Maria Karaiskos detailed submissions avoid custodial sentence for her client in multi handed football violence case.

Maria Karaiskos was instructed in a large scale Violent Disorder case at Luton Crown Court. The defendant she represented was one of seven defendants who pleaded guilty to using and threatening unlawful violence in Luton Town Centre in August 2018, shortly before a football match started at Luton Town FC. Violence broke out between 30-40 Luton Town FC supporters against the Southend supporters who had travelled to Luton on the train. Punches, kicks and bottles were thrown. The incident was captured on CCTV and body worn cameras worn by the police who attended to contain the scene. 

The prosecution described the incident as ‘blatant football hooliganism in broad daylight’.   

Six defendants were sentenced in November 2019. The majority of them received sentences of immediate imprisonment.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-50372479#:~:text=All%20pleaded%20guilty%20at%20Luton%20Crown%20Court%20to,orders.%20A%20sixth%20man%20received%20a%20suspended%20sentence. 

Maria’s defendant was sentenced in June 2020. Maria provided a written Sentencing Note for the Judge. This detailed the new Definitive Sentencing Guideline on Public Order Offences which came into effect in January 2020. Maria made further written submissions on the new Court of Appeal authority – R v Manning – dealing with mitigation arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. Maria made lengthy oral submissions in Court about which sentencing category the offence fell into; which aggravating and mitigating factors were present in the evidence; and what degree of mitigation Covid-19 provided her lay client. Maria also made reference to the Sentencing Guideline on Custodial/Community Sentences and the Sentencing Guideline on Guilty Pleas.

The Judge retired for over 30 minutes before returning to Court and passing a suspended sentence and a five year Football Banning Order. 

Maria was instructed by Lawtons Solicitors in this case. The hearing was conducted remotely via the new Cloud Video Platform – CVP.

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