Jail term reduced for ‘day of madness’

Pacemaker Press 22/5/2013  Laganside Court Building  in Belfast City centre  Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 22/5/2013 Laganside Court Building in Belfast City centre Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

A motorist who abducted and attacked a woman in Co Down has won an appeal against his jail sentence.

Senior judges in Belfast cut two years off Jonathon White’s total prison term of eight years and 10 months because most of the offences relate to the same “day of madness”.

White, 31, formerly of Deerfin Park in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, dragged the victim into a car fitted with false numbers as she walked to work in Hilltown in March 2015.

He punched the woman, a foreign national, and brandished a screwdriver before taking her to a muddy field.

At that point it was indicated that their encounter would involve sex, the Court of Appeal heard.

But after the car became stuck in the mud she alerted a “Good Samaritan” who came to help and managed to escape.

White was said to have fled the scene and continued on with his crime spree, carrying out a burglary and stealing another car crashing on the M1 motorway near Belfast.

He later pleaded guilty to offences including kidnapping, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon.

He was also convicted of dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking and possessing Class C drugs.

A four and a half year jail term was imposed for the kidnapping, with a further three and a half years for the other offences.

However, judges today backed defence submissions that it had been wrong to impose consecutive sentences for everything stemming from the abduction.

Lord Justice Weatherup said: “We prefer to treat them as one transaction arising from the kidnapping and the aftermath.”

He held that a six year sentence should instead be imposed for the kidnapping, and concurrent terms for all other related offences.

White must also first complete another 10 months behind bars for a separate count of burglary.

A two year period on licence remains to be served when he is released.