Expected Sentence For Abh Section 47

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AnswerBrad | 18:53 Wed 04th Jun 2014 | Criminal
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I have been charged with section 47 abh to appear at a magistrates court in 2 weeks time, ive been informed that it will most probably be sent to the crown because i have previous which is about 4 common assulta in total no serious charges although my very first assault charge was a 12 week suspended sentence for 12 months to which i breached this on 3 occasions and my sentence was triggered i served 6 weeks on top of completing community service and time on tag. I was released from prison 13 months before this new incident and have had no trouble since. Was playing football and me and and opponent were arguing all game hes grabbed me from behind after a while and ive swung my arms to get him off me to which ive caught him with part of my lower arm. He has lost his 2 front teeth and reported me to the police saying ive elbowed him on purpose.. Referee did not see anything and i was allowed to continue playing my opponeny walked off and left the scene. He has 1 witness which is his goalkeeper he claims i striker him with my LEFT elbow me and the opponent who is hurt claimed it was my right. I had marks on my right arm where i caught this guy.. Ive got 2 witnesses if needed once ive been 2 court. In the opponents statement he has said we was jostling for position when this happened.. Im a striker he is a defender the ball was out of play for a goal kick at this moment in time i can only assume he said jostling for position as a way to avoid saying he grabbed me.. Im obviously worried because ive got previous and this isnt going to look good on me when this goes to court. I did a voluntary interview and was not arrested.. I rung the police on 3/4 occasions before they told me i had to have this interview as i wanted them to witnes the marks on my lower right arm which are not near my elbow as obviously i did not elbow this guy. Any help will be appreciated thanks


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Do you intend to plead guilty or not?
Question Author
My solicitor wants to wait till my appearance in court in 2 weeks so he can see any new statements gatheres etc but i dont want to plead guilty to something i didnt mean to do my solicitor is just worried for me because of the damage caused and my previous.. I will be pleading not guilty though.
For the purposes of sentencing ABH offences fall into three categories, Category 1 being the most serious and category three the least. Regardless of your previous convictions or your plea, committing the matter to the Crown Court (either for trial or sentence) can only be a consideration if the offence falls into Category 2, and even then there must be a number of aggravating features. Category 1 offences should normally always be dealt with in the Crown Court whilst Category 3 offences should normally be dealt with in the Magistrates' Court.

From your description of events I would say that the offence falls into Category Three. You can see the factors that help categorise the offence on page 225 (that's p.225 of the PDF file, page 201 of the document itself) of this document:

Even if the Magistrates' do decide the offence crosses into Category 2 there does not seem to be sufficient aggravating features to move the offence towards the upper end of the sentencing range.

Your previous of course does not help your cause and you should discuss the full facts with your solicitor. You will lose the right to any discount if you plead not guilty but are found guilty at trial. Your brief may be able to negotiate with the prosecution if you should agree to a guilty plea to a lesser offence of Common Assault.
You admit
''I've swung my arms to get him off me to which I've caught him with the lower part of my arm, he has lost 2 front teeth''
That looks like you have admitted hitting him and knocking out 2 teeth. which arm it was is not relevant, you have admitted hitting him, that means you are guilty.
I do not see how you can do anything but plead guilty and ask for mitigating circumstances to be considered. I can see no way you could be found not guilty.
With your record I can see another stretch of 'porridge' in the offing.
Plead guilty and hope the magistrate/ judge is in a good mood, you may just swing it and get a non custodial.
Question Author
Whatever happened to self defence if im in fear of assault i can surely defend myself even though it was a total accident that i caught him in the mouth surely its not acceptable for my opponent to be grabbing me from behind as though hes putting me into an headlock.. He claims it was a deliberate elbow although the cuts are no where near my elbow.. Ive also heard because its a football incident there seen in lower regard as it would if i was out in town on a night out.. I have 2 witnesses backing up my story.. I have a young girl and a job ive been in for over 2 years and im the only worker in my household so hopefully that will help if im found guilty.. On the chance i am found guilty what sentence would i be expected to receive
There does not have to be intent for the offence of ABH to be made out. The prosecution does not have to prove that you intended to cause injury, merely that you caused it by behaving recklessly. Your solicitor is best placed to explain all this to you. From what you say I believe the Magistrates will retain jurisdiction and that you may escape an immediate custodial sentence. If you are going to plead self defence follow your solictor's advice carefully.

If you had a clean record I would say you have every chance of a 'not guilty' due to self defence. But with your 'previous' it looks less clear cut. Remember there is the automatic 1/3rd reduction in sentence for a guilty plea, I would think that a guilty plea and the mitigating circumstances would stand a higher chance of avoiding a custodial than risking going 'not guilty' and hoping to get cleared. But as NJ says listen very carefully to your solicitors advice.

Question Author
Thanks for your replies sorry not ive not replied earlier been to see my solicitor today and he doesnt want to tell me what to do yet until the day of my court appearance because he wants to read all the evidence/statements as he cannot do this until the day.. He thinks it will most definetly get transferred to the crown court he was very shocked i was charged with abh sec 47 he was confident they would charge me with common assault.
I had similar charge to yours go to crown court. I did have previous for affray and got 12 months. could be looking at something like that too. hope goes better for you though
Blimey if you have a solicitor, you shouldnt be asking us
you should be following his advice since he has all the details.

I think it is says on the top of this thread - that the advice given is of variable quality, and if we get it wrong, you cant sue or blame us

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Expected Sentence For Abh Section 47

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