[O’Dowd2] Kenneth William O’Dowd 18 May 1978 Court of Appeal


Some court reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance –  normally I would think that  I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” to protect victims details, there may also be “assault redaction” across most of the spectrum of abuse. The assaults are left in the charges, but mainly redacted when repeated with reference to the individual. I have also redacted unnecessary detail of assaults.

Redaction may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That vital information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, institutions where assaults occurred, the actual charges the perpetrators faced, and dates – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

Some transcripts may have been subject to automatic reading software and whilst effort has been made to correct these, the text should not be regarded as definitive.  Common mistakes in reprinting here are that quotation marks are sometimes not correct, replaced by odd symbols.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

This appeal is unredacted by cathy fox blog

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

[1978] EWCA Crim J0518-3

No. 4173/A/77


Thursday, 18th May 1978

Lord Justice Orr



Kenneth William O’Dowd

(From the Shorthand Notes of Walsh, Cherer & Co. Ltd., 55-57 Clifford’s Inn, Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1BU. Telephone Number: 01-242 7057. Shorthand Writers to the Court.),

MR. M. KALIPETIS appeared on behalf of the Appellant.


LORD JUSTICE ORR: The appellant in these cases appeals with leave of two single Judges against two sentences imposed upon him. The first sentence of twelve months’ imprisonment was imposed by Judge Layton at the Inner London Crown Court on 29th July 1977 for the theft of a motor car, the defendant having asked for another offence of receiving a different motor car to be taken into consideration; and the second sentence of three years’ imprisonment was imposed by Judge Buzzard at the Central Criminal Court on 15th August 1977 for an offence of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm, which was ordered to be consecutive to the term of imprisonment which the defendant was already serving.

The facts as to the offence of stealing the motor car were that on the night of 28th/29th November 1976 the appellant stole a blue Vauxhall motor car which had been left unattended near his home and substituted its registration number with that of a white Vauxhall motor car which he agreed to buy from an acquaintance. He was arrested on 29th November 1977 when a police officer observed that the car and its registration number did not tally.

The facts as to the offence of causing grievous bodily harm were that in the early hours of the morning of 17th December 1976 two young men called Bailey and Gayton called at the house of one Jean Russell. Another visitor, the appellant, had arrived before and he was spending the evening drinking with her. He became excited at the sight of Bailey and Gayton, both of whom he knew. An argument broke out, in the course of which the appellant attacked Bailey and stabbed him with a kitchen knife in the left side of the lower chest and also hitting him over the head with an electric iron. The three men then left the flat together and called at the home of a man named Knight where there was some conversation and they then left. Knight succeeded in calming the appellant down and taking the knife from him.

The appellant made a statement under caution, in which he admitted stabbing but alleged that it had been done in self-defence. The victim received treatment for a 3 centimetre laceration as an inpatient from 17th to 19th December 1977.

The course of events following the commission of the first offence was that on 17th February 1977 the appellant pleaded guilty to it and asked for the offence of receiving to be taken into consideration. Judge Layton, after reading a probation report, deferred passing sentence until 15th July 1977. On 23rd February of that year the appellant was arrested for an alleged offence concerning the theft of a television set and also for an offence of burglary. On the following day he was remanded in custody by the Lambeth Magistrates for trial in respect of those offencee. Applications by him on two occasions for bail were subsequently refused.

On 15th July the appellant was due to appear before Judge Layton in respect of the deferred sentence, but asked that the matter should be dealt with by another Judge, since Judge Layton had tried another case of his on 8th July when he was acquitted. That request was granted. On the same day Judge Cox, after hearing counsel, postponed sentence until after the trial in the case involving the television set. The appellant was acquitted on 8th July in regard to the burglary offence and on 29th July in regard to the television set.

In passing sentence in the first of the two matters with which we are concerned, Judge Layton referred to the Court having come to the conclusion that he could only be made subject to another term of imprisonment, but the Judge went on to say that he had been in custody for some time and that within the rules he would get credit for any imprisonment that he had served in relation to this matter.

The appellant is 31 years of age and has had a number of previous convictions. He has been convicted of bigamy with a woman with whom he has been living and by whom he has two children. Most of the offences were offences of dishonesty for which he received a number of prison sentences, the longest of them in 1974 being a total of two years. Since the sentence with which we are here concerned, he has received two further prison sentences, one of fifteen months on 8th December last year at the Inner London Crown Court for taking a conveyance and another of four years’ imprisonment on 10th January this year for an attempt to pervert the course of justice, both of those being ordered to be consecutive to the total imprisonment to which he was already subject.

The ground of appeal so far as the first of the matters which are the subject of appeal is concerned, is that it was wrong, having deferred sentence and the appellant having been unable to show ###query### whether he could go straight or not by reason of his being in custody for an offence of which he was later acquitted, to impose a custodial sentence. The second ground is that the Judge was wrong in supposing that the period of time which the appellant had spent in custody awaiting trial for the burglary and the television set offences would be taken into consideration by way of reduction of the period which he would spent in serving the imprisonment for the grievous bodily harm charge.

In the view of this Court there is substance in both of those complaints. In our judgment it would be contrary to the principle laid down in Gilbey 61 Cr. App. R . that a custodial sentence should have been imposed after the deferring of sentence in this case. This Court will therefore substitute for the sentence of imprisonment imposed upon him following the deferral of sentence a nominal imprisonment of one day, that being the simplest way in which that matter can be put right.

We have also been asked to consider whether there may not be a reduction of the sentence in respect of the grievous bodily harm. There is no doubt that this appellant has a legitimate sense of grievance in regard to what has happened, in particular that he did spend a considerable period in custody awaiting trial for an offence of which he was ultimately acquitted.

Taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case, including the nature of the assault, we think that had these matters been known to Judge Buzzard when he imposed sentence in respect of the grievous bodily harm, he would have made that a lesser sentence. Recognising that the causing of grievous bodily harm was by no means a trivial matter, we think that in all the circumstances the case is one in which we can properly reduce that sentence. We will accordingly reduce it from three years to two years.

In the result both these appeals are allowed and we will substitute the orders to which I have referred.

For a summary of O’Dowd court cases and newspaper articles see  2017 Apr 1 Cathy Fox Blog Kenneth Kevin O’Dowd and the Ted Heath Photos [3]

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • One in Four [C]
  • Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
  • A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
  • ShatterBoys -“Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Inspiring change, Through Shared Experience Whilst Building Connections…Together We Can Heal” [N]


About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
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3 Responses to [O’Dowd2] Kenneth William O’Dowd 18 May 1978 Court of Appeal

  1. Pingback: Kenneth Kevin O’Dowd and the Ted Heath Photos | cathy fox blog on child abuse

  2. Pingback: An Index and Timeline of Court and Court of Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog | cathy fox blog on child abuse

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