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Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Early guilty pleas

Sentencing court to indicate sentence which would have been imposed if guilty plea entered at earliest reasonable opportunity

88.—(1) Subsection (2) applies where in any criminal proceedings a person (“D”) is convicted of an offence and—

(a)D did not at any stage of the proceedings plead guilty to the offence; or

(b)D’s plea of guilty to the offence (or D’s indication of intention to plead guilty) was not, in the opinion of the court, entered (or given) at the earliest reasonable opportunity.

(2) The court in sentencing D for the offence must indicate the sentence which the court would have imposed for the offence if D had pleaded guilty to the offence (or indicated D’s intention to do so) at the earliest reasonable opportunity in the proceedings.

(3) For the purposes of this section—

(a)a plea of guilty which is changed to a plea of not guilty is to be disregarded;

(b)an indication of intention to plead guilty is to be disregarded if a plea of not guilty is actually entered.

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