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News | Tue 9th Jul, 2019
James Thacker and Jennie Oborne successfully prosecuted a “vicious, shameful and premeditated” attack committed with the intention of procuring a miscarriage in June 2019.
Harief Pearson (21), Kydie McKenna (22) and a 16 year old girl each pleaded guilty to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent after a sustained assault against a pregnant teenager who had refused to abort Mr Pearson’s child.
In the month before the attack, Mr Pearson googled “How to get rid of an unborn baby”. He then arranged the assault by the two female defendants, who kicked, punched and choked the teenager saying “we’ll be getting rid of it for you”. Pearson came back into the blood splattered room on one occasion saying: “I don’t think it’s dead yet, continue”. When the teenager asked for water, one of the defendants poured vodka and laundry detergent down her throat.
On Friday 5th July 2019 at Harrow Crown Court, Lady Justice Simler (sitting as a judge of the high court), found Pearson and McKenna ‘dangerous’; that means that they each pose a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm of committing further specified offences. They were sentenced to 11 years’ and 10 years’ imprisonment respectively with an extended period on licence of 2 years. The effect of those sentences is that they will not be automatically released halfway through their sentence but their case will be referred to the Parole Board who will only release if satisfied it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the person should be confined. If released they will be supervised pursuant to the extended licence for 2 years in addition to the one third remaining from their custodial sentence. If they are not released two thirds into their sentence, they will serve the full terms of their custodial sentences. The 16 year old defendant was sentenced to 4 years’ detention due to her age and vulnerabilities.
Prior to sentencing, Mr. Pearson applied to vacate his guilty pleas on the bases that he ‘regretted’ entering them and had felt under pressure. After hearing evidence from Mr. Pearson and his original barrister, and listening to legal argument, Lady Justice Simler refused the application concluding ‘He entered his pleas freely and understanding the consequences of doing so. The extent to which he has regretted it afterwards does not make it unjust in making him hold to those guilty pleas’.
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James Thacker and Jennie Oborne were instructed by Luisa Stuart of the Crown Prosecution Service.
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