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Hendersons - Barristers' Chambers
Articles Environment 10th Dec 2013

Sentencing in the Crown Court

The statutory aims of sentencing

1. The Criminal Justice Act 2003, Part 12 contains general provisions for sentencing in criminal cases. Section 142(1) of the Act states the purposes of sentencing in these terms:

“Any court dealing with an offender in respect of his offence must have regard to the following purposes of sentences:
  • the punishment of offenders,
  • the reduction of crime (including its reduction by deterrence),
  • the reform and rehabilitation of offenders,
  • the protection of the public, and
  • the making of reparation by offenders to persons affected by their offences.”

2. Section 143 states:

“(1) In considering the seriousness of any offence, the court must consider the offender’s culpability in committing the offence and any harm which the offence caused, was intended to cause or might forseeably have caused.

(2) In considering the seriousness of an offence (“the current offence”) committed by an offender who has one or more previous convictions, the court must treat each previous conviction as an aggravating factor if (in the case of that conviction) the court consider that it can reasonably be so treated having regard, in particular to (a) the nature of the offence to which the conviction relates and its relevance to the current offence, and (b) the time that has elapsed since the conviction.

(5) Sub-section (2) [does] not prevent the court from treating a previous conviction by a court outside the United Kingdom as an aggravating factor in any case where the court considers it appropriate to do so.”

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