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Armed Forces Act 2006

Changes over time for: Cross Heading: General sentencing principles

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Changes to legislation:

Armed Forces Act 2006, Cross Heading: General sentencing principles is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 12 December 2019. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Changes and effects yet to be applied to Part 9 Chapter 1 Crossheading General-sentencing-principles:

  • specified provision(s) transitional provisions for effects of commencing SI 2009/812 by S.I. 2009/1059 Order

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters:

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

  • Pt. 12A inserted by 2016 c. 21 s. 7
  • s. 50(2)(ca) inserted by 2011 c. 18 Sch. 4 para. 3(3) (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Sch. 4 para. 3(3) repealed (8.3.2015) without ever being in force by 2014 c. 12, Sch. 11 para. 82(2); S.I. 2015/373, art. 2(g)(ii))
  • s. 270A 270B inserted by 2008 c. 4 Sch. 25 para. 27 (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Sch. 25 para. 26(3)(4) repealed (2.4.2012) by 2011 c. 18, Sch. 3 para. 20(3), Sch. 5; S.I. 2012/669, art. 4(d)(f) (with art. 13))
  • s. 270B(6)(aa) inserted by 2009 c. 25 Sch. 17 para. 9(2) (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Sch. 17 para. 9 repealed (2.4.2012) without ever being in force by 2011 c. 18, Sch. 5; S.I. 2012/669, art. 4(f))
  • s. 270B(10) word repealed by 2009 c. 25 Sch. 23 Pt. 5
  • s. 270B(10)(a) words inserted by 2009 c. 25 Sch. 17 para. 9(3)(a) (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Sch. 17 para. 9 repealed (2.4.2012) without ever being in force by 2011 c. 18, Sch. 5; S.I. 2012/669, art. 4(f))
  • s. 270B(10)(b) words substituted by 2009 c. 25 Sch. 17 para. 9(3)(b) (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Sch. 17 para. 9 repealed (2.4.2012) without ever being in force by 2011 c. 18, Sch. 5; S.I. 2012/669, art. 4(f))
  • s. 270B(10)(c)-(e) inserted by 2009 c. 25 Sch. 17 para. 9(3)(c) (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Sch. 17 para. 9 repealed (2.4.2012) without ever being in force by 2011 c. 18, Sch. 5; S.I. 2012/669, art. 4(f))
  • s. 304B inserted by 2016 c. 21 s. 8
  • s. 304C inserted by 2016 c. 21 s. 9
  • s. 304D inserted by 2016 c. 21 s. 10
  • s. 304E inserted by 2016 c. 21 s. 11
  • s. 304F-304H inserted by 2016 c. 21 s. 12
  • Sch. 1 para. 14A inserted by 2019 c. 17 s. 67(2)
  • Sch. 1 para. 16A inserted by 2019 c. 17 s. 67(3)
  • Sch. 1 para. 21-24 inserted by 2019 c. 17 s. 67(4)
  • Sch. 2 para. 12(az) inserted by 2018 c. 5 Sch. 12 para. 28

General sentencing principlesU.K.

237Duty to have regard to purposes of sentencing etcU.K.

(1)A court or officer dealing with an offender for a service offence must have regard to the following purposes of sentencing—

(a)the punishment of offenders;

(b)the maintenance of discipline;

(c)the reduction of service offences and other crime (including reduction by deterrence);

(d)the reform and rehabilitation of offenders;

(e)the protection of the public;

(f)the making of reparation by offenders to persons affected by their offences.

(2)If the offender is aged under 18 the court or officer must also have regard to his welfare.

(3)This section does not apply in relation to—

(a)an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law;

(b)an offence the sentence for which, as a result of subsection (2) of any of sections [F1218A,] 219 [F2, 221] and 225 to 227 of this Act (required custodial sentences), falls to be imposed under—

  • [F3section [F4224A,] 225(2) or 226(2)] of the 2003 Act;

  • section 110(2) or 111(2) of the Sentencing Act; or

  • section 51A(2) of the Firearms Act 1968 (c. 27)[F5;

(c)an offence the sentence for which falls to be imposed under section 227A(2).]

(4)In this section “sentencing” includes the making of any order when dealing with an offender in respect of his offence.

Textual Amendments

Commencement Information

I1S. 237 in force at 28.3.2009 for specified purposes by S.I. 2009/812, art. 3(a)(b) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2009/1059)

I2S. 237 in force at 31.10.2009 in so far as not already in force by S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

238Deciding the seriousness of an offenceU.K.

(1)A court or officer dealing with an offender for a service offence (“the current offence”) must in considering the seriousness of the offence—

(a)consider the offender's culpability in committing the offence and any harm which the offence caused, was intended to cause or could foreseeably have caused;

(b)if the offender has one or more previous convictions, treat as an aggravating factor each previous conviction that the court or officer considers can reasonably be so treated;

(c)if the offender committed the current offence while—

(i)charged with another service offence and released from service custody, or

(ii)on bail,

treat the fact that it was committed in those circumstances as an aggravating factor.

(2)In considering whether a previous conviction can reasonably be treated as an aggravating factor the court or officer must have 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.

(3)Any reference in subsection (1) or (2) to a previous conviction is to be read as a reference to—

(a)a previous conviction of a service offence; F6...

(b)a previous conviction by a court in the British Islands of an offence other than a service offence.

[F7(c)a previous conviction by a court in a member State other than the United Kingdom of a relevant offence under the law of that State, or

(d)a finding of guilt in respect of a member State service offence.]

[F8(4)Nothing in this section prevents the court or officer from treating—

(a)a previous conviction by a court outside both the British Islands and any member State, or

(b)a previous conviction by a court in any member State (other than the United Kingdom) of an offence which is not a relevant offence or a member State service offence,

as an aggravating factor in any case where the court or officer considers it appropriate to do so.

(5)For the purposes of this section—

(a)an offence is “relevant” if the offence would constitute an offence under the law of any part of the United Kingdom if it were done in that part at the time of the conviction in respect of the current offence,

(b)member State service offence” means an offence which—

(i)was the subject of proceedings under the service law of a member State other than the United Kingdom, and

(ii)would constitute an offence under the law of any part of the United Kingdom, or a service offence, if it were done in any part of the United Kingdom, by a member of Her Majesty's forces, at the time of the conviction of the defendant for the current offence, and

(c)service law”, in relation to a member State other than the United Kingdom, means the law governing all or any of the naval, military or air forces of that State.]

Textual Amendments

Commencement Information

I3S. 238 in force at 28.3.2009 for specified purposes by S.I. 2009/812, art. 3(a)(b) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2009/1059)

I4S. 238 in force at 31.10.2009 in so far as not already in force by S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

239Reduction in sentences for guilty pleasU.K.

(1)This section applies where an offender—

(a)has pleaded guilty to a service offence in proceedings before a court; or

(b)at a summary hearing in respect of a service offence, has admitted the offence.

(2)In determining what sentence to pass on the offender, the court or officer dealing with him for his offence must take into account—

(a)the stage in the proceedings for the offence at which he indicated his intention to plead guilty or his intention to admit the offence at a summary hearing; and

(b)the circumstances in which this indication was given.

(3)In subsection (2) “sentence” includes any order made when dealing with the offender in respect of his offence.

(4)Subsection (5) applies in the case of an offence the sentence for which, as a result of section 225(2) or 226(2) of this Act (required custodial sentences), falls to be imposed under section 110(2) or 111(2) of the Sentencing Act.

(5)Nothing in section 110(2) or 111(2) of that Act prevents the court, after taking into account any matter mentioned in subsection (2) above, from imposing any sentence which is at least 80% of that specified in section 110(2) or 111(2) of that Act.

[F9(6)Nothing in section 227A(2) prevents the court, after taking into account any matter mentioned in subsection (2) of this section, from imposing any sentence which is at least 80% of that specified in section 227A(2).]

Textual Amendments

Commencement Information

I5S. 239 in force at 28.3.2009 for specified purposes by S.I. 2009/812, art. 3(a)(b) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2009/1059)

I6S. 239 in force at 31.10.2009 in so far as not already in force by S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

240Increase in sentence for racial or religious aggravationU.K.

(1)This section applies where a court or officer dealing with an offender for a service offence (other than an offence mentioned in subsection (3)) is considering the seriousness of the offence.

(2)If the offence was racially or religiously aggravated the court or officer—

(a)must treat that fact as an aggravating factor; and

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

(3)This section does not apply in relation to an offence under section 42 as respects which the corresponding offence under the law of England and Wales is an offence under any of sections 29 to 32 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (c. 37) (racially or religiously aggravated assaults, criminal damage, public order offences and harassment etc).

(4)Section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (meaning of “racially or religiously aggravated”) applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of sections 29 to 32 of that Act.

Commencement Information

I7S. 240 in force at 28.3.2009 for specified purposes by S.I. 2009/812, art. 3(a)(b) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2009/1059)

I8S. 240 in force at 31.10.2009 in so far as not already in force by S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

241Increase in sentence for aggravation related to disability [F10, sexual orientation or transgender identity] U.K.

(1)This section applies where a court or officer dealing with an offender for a service offence within subsection (2) is considering the seriousness of the offence.

(2)A service offence is within this subsection if—

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

(i)the sexual orientation (or presumed sexual orientation) of the victim; F11...

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

[F12(iii)the victim being (or being presumed to be) transgender, or]

(b)the offence is motivated (wholly or partly)—

(i)by hostility towards persons who are of a particular sexual orientation; F13...

(ii)by hostility towards persons who have a disability or a particular disability [F14, or

(iii)by hostility towards persons who are transgender.]

(3)The court or officer—

(a)must treat as an aggravating factor the fact that the offence was committed in any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2); and

(b)must state in open court that the offence was committed in such circumstances.

(4)It is immaterial for the purposes of paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2) whether the offender's hostility is also based to any extent on any other factor not mentioned in that paragraph.

(5)In this section “disability” means any physical or mental impairment.

[F15(6)In this section references to being transgender include references to being transsexual, or undergoing, proposing to undergo or having undergone a process or part of a process of gender reassignment.]

Textual Amendments

Commencement Information

I9S. 241 in force at 28.3.2009 for specified purposes by S.I. 2009/812, art. 3(a)(b) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2009/1059)

I10S. 241 in force at 31.10.2009 in so far as not already in force by S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

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