R. v Plakici (Luan)

(CA (Crim Div)) Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)

29 April 2004


Subject:  Sentencing

Assisting illegal entry; Coercion; Consecutive sentences; Corruption; Incitement; Kidnapping; Living on prostitution; Rape; Trafficking for sexual exploitation; Undue leniency

Facts:  The Attorney General referred to the court as unduly lenient concurrent sentences totalling 10 years' imprisonment imposed on P following a guilty plea to charges of facilitating illegal entry, living on the earnings of prostitution, kidnapping and incitement to rape. P had a leading part in an organisation that approached young women from Romania with offers to arrange their passage to the UK where they would work in a bar. Instead, the women were required to work as prostitutes.

Summary:  Held, allowing the reference, that the sentence of 10 years' imprisonment was unduly lenient and would be replaced by concurrent sentences totalling 23 years' imprisonment. Since P had commercially exploited illegal immigrants, five years was an appropriate sentence following a guilty plea, R. v Le (Van Binh) [1999] 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 422 followed. As to living on the earnings of prostitution, there was evidence of coercion and corruption in the case of three of the victims, so that five years was appropriate in the circumstances, R. v Powell (Ashna George) [2001] 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 76 followed. Two other victims could be treated differently as they had lived with P, but there was still evidence of coercion and corruption that justified three years' imprisonment. For kidnapping, a sentence of 10 years was appropriate where the women had been held against their will, R. v Spence (Clinton Everton) (1983) 5 Cr. App. R. (S.) 413 followed. Finally, eight years was appropriate in respect of the single count of incitement to rape, R. v Millberry (William Christopher) [2002] EWCA Crim 2891 followed.

Judge:  Latham, L.J.; Cox, J.; Judge Peter Beaumont Q.C.