Court of Appeal increases sentences for firearms offences


The Court of Appeal in London this week increased the sentences passed for firearms offences committed by David John Smith and Rhys Gethin.

Smith and Gethin were sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment at the Crown Court, Merthyr, in February this year for possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, after an incident involving a shotgun in July 2009.  The sentence for each defendant has been quashed and substituted with five years imprisonment. 

The gun was discharged in the incident outside a house in Tonypandy likened to a 'drive-by' style shooting by Judge John Curran in the original trial.

Catrin Evans, Senior District Crown Prosecutor for CPS South Wales, said: "This was a particularly serious offence that police and our prosecution team worked hard to bring to court to secure a conviction.  You cannot take firearms onto the streets and use them in such a manner that life is endangered without receiving significant punishment in the courts.  This increased sentence reflects the gravity of the offence."