Court upholds extended sentence in R v Callen Chandler-Jones for multiple counts of rape

Citation: [2023] EWCA Crim 1539
Judgment on


The case of R v Callen Chandler-Jones reflects the application of legal principles related to sentencing for sexual offences in the UK. This analysis aims to elucidate the key legal principles applied by the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in assessing the appropriateness of the extended sentence imposed on the accused, Callen Chandler-Jones, for multiple counts of rape.

Key Facts

In R v Callen Chandler-Jones, two counts of rape were considered, with the victim being the accused’s partner, referred to as “C1”. The victim suffered from ill health, including conditions that at times required strong medication inducing deep sleep, during which the rapes occurred. The sentencing judge addressed the gravity of the offence, noting the sustained pattern over years, the vulnerability of the victim due to her health and Asperger’s, and a significant breach of trust. The judge sentenced Chandler-Jones to an extended sentence of 28 years, involving a 20-year custodial sentence and an 8-year extended licence period.

Chandler-Jones sought leave to appeal, arguing that the sentence was manifestly excessive and that the extended sentence was unnecessary.

The judgment reveals several legal principles at play:

  1. Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992: The judgment starts by referencing this Act, emphasizing the importance of protecting the identities of sexual offence victims during their lifetime, unless explicitly waived or permitted by the court.

  2. Sentencing Guidelines: The sentencing approach taken by the judge was informed by guidelines for rape, particularly where severe psychological harm and a pattern of abuse exist. The guidelines suggest a starting point of 15 years for a single incident. The judge deemed the case to fall in category 1 for severity and category A for culpability, which justifies a departure from the standard sentencing range to account for the campaign of rape committed by the defendant.

  3. Dangerousness and Extended Sentence: The extended sentence imposed was justified on the basis of the defendant’s perceived danger to the public, especially to women with whom he has relationships. The Crown Court judge found this necessary due to the defendant’s past convictions and the nature of the current offences.

  4. Credit for Guilty Plea: The judge adjusted the sentence to account for the guilty plea made by the defendant before a section 28 hearing.

  5. Manifest Excessiveness: A key argument made by the defence was that the length of the custodial portion of the sentence was manifestly excessive. The appeal court, in its assessment, disagreed with this standpoint.


The Court dismissed the appeal on the following grounds:

  • It upheld the imposition of an extended sentence on the basis of the danger the defendant posed to the public, agreeing that the measure was a safeguard against further offending and necessary to protect potential future partners of the defendant.

  • It also found that the sentence length was not excessive given the severity and repeated nature of the offences, as well as the profound impact on the victim.


The Court of Appeal Criminal Division’s decision in R v Callen Chandler-Jones serves as an affirmation of the lower court’s discretion in sentencing, particularly in cases involving a pattern of severe sexual offences. The principles highlight the courts’ focus on the protection of the public, the severity of the crime, and the impact on the victims. The judgment underscores the seriousness with which the UK judicial system treats offences of this nature, and the importance of considering the wider implications of the defendant’s behavior on potential future victims when determining sentences.