QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF HARRINGTON||Claimant|
|BROMLEY MAGISTRATES COURT||Defendant|
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MISS A KELLY (instructed by Legal Department for Bromley Magistrates Court) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
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"Adjourned PSR. All options open excluding committing to crown court for sentence unless dangerous. Dangerousness to be dealt with before sentence in light of the report."
The magistrates, it is common ground thereby told the claimant that he would be sentenced by the Magistrates' Court within the powers available to the Magistrates' Court, unless the pre-sentence report revealed that he posed a danger to the public, in which event he would be committed to the crown court.
"If a court at a preliminary stage of the sentencing process gives to a defendant any indication as to the sentence which will or not be thereafter passed upon him in terms sufficiently unqualified to found a legitimate expectation in the mind of the defendant that any court which later passes sentence upon him will act in accordance with the indication given and if on a later occasion a court without reasons which justified the departure from the earlier occasion and whether or not it is aware of that indication, passes a sentence inconsistent with and more severe that the sentence indicated, the court will ordinary feel obliged, however reluctantly, to adjust the sentence passed so as to bring it within the line with that indicated."
It is common ground that the same principle applies to indications given by magistrates that the case will not be committed to sentence to the crown court.