New Judgment: R (Noone) v The Governor of HMP Drake Hall & Anor  UKSC 30
30 Wednesday Jun 2010
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 1097
Concerns the inter-relationship between the sentencing provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 and the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Under the 1991 Act, it became mandatory for the Secretary of State to release prisoners part way through their sentence. Home Detention Curfew (HDC) was introduced in 1998, by which prisoners could be released on licence after they had served a requisite period. Early release provisions for sentences of less than 12 months under the 2003 Act have never been brought into force, and so regard must be had to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Commencement No 8 and Transitional and Savings Provisions) Order 2005 to determine which scheme should apply when a prisoner was sentenced to consecutive sentences including terms both over and under 12 months. The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal against the Secretary of State’s policy that release on HDC should be calculated by treating the longest sentence as subject to the 2003 Act and as commencing first, and the shorter sentences as subject to the 1991 Act. The 2003 Act applied to a ‘mixed sentence’ case, despite a gap in the definition of the custodial period in such a case.