Judge's anger at sentence

A judge at Leeds Crown Court yesterday criticised sentencing rules after he was forced to free Dennis Slade, a teenager, who left a woman with a fractured skull when she tried to stop him driving off in her car.

Slade, from Leeds, was 17 when, this August, he admitted grievous bodily harm. Judge Hoffman was able to sentence him to a maximum of 12 months at a young offenders' institution. But under recent legislation he could be released after six, and as he had already spent 7 1/2 months in custody on remand he could be freed.

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