Minimum terms set for young offenders by the Lord Chief Justice
Royal Courts of Justice
The amended decision of the Lord Chief Justice on minimum term in the case of Adrian Keith Hull on receipt of additional representations
1. Since I gave my decision dated 10 October 2003, additional representations have been submitted on behalf of Mr Hull. I refer to that decision. Adrian Hull was convicted of murder on 20 November 1997 arising out of an incident on 29 November 1996. He was 17 years and 9 months old when the offence was committed. The decision noted the improvements observed recently in Mr Hull’s attitudes. This was encouraging. However, no reduction in the tariff of 15 years was recommended.
2. When I gave my decision I had not seen the following documents:
a. Letter dated 11 July 2003 from A.S. Law Solicitors which sets out additional representations being made on behalf of Mr Hull;
b. Letter dated 8 July 2003 from Ms V Blakeman, Lifer Governor at HM Prison Garth;
c. Earlier report (undated) from Ms V Blakeman, Lifer Governor at HM Prison Garth;
d. Report dated 9 January 2002 concerning Mr Hull’s participation in a reasoning and rehabilitation programme; and
e. Miscellaneous memoranda concerning Mr Hull’s progress during his time in custody.
3. This letter highlights the progress made by Mr Hull during his time in custody. It states that Mr Hull has secured employment in the Kitchens and is now located as an Enhanced prisoner under the Incentive and Earned Privileges Scheme in recognition of his excellent custodial behaviour and his compliance with the Sentence Planning process.
4. The letter submits that, although Mr Hull had a number of adjudications in his early days, he has matured and responds positively to staff and authority.
5. The letter notes an error made in the report prepared by the Lifer Governor, Ms Blakeman. The report states that Mr Hull had been subject to one positive drug test in August 2001. Mr Hull has in fact been drug free throughout his period in custody and Ms Blakeman has since confirmed that a mistake was made in her report.
6. The letter highlights the various courses which Mr Hull has attended which include an alcohol course and an assertiveness and decision making course.
7. The letter reiterates their earlier submission that Mr Hull’s tariff should be reduced.
8. This letter clarified the error in the previous report pertaining to Mr Hull’s record on drug tests and confirmed that Mr Hull has not tested positive at any stage.
9. The letter highlights that Mr Hull has applied for assessment for the CALM course and is also registered to undertake a CIC Drug and Alcohol distance learning course.
10. The report notes that Mr Hull received 33 adjudications, 28 of which were when he was at HMP Castington (02/12/96-23/02/98). Most of these offences related to discipline when he refused to be located on a residential unit.
11. The report notes that Mr Hull is on the Enhanced Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme. Further, Mr Hull has now accepted full responsibility for the crime and has shown remorse.
12. The report concludes that Mr Hull has matured during his time in custody and has made progress.
13. The Reasoning and Rehabilitation programme is based on the premise that ability to achieve goals in a pro-social manner is improved by developing thinking skills. The programme consists of 38 two-hour sessions run for groups of 8-10 participants. The report notes that, on a scale of 1-5, Mr Hull attained 3.5 where 3 represents some need for improvement. 1 represents a considerable need for improvement and 5 represents no immediate need for improvement.
14. The report states that Mr Hull successfully improved in all areas of the programme. The report further notes that Mr Hull could benefit from continued use and practice of all the skills learned.
15. The memoranda date back to 1998 and concern the progress Mr Hull has made during his time in custody.
16. The most recent report is dated 25 April 2001 and deals with Mr Hull’s Annual Review Board Progress Report. This report was prepared while Mr Hull was in HMP Gartree.
17. The report noted that Mr Hull remained on Voluntary Test Compact and had commenced the Drug Rehab Programme. The report further noted Mr Hull’s intention of embarking upon the self-study course in literacy and numeracy.
18. It was unfortunate that due to administrative failure I did not have all the documentation before me when I made my last decision. I have, however, now reviewed the case as a whole and having done so am of the view the tariff should remain the same.