Judges rule ‘no merit’ in sen­tence ap­peal bid

Armed rob­ber’s in­def­i­nite jail term for ‘pro­tec­tion of the pub­lic’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

Ja­son David Lam­bert, 41, of Terry Drive, Ayles­bury, was handed in­def­i­nite im­pris­on­ment for pub­lic pro­tec­tion at Ayles­bury Crown Court in June 2006.

The type of sen­tence – which was branded ‘draconian’ by cam­paign­ers and has since been re­pealed by the gov­ern­ment – is al­most iden­ti­cal to a life term.

Last Wed­nes­day (May 25) he chal­lenged his pun­ish­ment at Lon­don’s Crim­i­nal Ap­peal Court, ar­gu­ing it was ‘un­law­ful’ and say­ing he had wrongly been con­demned as a dan­ger to so­ci­ety.

But his com­plaints were thrown out by three of the coun­try’s top judges, who said there was ‘no merit’ in his ap­peal.

The court heard Lam­bert went on a crime spree be­tween Jan­uary 23 and Fe­bru­ary 12 2006, tar­get­ing shops and post of­fices to get cash for his drug habit.

In four sep­a­rate raids, he robbed a post of­fice in Stoke Man­dev­ille, a Bud­gens store in Wen­dover, and a Spar in Ayles­bury.

He armed him­self with a start­ing pistol on the first oc­ca­sion, a knife on the se­cond and a ham­mer on the third.

Lam­bert ad­mit­ted three rob­beries, theft, at­tempted theft and two counts of as­sault­ing a po­lice con­sta­ble dur­ing the course of an ar­rest.

Mr Jus­tice Hick­in­bot­tom told the court he had pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for rob­bery, dat­ing back to 2000, and had used a sim­i­lar method when car­ry­ing out those raids.

Writ­ing to the court, Lam­bert ar­gued his sen­tence was ‘un­law­ful’ be­cause the sen­tence of im­pris­on­ment for pub­lic pro­tec­tion no longer ex­ists.

He also said there was not enough ev­i­dence for the sen­tenc­ing judge to treat him as a ‘ dan­ger­ous of­fender’, as no-one suf­fered harm dur­ing the raids.

But, dis­miss­ing his ap­peal, Mr Jus­tice Hick­in­bot­tom said the court could not look again at his sen­tence sim­ply be­cause of changes to the jus­tice sys­tem.

Sit­ting with Lady Jus­tice Raf­ferty and Judge Keith Cut­ler, he added: “It is true these of­fences had not in fact re­sulted in harm to oth­ers.

“How­ever, Lam­bert had reg­u­larly used weapons.

“In the cir­cum­stances, the fact se­ri­ous in­jury had not been pre­vi­ously caused does not mean that it would not be caused in the future.” SIX MEM­BERS of the lo­cal Asian Women’s Club handed over a cheque worth more than £4,000 to the Ger­rards Cross Col­ston Hall.

They walked the red car­pet at the Me­mo­rial Hall ear­lier this month to hand the cheque over to­wards the hall’s re­cent re­fur­bish­ment and were wel­comed by di­rec­tor of ser­vices Ken Piercy, trea­surer Tony Aston along with events co-or­di­na­tor and host of the com­edy night Suzie Bower.

The ladies were wel­comed at the Col­ston Hall by Suzie who was host­ing the com­edy night – the first big com­mu­nity event since the hall’s re­fur­bish­ment.

Suzie said: “We were de­lighted the ladies could join us and see the hall since its re­fur­bish­ment – the com­edy night was an ideal chance for the ladies to hand over their sub­stan­tial cheque and see our com­mu­nity venue bustling with ac­tiv­ity. We don’t al­ways have a red car­pet but this event was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity.”

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