â€œThe Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC MP has decided not to refer the suspended prison sentence given to David Griffin to the Court of Appeal as he does not believe they would find it to be unduly lenient and increase it.
â€œThe judge marked the seriousness of the offence by imposing a 3 month sentence of imprisonment, the maximum under the guidelines being 6 months. It was neither wrong in principle nor unduly lenient to suspend that sentence.â€
Griffin 69, was convicted of one count of indecent assault on a woman in 1995. Judge Leonard QC sentenced Griffin to three months imprisonment suspended for two years on September 26th 2014 at Southwark Crown Court.
The Law Officers, (the Attorney and Solicitor General) have the power to refer sentences to the Court of Appeal that they consider to be unduly lenient.Â This is a high threshold and is reserved for sentences which are more than simply lenient.Â A sentence will only be unduly lenient if it falls significantly below the sentence that any judge could reasonably have imposed. Even then, the Court of Appeal has a wide discretion as to whether it should actually increase a sentence in a case.
The Law Officers only take decisions whether or not to refer cases to the Court of Appeal after careful consideration of all the facts and circumstances of the case, the relevant case law and any guidelines from the Sentencing Council.