Newport mugger’s appeal rejected by judges

A NEWPORT thug who throttled an innocent man until he passed out during a terrifying street robbery can have no complaint about his tough jail term, top judges have ruled.

Steven Rhys James, 25, had been out of jail for just two weeks when he grabbed Daniel Whalley, choking him unconscious and emptying his pockets with another mugger.

James, of Hawthorne Anenue, Somerton – previously convicted for attacking his own father – was jailed for four years at Cardiff Crown Court in February, after he admitted robbery.

Yesterday, three senior judges at the Court of Appeal in London rejected a sentence challenge, saying his punishment was definitely not “manifestly excessive.”

Mr Justice Wilkie said Mr Whalley, 27, was walking through Somerton when he was targeted by James and his accomplice, Daniel Fry, 25, at about 7.30pm on January 4.

He was pushed from behind and Fry told him: “Empty your pockets.” When the victim refused, James put him in a chokehold as Fry punched him.

Mr Whalley panicked because he could not breathe, eventually passing out. When he came to he found his mobile, keys and tobaccogone.

Police arrested the muggers the next morning, with James found to have the tobacco on him. Despite initial denials, the pair eventually pleaded guilty to the offence at a preliminary court hearing.

Fry, of Somerton Park, Newport, was handed a two year sentence because of his lighter criminal record, the appeal judge said.

At the time of the robbery James had only been out of prison for a fortnight, having served part of a two-year sentence for another robbery.

On appeal, counsel, Ben Waters, argued the judge erred by increasing James’ sentence so radically.

But Mr Justice Wilkie, sitting with Lord Justice Jackson and Sir Colin Mackay, said: “The judge was entitled to consider that the two recent previous convictions for offences of violence were substantial aggravating factors.”

Comments (11)

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2:39pm Sat 7 Jun 14

welshmen says...

GOOD, should have added a couple of years....
GOOD, should have added a couple of years.... welshmen
  • Score: 22

6:09pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

This coward is obviously quick enough to bleat about his own rights whilst not giving a darn for the rights of his innocent victim. For all he knows the person he assaulted may well have nightmares and other psychological anxieties for the rest of his life due to the horror of this attack, which judging by its description comes disturbingly close to an attempted murder. How about the felon be compelled to work for the two years he's inside with the proceeds going directly to his victim who might end up needing counselling which averages at around a hefty £50 per session?
This coward is obviously quick enough to bleat about his own rights whilst not giving a darn for the rights of his innocent victim. For all he knows the person he assaulted may well have nightmares and other psychological anxieties for the rest of his life due to the horror of this attack, which judging by its description comes disturbingly close to an attempted murder. How about the felon be compelled to work for the two years he's inside with the proceeds going directly to his victim who might end up needing counselling which averages at around a hefty £50 per session? Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 26

6:35pm Sat 7 Jun 14

displayed says...

:"At the time of the robbery James had only been out of prison for a fortnight, having served part of a two-year sentence for another robbery"

Some people dont like their freedom, they have to get back inside asap!
:"At the time of the robbery James had only been out of prison for a fortnight, having served part of a two-year sentence for another robbery" Some people dont like their freedom, they have to get back inside asap! displayed
  • Score: 15

7:26pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Foxyboy3rd says...

displayed wrote:
:"At the time of the robbery James had only been out of prison for a fortnight, having served part of a two-year sentence for another robbery"

Some people dont like their freedom, they have to get back inside asap!
He's obviously the type who don't learn a thing.
[quote][p][bold]displayed[/bold] wrote: :"At the time of the robbery James had only been out of prison for a fortnight, having served part of a two-year sentence for another robbery" Some people dont like their freedom, they have to get back inside asap![/p][/quote]He's obviously the type who don't learn a thing. Foxyboy3rd
  • Score: 14

9:59pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Llanmartinangel says...

Call me Mr Cynic but could it be that his tax-payer funded legal aid brief talked him into an appeal to get himself a few more quid? He must have known the sentence was just at 4 years, lenient even.
Call me Mr Cynic but could it be that his tax-payer funded legal aid brief talked him into an appeal to get himself a few more quid? He must have known the sentence was just at 4 years, lenient even. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 16

9:12am Sun 8 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

Llanmartinangel wrote:
Call me Mr Cynic but could it be that his tax-payer funded legal aid brief talked him into an appeal to get himself a few more quid? He must have known the sentence was just at 4 years, lenient even.
No. You lose the time served pending appeal, so his 2 years starts from the day the Court of Appeal judgment is handed down. What it does show though is that if you want to get on as a Judge- become Mr Justice Cocklecarrot- then sentence LOW and you'll never get appealed and thus not appear in the "Red Zone" of the Lord Chancellor's radar.
[quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: Call me Mr Cynic but could it be that his tax-payer funded legal aid brief talked him into an appeal to get himself a few more quid? He must have known the sentence was just at 4 years, lenient even.[/p][/quote]No. You lose the time served pending appeal, so his 2 years starts from the day the Court of Appeal judgment is handed down. What it does show though is that if you want to get on as a Judge- become Mr Justice Cocklecarrot- then sentence LOW and you'll never get appealed and thus not appear in the "Red Zone" of the Lord Chancellor's radar. Dai Rear
  • Score: 4

12:17pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Whyme? says...

Dai Rear wrote:
Llanmartinangel wrote: Call me Mr Cynic but could it be that his tax-payer funded legal aid brief talked him into an appeal to get himself a few more quid? He must have known the sentence was just at 4 years, lenient even.
No. You lose the time served pending appeal, so his 2 years starts from the day the Court of Appeal judgment is handed down. What it does show though is that if you want to get on as a Judge- become Mr Justice Cocklecarrot- then sentence LOW and you'll never get appealed and thus not appear in the "Red Zone" of the Lord Chancellor's radar.
Doesn't the 2 years run from the date that he was first kept in custody. How do you, Dai Rear, know that the 2 years start from the day the appeal was lost? That isn't reported in the article. Are you a lawyer?
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: Call me Mr Cynic but could it be that his tax-payer funded legal aid brief talked him into an appeal to get himself a few more quid? He must have known the sentence was just at 4 years, lenient even.[/p][/quote]No. You lose the time served pending appeal, so his 2 years starts from the day the Court of Appeal judgment is handed down. What it does show though is that if you want to get on as a Judge- become Mr Justice Cocklecarrot- then sentence LOW and you'll never get appealed and thus not appear in the "Red Zone" of the Lord Chancellor's radar.[/p][/quote]Doesn't the 2 years run from the date that he was first kept in custody. How do you, Dai Rear, know that the 2 years start from the day the appeal was lost? That isn't reported in the article. Are you a lawyer? Whyme?
  • Score: 1

12:33pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

Look up the rules
Look up the rules Dai Rear
  • Score: 1

8:07pm Mon 9 Jun 14

artsfan says...

Jail didn't work the first time, so it's hardly likely to work this time. About time the whole system got changed. Prisons cost a fortune and for what?
Jail didn't work the first time, so it's hardly likely to work this time. About time the whole system got changed. Prisons cost a fortune and for what? artsfan
  • Score: 1

3:18am Tue 10 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

artsfan wrote:
Jail didn't work the first time, so it's hardly likely to work this time. About time the whole system got changed. Prisons cost a fortune and for what?
In the US they keep scum out of circulation for decades
[quote][p][bold]artsfan[/bold] wrote: Jail didn't work the first time, so it's hardly likely to work this time. About time the whole system got changed. Prisons cost a fortune and for what?[/p][/quote]In the US they keep scum out of circulation for decades Dai Rear
  • Score: 1

4:25pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Whyme? says...

Dai Rear wrote:
Look up the rules
I have and you appear to be mistaken. I'm no lawyer, however it seems that the Court of Appeal has a discretion to make a 'loss of time order' . Discretion being the operative word.
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: Look up the rules[/p][/quote]I have and you appear to be mistaken. I'm no lawyer, however it seems that the Court of Appeal has a discretion to make a 'loss of time order' . Discretion being the operative word. Whyme?
  • Score: 0

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