R v Jenkin [2012] EWCA Crim 2557, [2012] MHLO 141

Having pleaded guilty to GBH with intent (for gouging his girlfriend's eyes out), the appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment with a six-year minimum term, combined with a hospital direction and limitation direction under s45A MHA 1983. He appealed against sentence, arguing for a restricted hospital order or alternatively an IPP sentence. (1) A hospital order means that 'release is dependent on the responsible authority being satisfied that the defendant no longer presents any danger which arises from his medical condition': this would be inadequate as, irrespective of his delusional disorder, the appellant posed a significant risk of serious harm to the public. (2) A life sentence should be reserved for those cases where the culpability of the offender is particularly high or the offence itself particularly grave (R v Kehoe): both those limbs were met in this case. (3) The s45A hybrid order was appropriate as the criteria were met and the disorder was treatable, but when treatment is no longer necessary the risk to the public required that he be released from hospital to prison and for the Parole Board to make the release decision.

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