Northern Ireland

Edward Cambridge: 'Bully' wins appeal against jail sentence

A County Antrim man who battered and robbed a frail woman in her home has won his appeal against being jailed indeterminately.

Edward Cambridge, 23, was described by Court of Appeal judges as a "bully" who targets vulnerable victims.

However, they overturned the decision to impose "a sentence of last resort".

Setting aside the five-year indeterminate term, they instead ordered him to serve 10 years with an extra three years on licence.

Previous convictions

Cambridge's latest victim was a 58-year-old woman, whom he attacked at her sheltered accommodation apartment in north Belfast in June 2013.

The woman, who has spinal problems, arthritis and asthma, sustained two black eyes, severe facial swelling and welts to her thigh, apparently from being hit by a strap.

She also had to undergo a brain scan and has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cambridge, formerly of Green End in Newtownabbey, later pleaded guilty to robbery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He carried out the robbery while on probation for a sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl.

'Significant escalation'

Further counts of burglary and threats to kill, which he denied, were left on the books.

His 27 previous convictions stretch back to criminal damage and assault he carried out at the age of 12.

Sentencing him at Belfast Crown Court last June, the judge said he posed a risk of inflicting serious harm.

Lord Justice Gillen rejected Cambridge's appeal against this finding, describing it as "flawless".

He said: "The current offence - yet another example of a bullying attack on a vulnerable person - was without doubt a significant escalation in the pattern of offending in which the physical harm may well have been much less serious and of shorter effect than the psychological harm inflicted on this defenceless and infirm woman."

However the judge decided that the robbery and assault, while serious, did not merit an indeterminate sentence.

Under his revised sentence, Cambridge will only be eligible for release after serving five years in prison if the Parole Commissioners are satisfied he does not pose a significant risk of serious harm to the public.

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