Appeal against knife attack sentence fails

Luckyboy Charlie Lee
Luckyboy Charlie Lee

A man who repeatedly slashed his brother-in-law with a knife as a family feud turned violent thoroughly deserved his tough jail term, top judges have ruled.

Luckyboy Charlie Lee, 44, left Arthur Clarke Snr with a shattered jaw and serious cuts to his face after a frightening attack at the Justin Park Travellers site last year.

Lee, who lived at the site in Northampton Road, was jailed for 12 years at Northampton Crown Court in March after he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Three senior judges at London’s Appeal Court rejected a sentence challenge by Lee, saying his punishment was “fully justified”.

Mr Justice Globe said there was a “simmering” dispute between Lee and his sister’s estranged husband, in his 50s, when he carried out the shocking assault on September 26 last year.

Lee arrived at the site with his 18-year-old son, Charlie, and a 16-year-old youth, who cannot be named, and confronted Mr Clarke.

He told the victim to leave Justin Park before, without warning, launching a vicious assault.

Lee punched Mr Clarke, sending him flying to the ground, before continuing to strike him in the face.

He then pulled a knife from his pocket and repeatedly slashed Mr Clarke’s face and body.

Lee’s son and the other teenager attacked Mr Clarke’s son, Arthur Jnr, in front of his family during the horrendous outburst of violence, which was only quelled after police were called in.

At hospital, Mr Clarke was found to have two jaw fractures and numerous wounds to his face and chest.

During subsequent surgery his jaw had to be fitted with metal plates and his cuts required more than 70 sutures.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Clarke said he suffered “on-going effects” from the traumatising onslaught, with several permanent physical scars.

Lee admitted wounding with intent but his claim that the attack had been committed “on the spur of the moment” was rebuffed by the sentencing judge.

He had previous convictions for conspiracy to steal and burglary in 2007.

His son admitted causing actual bodily harm and assault by beating and was handed a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, while the 16-year-old was given a youth rehabilitation order.

Applying to appeal, Lee’s barrister, Cairns Nelson QC, argued that the judge took too high a starting point and should have given him a bigger discount to reward his guilty plea.

But Mr Justice Globe, sitting with Sir Brian Leveson and Sir Roderick Evans, said: “In our judgment, notwithstanding the mitigation, all of the aggravation fully justified a sentence of 16 years prior to the reduction for Lee’s plea.”

Mr Justice Globe added: “Against the background of this case, the judge was fully justified in limiting the reduction for the guilty plea to 25 per cent.

“This renewed application must be dismissed.”