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Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021

Section 15: Aggravation as to domestic abuse

This section provides that any offence (other than the domestic abuse offence) may be aggravated because it involves domestic abuse.  The aggravation could be specified alongside charges for all sorts of offences, for example criminal damage, assault, grievous bodily harm, threats to damage property or threats to kill, etc.

Subsections (3) and (4) require that, where the charge as well as 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 which increases the seriousness of the offence.  The court is also required to state how the aggravation has affected the sentence and record the conviction in a manner which shows that the offence was aggravated by reason of involving domestic abuse.

Subsection (5) 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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