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The Criminal Justice (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

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Increase in sentence for offences aggravated by hostility

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2.—(1) This Article applies where a court is considering the seriousness of an offence.

(2) If the offence was aggravated by hostility, the court—

(a)shall treat that fact as an aggravating factor (that is to say, a factor that increases the seriousness of the offence); and

(b)shall state in open court that the offence was so aggravated.

(3) For the purposes of this Article an offence is aggravated by hostility if—

(a)at the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, the offender demonstrates towards the victim of the offence hostility based on—

(i)the victim’s membership (or presumed membership) of a racial group;

(ii)the victim’s membership (or presumed membership) of a religious group;

(iii)the victim’s membership (or presumed membership) of a sexual orientation group;

(iv)a disability or presumed disability of the victim; or

(b)the offence is motivated (wholly or partly) by hostility towards—

(i)members of a racial group based on their membership of that group;

(ii)members of a religious group based on their membership of that group;

(iii)members of a sexual orientation group based on their membership of that group;

(iv)persons who have a disability or a particular disability.

(4) It is immaterial for the purposes of sub-paragraph (a) or (b) of paragraph (3) whether or not the offender’s hostility is also based, to any extent, on any other factor not mentioned in that sub-paragraph.

(5) In this Article—

“disability” means any physical or mental impairment;

“membership”, in relation to a racial, religious or sexual orientation group, includes association with members of that group;

“presumed” means presumed by the offender;

“racial group” has the same meaning as in the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 (NI 6);

“religious group” means a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief;

“sexual orientation group” means a group of persons defined by reference to sexual orientation.

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