Assignment Task This assignment is an individual assignment. You should aim to use 2,000 words answering the following task: On 5 September 2023 at 9.30 pm, Gladys Davies, aged 96 years, climbed the stairs of her terraced house in the city, to the first floor, and got ready for bed. She went to bed, turned off the light, and went to sleep. At 1.00 am on 6 September Derek, aged 32 years, dressed all in black, with boots, a balaclava, and a shoulder bag, jumped over the back wall of the house, walked up to the back of Gladys’s house, and forced the ground floor living room window open with a steel ‘jemmy’. He climbed inside, and began to search methodically through drawers and cupboards for items of value. He was careful not to make a mess. He found nothing of value on the ground floor, so made his way upstairs. He arrived at the landing and moved quietly into Gladys’s bedroom, where he could see her asleep and hear her snoring. Derek saw a chest of drawers next to the side of the bed where Gladys lay sleeping. He went to it and began opening the drawers and searching inside each one. On opening and searching the third drawer down he found a small box, which, when he opened it and shone a torch at the contents, he saw was filled with small items of jewellery. These items were old rings, necklaces and brooches; they had all been left to Gladys by her mother when she died. Derek placed the box of jewellery into his shoulder bag, allowing the torch beam to shine on the bed as he did so, causing Gladys to wake. As she became aware of the dark form of Derek in front of her, she yelled out in fright. Derek backed away into the bedside table, causing a mug of cold cocoa to tumble to the floor, smashing, and staining the patterned rug which covered the floor. Derek made off out of the bedroom, onto the landing, down the stairs, and into the hallway. He turned the key to the front door to let himself out, and ran off down the street. Derek ran as hard and far as he could, and then walked home. The next day he took the bus to Max’s house, knocked on the door, and was let in. Max took Derek into the kitchen, and asked him what he had brought for him. Derek took the box of jewellery out and gave it to Max. ‘That’ll do’ said Max. ‘Does that mean that my debt is paid’ asked Derek? ‘Will you leave me alone and stop threatening me?’. ‘Maybe’ said Max. Derek was arrested two days later. His image had been caught on CCTV at the roundabout near to Gladys’s house. In interview with the police, Derek admitted entering Gladys’s house and stealing the box of jewellery.
He claimed that he had been forced into his actions as he owed a drug debt to his supplier, who had been threatening him with serious violence if he did not pay. In relation to this matter, Derek was charged with burglary of a dwelling, and pleaded guilty at his first appearance before the Magistrates. His case was committed to the Crown Court for sentence, and he is appearing before the court for sentence next week. He has been on bail since charge, and he has no previous convictions. A victim Personal Statement of Gladys shows that the shock of finding Derek in her house has left her feeling scared and vulnerable in her home, and she is thinking of moving into an old people’s home. Advise Derek as to the likely sentence that he faces when he appears before the court next week. ADDENDUM Having completed the above task, consider the following information: Police records show that Derek is also known as ‘Cedric’. Under this alias he has two previous convictions for dwelling house burglary. The second of these offences was committed after he had been sentenced for the first; and he was sentenced for the second offence before entering Gladys’s house on 6 September 2023. For the first previous offence of dwelling house burglary, ’Cedric’ (nee Derek) received a prison sentence of 6 months, for the second offence he received a prison sentence of eighteen months. In no more than 500 words, advise ’Cedric’ (nee Derek) what effect these facts will have, if any, on the sentencing decision. Criteria for Assessment The University’s Undergraduate Assessment Criteria will be used. This assignment is designed to assess learning outcomes: 1. Identify and critically evaluate the theories, concepts, values, principles and rules that underpin sentencing laws and judicial decision-making. 2. Analyse contemporary issues and recent developments in the law, and advise on potential legal reform. 3. Undertake effective independent research to generate nuanced responses to questions on sentencing matters. 4. Apply a range of legal principles and knowledge to a complex hypothetical problem Word Count The word count is 2,500 words There will be a penalty of a deduction of 10% of the mark (after internal moderation) for work exceeding the word limit by 10% or more. Please ensure that you have submitted your work using the correct file format, unreadable files will receive a mark of zero. The faculty accepts Microsoft Office and PDF documents, unless otherwise advised by the module leader. All work submitted after the submission deadline without a valid and approved reason (see below) will be given a mark of zero. Students MUST keep a copy and/or an electronic file of their assignment. Development of Skills and Attributes The module and assessment will develop graduate attributes by developing • Effective communication, • Accuracy in application, • Depth of knowledge to draw from, • Use of material facts and law, and • An ability to address the task in a practical way. write it so its graded a 1st or a high 2-1- around 70%.
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