Appeal snub leads to court outburst

PUBLISHED: 10:47 12 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010

A FORMER Sutton man had to be escorted from the dock, shouting in protest, after three top judges dismissed his appeal against a six-year jail term for firearms and other offences. Stephen John Scrivener, 49, formerly of Ely Road, Sutton, was jailed for f

A FORMER Sutton man had to be escorted from the dock, shouting in protest, after three top judges dismissed his appeal against a six-year jail term for firearms and other offences.

Stephen John Scrivener, 49, formerly of Ely Road, Sutton, was jailed for five years for possession of a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition, plus eight months for affray and four months for failing to surrender to bail when he appeared before Cambridge Crown Court in March.

On Tuesday, on hearing his appeal dismissed at London's Criminal Appeal Court, Scrivener told judges: "You've just told a pack of lies. I've come here to fight my case and haven't been able to say a word. This Government's gone to war in Iraq and I've opposed it."

Lady Justice Hallett, who sat in court with Mr Justice Butterfield and Mr Justice Wilkie, ordered that he be taken from the dock by security officers.

Earlier, Mr Justice Wilkie had told how Scrivener was first caught with the weaponry by bailiffs, who, despite threats of violence, then called police in.

When officers attended, they found what they described as "an Aladdin's den of firearms and military memorabilia".

After being arrested and bailed, Scrivener travelled to Venezuela, where he said he wanted to fight for left-wing president, Hugo Chavez, against US President George Bush.

But Mr Justice Wilkie said that, in fact, Scrivener had left the country when he discovered how tough a sentence he was likely to receive.

He was arrested at Heathrow Airport on his return to the UK.

His lawyers argued that, although the five-year sentence for the weaponry could not be criticised, the six-year total was too long and, instead, the judge should have ordered that the terms for affray and failing to surrender should run alongside the firearms sentences.

Dismissing the appeal, and sparking Scriviner's outburst, Mr Justice Wilkie said: "In our judgment, there is nothing arguably wrong in the total sentence of six years which was passed.

"The offence of affray was, in truth, separate from the firearms offence. It was a chilling experience for the public official doing his duty.

"The bail offence was one which one would normally expect a consecutive sentence and we see no reason why that was wrongly imposed.

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