The data: Sentence reductions under Socpa

All the data. (Image: Shutterstock.com)

In an investigation by the Bureau for BBC Panorama, and published in the Independent we revealed that under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Socpa), serious criminals are having prison time cut, some by more than 90%, in return for turning informant.

Some members of the legal profession have raised grave concerns about the unprecedented levels of sentence reduction, and over the credibility of information given by individuals acting to cut their time in prison.

The Bureau independently identified and analysed 47 cases in which jail terms were cut under Socpa, in addition we found two cases were total immunity was granted. We have identified each Socpa witness by number rather than name, as though the reductions are stated in open court, some of the individuals remain in the witness protection scheme.

 

Socpa witness

Crime

Original sentence

Socpa reduced sentence

% reduction in jail term

1

Vat repayment fraud

At least 6 months

Suspended sentence

100%

2

Pharmaceutical fraud

12 months

Suspended sentence

100%

3

Insider dealing

10 months

Suspended sentence

100%

4

Making corrupt payments

12 months, suspended for 2 years

Suspended sentence

100%

5

Conspiracy to pervert the
course of justice, supplying controlled drugs,
theft, GBH.

9 years

9 month suspended sentence

100%

6

Making corrupt payments to foreign government official

12 months?

5 months’ suspended sentence

100%

7

Conspiracy to murder

28 years

3 years

89.30%

8

Conspiracy to supply class A drug

8 years

1 year

87.50%

9

Aiding and abetting murder

22 years (minimum)

3 years

86%

10

Aiding and abetting murder

22 years (minimum)

3 years

86%

11

Originally charged with murder – following plea agreement, agreed to plead guilty to assisting an offender and also revealed details of previous criminality which included supplying drugs, robbery, burglary and violence.

If murder – life/indeterminate sentence – 10+ years

18 months

85% (estimate)

12

48 paramilitary-linked charges, including six charges relating to petrol bombs, nine of affray, drug dealing, five relating to arson, seven firearms offences, two charges of withholding information in relation to a murder and a wounding.He also pleaded guilty to robbery and attempted robbery, aggravated burglary, causing actual bodily harm and paramilitary activity.

18 years

3 years

84%

13

£1 million theft

8 years

1 year 5 months

82.30%

14

Manslaughter

35 years

7 years

80%

15

Robbery, attempted robbery, two counts of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, two counts of possessing a firearm at the time of committing an offence and one count of arson.

20 years

4 years less 1 year in custody (minimum)

80%

16

Assisting murder and conspiracy to supply controlled drugs

12 years

2.5 years

79.17%

17

Possessing firearms with the intent to endanger life; manufacturing firearms contrary to section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968; possessing ammunition contrary to section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968

25 years

6 years

76%

18

Money laundering, possession of a firearm with intent, possession with intent to supply class A drugs, and handling stolen goods

18 years

5 years

72%

19

Cocaine importation

17 years

5 years

70.60%

20

Smuggling tens of thousands of pounds of heroin and crack cocaine.

14 years

4 years 2 months

70%

21

Drug conspiracy

8 years

2 years, 6 months

69%

22

Five offences of corruption

4 years

18 months

62.50%

23

Drug conspiracy

15 years

6 years

60%

24

Conspiracy to cause GBH. Originally charged with murder

6 years

2.5 years

58.30%

25

Conspiring to defraud investors.

Fellow director received 7 years

3 years

57%

26

Murder

18 years (minimum)

8 years

55.50%

27

Possession of Uzi submachine gun and ammunition

6.5 years

3 years (eligible for release after 18 months)

54%

28

Murder

32 years min

15 years min

53%

29

Armed robbery

?

28 months

50%

30

Supplying Class A drugs and firearms, intent to endanger life

12 years?

6 years

50%

31

Firebombed the homes of two police officers

6.5 years minimum

5 years (but had already served 3.5 years so was freed)

50%

32

Kidnap

12 years

6 years

50%

33

Kidnap

12 years

6 years

50%

34

Conspiracy to supply drugs of Class A and Class C, and conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office

8 years

4 years

50%

35

Conspiracy to supply class A drug

8.5 years

4 years 3 months

48%

36

Burglary and theft

5.5 years

3 years

45%

37

Two counts of conspiracy to obtain money transfers by deception and four counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception

11 years

6.5 years

41%

38

Violent disorder and having an article with a blade

2 years 6 months

18 months

40%

39

Theft

6 years 4 months

4 years 4 months

32%

40

Large scale importation of class A drugs

25%*

41

Murder and conspiracy to supply controlled drugs 26 years 21 years

20%

42

Terrorism: conspiracy to destroy, damage or endanger the safety of an aircraft 50+ year determinate sentence for not guilty plea, plus life imprisonment, plus indeterminate sentence for public protection. BUT already reduced to 13 years by first judge. 11 years with option to apply for parole immediately

15%

43

Assisting armed robbery 18 months

Unknown

44

Possession of firearm 15 months

Unknown

45

Currently facing up to 300 paramilitary charges, including murder.

not sentenced yet

46

Conspiracy to supply cocaine ? 7 years

Unknown

47

 Perverting course of justice. unknown unknown

“Substantial”**

 

*Judgement confirmed 25% reduction

** No record of percentage reduction in court papers but prosecution barrister confirmed discount “substantial”.

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