On Saturday night in a live-streamed video with Ramola D. Reports, Neelu Berry announced that her friend Sabine McNeill had received leave to appeal her nine-year prison sentence on four charges of stalking and six charges of breach of restraining order.
According to Neelu,
Sabine has appealed her nine-year sentence and she’s been successful, she’s been granted permission to appeal.
A judge has said that is too long for a 74-year-old human rights/child rights advocate who is severely disabled, she’s crippled, she could barely stand up to greet me, in a wheelchair and her knees were totally fused together.
As usual, Neelu larded her (possibly) factual statement with a lot of nonsense and hyperbole. We’re not certain, for example, how any person’s knees could be “totally fused together”, but perhaps we simply lack imagination.
We confess we are somewhat surprised at the news of Sabine’s appeal, as we were under the impression that applications to appeal must be made within 28 days of the sentence.
In any case, Neelu’s assertion that “a judge has said that is too long for a 74-year-old” woman to be imprisoned is highly unlikely, as even if Neelu is correct that Sabine has won leave to appeal, no judge will have made any comment as to the appropriateness of her sentence.
Our understanding is that the appeal application comes before a tribunal of three judges, who must decide whether the application has any merit under law. If they believe it does, an appeal hearing is granted.
The appeal hearing takes place, and a decision is made: the person’s appeal is either accepted or rejected at this point.
If the appeal judges agree that the sentence is disproportionate to the crimes in question, then the person’s sentence will be adjusted. Readers will recall that HHJ Sally Cahill QC stated in her sentencing remarks that the actual sentence was for 12 years, but she had chosen to reduce this to nine in consideration of Sabine’s age. Sabine is 74 years old.
Long-time readers will recall that Rupert Quaintance appealed both his 2017 conviction and his sentence; his appeal was unsuccessful, and he served out the remainder of his sentence, after which he was deported to the United States.
We will make further enquiries and attempt to determine whether Neelu’s assertion is correct.