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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

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121Sentencing rangesE+W
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)When exercising functions under section 120, the Council is to have regard to the desirability of sentencing guidelines which relate to a particular offence being structured in the way described in subsections (2) to (9).

(2)The guidelines should, if reasonably practicable given the nature of the offence, describe, by reference to one or more of the factors mentioned in subsection (3), different categories of case involving the commission of the offence which illustrate in general terms the varying degrees of seriousness with which the offence may be committed.

(3)Those factors are—

(a)the offender's culpability in committing the offence;

(b)the harm caused, or intended to be caused or which might foreseeably have been caused, by the offence;

(c)such other factors as the Council considers to be particularly relevant to the seriousness of the offence in question.

(4)The guidelines should—

(a)specify the range of sentences (“the offence range”) which, in the opinion of the Council, it may be appropriate for a court to impose on an offender convicted of that offence, and

(b)if the guidelines describe different categories of case in accordance with subsection (2), specify for each category the range of sentences (“the category range”) within the offence range which, in the opinion of the Council, it may be appropriate for a court to impose on an offender in a case which falls within the category.

(5)The guidelines should also—

(a)specify the sentencing starting point in the offence range, or

(b)if the guidelines describe different categories of case in accordance with subsection (2), specify the sentencing starting point in the offence range for each of those categories.

(6)The guidelines should—

(a)(to the extent not already taken into account by categories of case described in accordance with subsection (2)) list any aggravating or mitigating factors which, by virtue of any enactment or other rule of law, the court is required to take into account when considering the seriousness of the offence and any other aggravating or mitigating factors which the Council considers are relevant to such a consideration,

(b)list any other mitigating factors which the Council considers are relevant in mitigation of sentence for the offence, and

(c)include criteria, and provide guidance, for determining the weight to be given to previous convictions of the offender and such of the other factors within paragraph (a) or (b) as the Council considers to be of particular significance in relation to the offence or the offender.

(7)For the purposes of subsection (6)(b) the following are to be disregarded—

(a)the requirements of section 144 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) (reduction in sentences for guilty pleas);

(b)sections 73 and 74 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (assistance by defendants: reduction or review of sentence) and any other rule of law by virtue of which an offender may receive a discounted sentence in consequence of assistance given (or offered to be given) by the offender to the prosecutor or investigator of an offence;

(c)any rule of law as to the totality of sentences.

(8)The provision made in accordance with subsection (6)(c) should be framed in such manner as the Council considers most appropriate for the purpose of assisting the court, when sentencing an offender for the offence, to determine the appropriate sentence within the offence range.

(9)The provision made in accordance with subsections (2) to (8) may be different for different circumstances or cases involving the offence.

(10)The sentencing starting point in the offence range—

(a)for a category of case described in the guidelines in accordance with subsection (2), is the sentence within that range which the Council considers to be the appropriate starting point for cases within that category—

(i)before taking account of the factors mentioned in subsection (6), and

(ii)assuming the offender has pleaded not guilty, and

(b)where the guidelines do not describe categories of case in accordance with subsection (2), is the sentence within that range which the Council considers to be the appropriate starting point for the offence—

(i)before taking account of the factors mentioned in subsection (6), and

(ii)assuming the offender has pleaded not guilty.

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Commencement Information

I1S. 121 in force at 6.4.2010 by S.I. 2010/816, art. 2, Sch. para. 8

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