IF you are a victim of a crime, you want to see justice done.

There can be nothing worse than seeing someone who has wronged you in such a way get away with more lenient punishment.

But a scheme is out there which enables anyone to appeal a sentence for a criminal which they deem to be too short - and it has been praised for its importance for those “who felt they got a raw deal” to see justice handed down properly.

The Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme, from the Attorney General’s office, allows crown court sentences to be reviewed if they are too low.

Since the beginning of 2020, the Court of Appeal has increased the sentences of five offenders from south Essex, with offences including rape, attempting to engage children in sexual activity, and causing grievous bodily harm.

This includes Olawale Hassan, 34, formerly of Falcon Avenue, Grays, who was jailed for ten years and two months last October for raping a woman in a car in Western Esplanade, Southend.


He had met her earlier that night while the victim and a friend were in a nightclub.

On top of his ten year prison term, Hassan, also known as “Goldie 1”, was given three years on licence.

David Garston, Tory spokesman for community safety in Southend, said that too shorter sentences are a “disservice” to the victims but the scheme allows them to speak up.

He said: “If they feel they have had a raw deal, now they have got the processes to do that, no legal system is going to be 100 per cent accurate.

“The balance needs to be right and I’m not sure it is right.

“It does a disservice to the victims and makes everyone else, like the elderly and younger girls, more vulnerable and they shouldn’t be.

“The sentences should frankly be long and the sentence should be enough to stop people and let them think.”

Another case was Matthew Millen, 44, of Hall Park Avenue, Westcliff, who promised to pay £300 to a man to sexually abuse a girl.


However, the man was an undercover police officer and Millen was subsequently arrested.

He had his three year prison sentence extended to seven years.

The Law Officers received 552 applications to review sentences, of which 97 were referred to the Court of Appeal, and 61 had sentences increased.

Attorney General Michael Ellis said: “The ULS scheme allows anyone, including victims of crime, to ask for a review of certain sentences they believe are too low.

﷯ “In 2020, this meant that more than 60 criminals had their sentences increased and many more victims and their families had a second chance at justice.

“In the vast majority of cases judges get it right, but the scheme remains an important tool to ensure that cases can be reviewed where there may have been a gross error in the sentencing decision.

“It’s not just about increasing sentences, the scheme also provides an important avenue for my office to ask the Court of Appeal for guidance, to help shape the sentencing framework and ensure more consistent sentencing for complex cases.”