Ben Oliver, who was convicted of the murder of his grandfather David Oliver, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 10 years in prison today, July 28, 2022, by the Queen’s Counsel, Sarah Munro, who led the case. The case makes legal history as it was the first Old Bailey judgment to be televised. The trial footage was broadcast on news channels and made available online by Sky News, BBC, ITN and the PA news agency.
Previously, there was no law supporting the broadcasting of trials. The Crown Court ruled to allow cameras in 2020, but the pandemic delayed implementation. The amended law now allows the public to watch and listen to judges explain their decisions in some of the most prominent courtrooms. For reasons of privacy, the cameras will only record the judge during the sentencing.
The first judge to announce the verdict on camera was Sarah Munro Qc.
Sarah Munro, QC, who?
Your Honor Currently serving as Judge of the Central Criminal Court is Sarah Munro QC. She made history as the first judge to hand down a life sentence on camera while it was being broadcast live by numerous news channels and online portals.
Ben Oliver, a 25-year-old autistic adult, was on trial for brutally killing his grandfather, David Oliver, by repeatedly stabbing him in the neck and face. Sarah Munro led the case. Ben admitted that he killed his grandfather out of anger. Due to allegations of sexual abuse against his grandfather, as well as allegations that he had abused his wife and had an affair, he began to despise him.
The first televised judgment of the Old Bailey will go down in history.
Ben made the decision to act independently and ruthlessly killed his grandfather to save his grandmother. He returned and calmly told his grandmother about the crime.
Despite all logic and justification, Sarah Munro QC announced today that Ben Oliver has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of ten years in prison.
Sarah Munro, judge, age and partner
The internet doesn’t have much information about Sarah Munro. Her photographs make her appear to be in her fifties, which is an advanced age. And she probably has children, grandchildren, or is married by that age.
In 2002, Sarah Munro, also known as Sarah Belinda McLeod Munro, was the Queen’s Counsel Circuit Judge. She was appointed to the Central Criminal Court in 2017 and has served as a Senior Circuit Judge since 2011. We can determine her year of birth by the periods.
It is stated that ten years of legal experience is required to become a Queen’s Counsel. Since Judge Munro was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002, she must have started practicing law in 1992. Given that it took her more than 20 years to earn her university degree and other credentials, it could be assumed that she was born in the second half of 1960. But that’s just a guess.
She must be married due to her age, but her personal information will be kept confidential.
Live stream of the trial of Ben Oliver
As Ben Oliver’s trial is the first to be covered by the news outlets, it is expected to make legal history at the Old Bailey. Ben was informed in front of court cameras that he was being sentenced to life in prison by Sarah Munro Qc. In addition, news of the verdict reached people’s homes across England.
Cameras are now allowed in English crown courts following a change in the law in 2020. Its acceptance was supposed to start immediately, but the pandemic forced a delay. The jury, witnesses and others present in the courtroom cannot be filmed under the new rules. Only the statements of the judges at the indictment and the verdicts themselves are recorded by the camera.
Ben Oliver’s life trial was covered by news channels.
There have been concerns in the past that broadcasting courtroom films would discourage witnesses from testifying. The 1995 murder trial of OJ Simpson over the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and her boyfriend Ron Goldman was broadcast live in America. It was criticized for being unattractive to look at and called a media circus.
However, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor and Dominic Raab, Britain’s Minister for Justice, are now all backing the broadcast decision in the Crown Court. He claims that bringing cameras into the courtroom to record the verdicts of some of the country’s most dangerous offenders will encourage openness and increase public confidence in the legal system.
Even the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Burnett of Maldon, hailed the action as a positive step in promoting open justice. He added that although the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals already have cameras, adding them to the Crown Court is a significant step forward.