Each sentence must have one or more purpose Punishment – e.g. Prison, Unpaid work, Curfew Reform/Rehabilitation – community order with Supervision & drug/alcohol treatment
Four main bands of sentence – least serious absolute discharge to most serious prison The more serious the offence the more the restriction of liberty. Can have restriction of liberty without someone being in prison i.e. tagging, curfew, having to attend attendance centres, programmes, etc. All sentences must be proportionate (commensurate) with seriousness of offence
Sliding scale Tailor sentence to seriousness and to purpose – if reform/rehabilitation – to address offenders’ needs to prevent further offences Community Payback – unpaid work Compensation at all levels – or in own right Victims impact statement Other Orders - ASBOs
Structured approach to decision-making Each case approached in same way but outcome different Next they look at the offender- have they been in trouble before, are previous offences similar, is the offender sorry, have they got a stable background, are they in work, what is their attitude. They revisit their starting point again. It may go up or down. They have to consider sentencing thresholds to ascertain sentence and identify purposes of sentencing. If the offence is serious enough for a community sentence or prison, the magistrates will need more information. They ask probation to prepare a report to give more information about the offender and the risk to the public.
Guidelines made by Council of Senior Judges / Legal Officials Created by Parliament Magistrates and all Judges MUST consider guidelines Have discretion to depart BUT consistency in approach important to Justice
Together Culpability & Harm determine Seriousness Culpability Degree to which offence was deliberate May be an imbalance with Harm e.g. Low Culpability – Careless Driving – momentary lapse – High harm – fatality Culpability most important of 2 considerations
Harm Immediate – and risk of longer term Indirect harm to community Victim Impact Statement Community Impact Statements???
Introduced the Approach Some Quick Scenarios to see what your views would be And what legal considerations might be
Starting Point Band B Fine (100% RWI) Range (CD to LLCO) First time offender – NG
Slide to consider if any bias against individuals Starting Point Band B Fine (100% RWI) Range (CD to LLCO) First time offender – NG
Slide to consider if any bias against individuals Starting Point Band B Fine (100% RWI) Range (CD to LLCO) First time offender – NG Teenager hoodie, facial piercing Single mum hardworking, P-T cleaner 45’ish female self-employed consultant 70 year old man retired teacher
T agg feature – attempt conceal/dispose evidence – more serious SM agg feature - child involved 45 Mitig – paid 70 – agg - aggressive
Sentencing Local Crime Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court Camden and Islington
Sentencing - Seriousness Discharge conditional Fine £5,000 Community Order unpaid work supervision drug rehabilitation etc programme exclusion curfew Prison Crown Court Immediate Suspended C o m p e n s a t i o n
How is a sentencing decision made? 2. Assess Seriousness of offence 3. Consider the offender 1. Guidelines 4. Decide your sentence
1. Guidelines Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines Starting Points Ranges Court of Appeal Decisions Similar cases