judge found there were exceptional circumstances in the case resulting in a non-custodial sentence.

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