Megan Fletcher, instructed by Emily Wright at Blaser Mills Solicitors, represented a defendant at the Crown Court. The defendant was facing a count of possession of a false identity document with improper intent under the Identity Documents Act 2010, Section 4, amongst other offences.
Despite a pre-sentence report being ordered by the Magistrates’ Court, the probation service had declined to offer an appointment on the basis that Overieriakhi  EWCA Crim 452made it clear that an immediate custodial sentence was inevitable. Megan applied again for a pre-sentence report, but this application was rejected by the judge for the same reason.
At the start of her mitigation, Megan made it clear that she sought to persuade the judge to suspend any custodial sentence imposed. This indication was met with a firm expression from the judge that he would follow the case of Overieriakhi and impose an immediate custodial sentence. Megan was not dissuaded from her submissions, and proceeded to put forward substantial personal mitigation on her client’s behalf.
The judge in his sentencing remarks commented that his mind had been changed by the powerful mitigation presented by Megan and he was persuaded to impose a suspended sentence; an exceptional result, but quite right in the circumstances of the case as a whole.
Megan has been complimented on numerous occasions for her persuasive advocacy, and for not tempering her mitigation simply because of an existing presumption of immediate custody. Each case turns on its facts and the case law should be applied appropriately.