The Newton Hearing, also known as an ancillary hearing is convened during the sentencing process when there is a dispute as to facts which may materially affect the sentence to be imposed on an accused following their conviction.
Either you or the prosecution may request for a Newton Hearing at any stage of the sentencing process. Some examples include:
- Disagreements over statements or facts in your mitigation plea.
- Conflicting medical reports, for example whether you were suffering from a mental illness when you committed the offence.
- Disagreements over your criminal record.
A Newton Hearing is like a trial. Both you and the prosecution will get the chance to call and examine witnesses through the 3-stages of examination-in-chief, cross-examination, and re-examination before closing submissions. The judge will then make a decision on the disputed issue, and once the decision has been made, the judge will proceed with the remainder of the sentencing process.