West Bromwich mugger 'trapped in jail' court told

By David Cosgrove | West Bromwich | News | Published:

A mugger who has spent 11 years behind bars after stealing just £1.50 is trapped in the prison system, a court heard.

Daniel Joseph Sayce was still a teenager when he was locked up indefinitely for public protection in 2006.

His IQ is so low that he cannot manage rehabilitation courses in jail – and that means he can't persuade the authorities it is safe to release him.

Lawyers for the 29-year-old, of Heath Lane, West Bromwich, said more than a decade in prison had 'extinguished hope' for him.

Sayce was locked up at Wolverhampton Crown Court in May 2006 after admitting robbery and attempted robbery.

His sentence, which is very similar to a life term, means he will only ever be freed if the can convince a parole board he is safe to live in the community.

He committed his crimes in February 2006, threatening one victim with a broken bottle and taking £1.50 from another after demanding cash to buy drugs.

The judge who jailed him had no choice at the time but to impose an indefinite sentence. That was because he had previous convictions for robbery and was therefore automatically considered a 'dangerous offender'.

His minimum term was set at just 14-and-a-half months, and that expired in 2007.


But he remains in jail and London's Criminal Appeal Court heard the level of 'risk' he is believed to pose has not changed.

Judge Adele Williams, summarising a prison report, said: "His IQ is too low for him to be suitable for courses, which means his risk level is unchanged."

But the judge, sitting with Lady Justice Hallett and Mrs Justice Whipple, ruled there was nothing legally wrong with Sayce's sentence.

Dismissing his appeal, she added: "There are no grounds for concluding that the judge was wrong to make the statutory assumption that Sayce was dangerous.


"Once he was found to be dangerous, the court was required to pass an indefinite sentence."

The controversial IPP sentence was introduced in 2005 by then Home Secretary David Blunkett, and resulted in nearly 8,500 prisoners being jailed indefinitely.

They were abolished in 2012 amidst concerns they were causing severe prison over-crowding.

But there are currently about 3,300 prisoners still serving sentences of IPP, most of whom remain in jail long after their minimum terms have expired.

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_


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