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Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021

Section 8: Aggravation where victim is under 18

This section provides that an allegation may be specified alongside the domestic abuse offence that it is aggravated because the accused’s partner/connected person was under 18 at the time of any of the behaviour by virtue of which the offence is constituted.  This could enable sentencing to be increased up to the maximum available.

Subsection (2) and (3) sets out that, where the charge together with the aggravation is proved, the court must state on conviction that it is aggravated and take the aggravation into account when determining the sentence, as a factor that increases the seriousness of the offence.  The court is also required to state how the aggravation has affected the sentence and in recording the conviction show it as aggravated by reason of the partner/connected person being under 18.

Subsection (4) makes it clear that if the aggravation is not proved, but the charge is proved, conviction is as if the aggravation were not referred to alongside the charge.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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