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CHAPTER 4E+WAdults aged 21 and over

Suspended sentence of imprisonmentE+W
277Suspended sentence order for person aged 21 or over: availabilityE+W

(1)This section applies where, in dealing with an offender for an offence, a court passes a sentence of imprisonment.

(2)A suspended sentence order (see section 286) is available in relation to that sentence if the term of the sentence of imprisonment is—

(a)at least 14 days, but

(b)not more than 2 years.

(3)But a suspended sentence order is not available in relation to that sentence if—

(a)the sentence of imprisonment is one of two or more sentences imposed on the same occasion which are to be served consecutively, and

(b)the terms of those sentences are in aggregate more than 2 years.

(4)For provision about suspended sentences, see Chapter 5 .

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 277 modified by 2006 c. 52, s. 200(1)(b) (as substituted (1.12.2020) by Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 416(1), Sch. 25 para. 19 (with s. 416(7), Sch. 27); S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2)

Commencement Information

I1S. 277 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

Special custodial sentence for certain offenders of particular concernE+W
278Required special custodial sentence for certain offenders of particular concernE+W

(1)This section applies where the court imposes a sentence of imprisonment for an offence where—

(a)the offence is listed in Schedule 13,

(b)the person—

F1(i). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(ii)is aged 21 or over when convicted of the offence, and

(c)the court does not impose [F2any] of the following for the offence (or for an offence associated with it)—

(i)an extended sentence under section 279,

[F3(ia)a serious terrorism sentence under section 282A,] or

(ii)a sentence of imprisonment for life.

[F4(1A)But this section does not apply if—

(a)the offender was aged under 18 when the offence was committed, and

(b)the offence—

(i)was committed before the day on which section 22 of the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 came into force, or

(ii)is listed in Part 2 of Schedule 13 (sexual offences).]

(2)The term of the sentence must be equal to the aggregate of—

(a)the appropriate custodial term, and

(b)a further period of 1 year for which the offender is to be subject to a licence,

and must not exceed the maximum term of imprisonment with which the offence is punishable.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2), the “appropriate custodial term” is the term that, in the opinion of the court, ensures that the sentence is appropriate.

[F5(4)Where an offence is found to have been committed over a period of 2 or more days, or at some time during a period of 2 or more days, it must be taken for the purposes of subsection (1A) to have been committed on the last of those days.]

Textual Amendments

F1S. 278(1)(b)(i) omitted (30.4.2021) by virtue of Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 (c. 11), ss. 22(4)(a), 50(1)(c)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2S. 278(2)(3) applied by 2006 c. 52, s. 224A(2A) (as substituted (1.12.2020) by Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 416(1), Sch. 25 para. 45(3) (with s. 416(7), Sch. 27); S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2)

Commencement Information

I2S. 278 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

Extended sentencesE+W
279Extended sentence of imprisonment for certain violent, sexual or terrorism offences: persons 21 or overE+W

An extended sentence of imprisonment is a sentence of imprisonment the term of which is equal to the aggregate of—

(a)the appropriate custodial term (see section 281), and

(b)a further period (the “extension period”) for which the offender is to be subject to a licence.

Commencement Information

I3S. 279 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

280Extended sentence of imprisonment: availabilityE+W

(1)An extended sentence of imprisonment is available in respect of an offence where—

(a)the offence is a specified offence (see section 306(1)),

(b)the offender is aged 21 or over when convicted of the offence,

(c)the court is of the opinion that there is a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm occasioned by the commission by the offender of further specified offences (see section 308),

(d)the court is not required by section 283 [F6, 285 or 285A] to impose a sentence of imprisonment for life,

[F7(da)the court is not required by section 282B to impose a serious terrorism sentence for the offence or for an offence associated with it,] and

(e)the earlier offence condition or the 4 year term condition is met.

(2)The pre-sentence report requirements (see section 30) apply to the court in relation to forming the opinion mentioned in subsection (1)(c).

(3)The earlier offence condition is that, when the offence was committed, the offender had been convicted of an offence listed in [F8Part 1, 2 or 3 of] Schedule 14.

[F9(3A)But if the proceedings for the offence were instituted before IP completion day (see section 397(5)), the earlier offence condition is that, when the offence was committed, the offender had been convicted of an offence listed in Part 1, 2, 3 or 3A of Schedule 14].

(4)The 4 year term condition is that, if the court were to impose an extended sentence of imprisonment, the term that it would specify as the appropriate custodial term (see section 281) would be at least 4 years.

281Term of extended sentence of imprisonmentE+W

(1)This section applies where the court dealing with an offender for an offence imposes, or is considering whether to impose, an extended sentence of imprisonment under section 279.

(2)The appropriate custodial term is the term of imprisonment that would be imposed in respect of the offence in compliance with section 231(2) (length of discretionary custodial sentences: general provision) if the court did not impose an extended sentence of imprisonment.

(3)The extension period must be a period of such length as the court considers necessary for the purpose of protecting members of the public from serious harm occasioned by the commission by the offender of further specified offences.

This is subject to subsections (4) and (5).

(4)The extension period must—

(a)be at least 1 year, and

(b)not exceed—

(i)5 years in the case of a specified violent offence [F10(unless sub-paragraph (iii) applies)];

(ii)8 years in the case of a specified sexual offence or a specified terrorism offence [F11(unless sub-paragraph (iii) applies)];

[F12(iii)10 years in the case of a serious terrorism offence for which the sentence is imposed on or after the day on which section 18 of the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 comes into force.]

See section 306(2) for the meanings of “specified violent offence”, “specified sexual offence” [F13and “specified terrorism offence”] [F13, “specified terrorism offence” and “serious terrorism offence”].

(5)The term of the extended sentence of imprisonment must not exceed the maximum term of imprisonment with which the offence is punishable.

Textual Amendments

F10Words in s. 281(4)(b)(i) inserted (29.6.2021 for specified purposes) by Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 (c. 11), ss. 18(2)(a), 50(2)(j)(3)(e)

F11Words in s. 281(4)(b)(ii) inserted (29.6.2021 for specified purposes) by Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 (c. 11), ss. 18(2)(b), 50(2)(j)(3)(e)

F12S. 281(4)(b)(iii) inserted (29.6.2021 for specified purposes) by Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 (c. 11), ss. 18(2)(c), 50(2)(j)(3)(e)

F13Words in s. 281(4) substituted (29.6.2021 for specified purposes) by Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 (c. 11), ss. 18(3), 50(2)(j)(3)(e)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C3S. 281(2)-(5) applied (with modifications) by 2006 c. 52, s. 219A(8)(9) (as substituted (1.12.2020) by Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 416(1), Sch. 25 para. 40(5) (with s. 416(7), Sch. 27); S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2)

Commencement Information

I5S. 281 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

282Extended sentences for offences committed before 4 April 2005E+W

In section 280(1)(a) and section 281(4)(b), references to a specified offence, a specified violent offence, a specified sexual offence and a specified terrorism offence include an offence that—

(a)was abolished before 4 April 2005, and

(b)would have constituted such an offence if committed on the day on which the offender is convicted of the offence.

Commencement Information

I6S. 282 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

[F14Serious terrorism sentenceE+W

Textual Amendments

282ASerious terrorism sentence of imprisonment: persons 21 or overE+W

A serious terrorism sentence of imprisonment is a sentence of imprisonment the term of which is equal to the aggregate of—

(a)the appropriate custodial term (see section 282C), and

(b)a further period (the “extension period”) for which the offender is to be subject to a licence.

282BSerious terrorism sentence of imprisonment: circumstances in which requiredE+W

(1)Subsection (2) applies where a court is dealing with an offender for a serious terrorism offence (see section 306(2)) where—

(a)the offence was committed on or after the day on which section 5 of the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 came into force,

(b)the offender was aged 18 or over when the offence was committed,

(c)the offender is aged 21 or over when convicted of the offence,

(d)the court is of the opinion that there is a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm occasioned by the commission by the offender of further serious terrorism offences or other specified offences (see section 308),

(e)the court does not impose a sentence of imprisonment for life, and

(f)the risk of multiple deaths condition is met.

(2)The court must impose a serious terrorism sentence of imprisonment under section 282A unless the court is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances which—

(a)relate to the offence or to the offender, and

(b)justify not doing so.

(3)The risk of multiple deaths condition is that the court is of the opinion that—

(a)either—

(i)the serious terrorism offence, or

(ii)the combination of the offence and one or more offences associated with it,

was very likely to result in or contribute to (whether directly or indirectly) the deaths of at least two people as a result of an act of terrorism (within the meaning of section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000), and

(b)the offender was, or ought to have been, aware of that likelihood.

(4)It is irrelevant for the purposes of determining whether the risk of multiple deaths condition is met whether or not any death actually occurred.

(5)Where an offence is found to have been committed over a period of 2 or more days, or at some time during a period of 2 or more days, it must be taken for the purposes of subsection (1) to have been committed on the last of those days.

(6)The pre-sentence report requirements (see section 30) apply to the court in relation to forming the opinion mentioned in subsection (1)(d).

282CTerm of serious terrorism sentence of imprisonmentE+W

(1)This section applies where the court dealing with an offender is required by section 282B to impose a serious terrorism sentence of imprisonment under section 282A.

(2)The appropriate custodial term is—

(a)14 years, or

(b)if longer, the term of imprisonment that would be imposed in respect of the offence in compliance with section 231(2) (length of discretionary custodial sentences) if the court did not impose a serious terrorism sentence of imprisonment (or an extended sentence or a sentence under section 278).

(3)The extension period must be a period of such length as the court considers necessary for the purpose of protecting members of the public from serious harm occasioned by the commission by the offender of further serious terrorism offences or other specified offences.

This is subject to subsection (4).

(4)The extension period must—

(a)be at least 7 years, and

(b)not exceed 25 years.]

Life sentencesE+W
283Life sentence for second listed offenceE+W

(1)Subsection (3) applies where—

(a)a court is dealing with an offender for an offence (“the index offence”) that is listed in Part 1 of Schedule 15,

(b)the index offence was committed on or after the relevant date,

(c)the offender is aged 21 or over when convicted of the index offence, and

(d)the sentence condition and the previous offence condition are met.

(2)In subsection (1)(b), “relevant date”, in relation to an offence, means the date specified for that offence in Part 1 of Schedule 15.

(3)The court must impose a sentence of imprisonment for life unless the court is of the opinion that there are particular circumstances which—

(a)relate to—

(i)the index offence,

(ii)the previous offence referred to in subsection (5), or

(iii)the offender, and

(b)would make it unjust to do so in all the circumstances.

(4)The sentence condition is that, but for this section, the court would impose a sentence of imprisonment for 10 years or more, disregarding any extension period it would impose under section 279.

Sections 230(2) and 231(2) apply for this purpose.

(5)The previous offence condition is that—

(a)when the index offence was committed, the offender had been convicted of an offence (“the previous offence”) listed in Schedule 15, and

(b)a relevant life sentence or a relevant sentence of imprisonment or detention for a determinate period was imposed on the offender for the previous offence.

(6)For the purposes of subsection (5), Schedule 15 is to be read as if Part 1 did not include any offence for which the date specified in that Part is after the date on which the index offence was committed.

(7)A life sentence is relevant for the purposes of subsection (5)(b) if—

(a)the offender was not eligible for release during the first 5 years of the sentence, or

(b)the offender would not have been eligible for release during that period but for the reduction of the period of ineligibility to take account of a relevant pre-sentence period.

(8)An extended sentence imposed under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 or this Code (including one imposed as a result of the Armed Forces Act 2006) is relevant for the purposes of subsection (5)(b) if the appropriate custodial term imposed was 10 years or more.

(9)Any other extended sentence is relevant for the purposes of subsection (5)(b) if the custodial term imposed was 10 years or more.

(10)Any other sentence of imprisonment or detention for a determinate period is relevant for the purposes of subsection (5)(b) if it was for a period of 10 years or more.

(11)An extended sentence or other sentence of imprisonment or detention is also relevant if it would have been relevant under subsection (9) or (10) but for the reduction of the sentence, or any part of the sentence, to take account of a relevant pre-sentence period.

(12)For the purposes of subsections (5) to (11)—

  • extended sentence” means—

    (a)

    a sentence under section 254, 266 or 279 (including one imposed as a result of section 219A or 221A of the Armed Forces Act 2006),

    (b)

    a sentence under section 226A, 226B, 227 or 228 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (including one imposed as a result of section 219A, 220, 221A or 222 of the Armed Forces Act 2006), or

    (c)

    a sentence under—

    (i)

    section 85 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, or

    (ii)

    section 58 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998,

    or an equivalent sentence imposed under the law of Scotland [F15or Northern Ireland];

  • life sentence” means—

    (a)

    a sentence of imprisonment for life;

    (b)

    a sentence of detention for life under—

    (i)

    section 250,

    (ii)

    section 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000;

    (iii)

    section 53(3) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933;

    (iv)

    section 209 of the Armed Forces Act 2006;

    (v)

    section 71A(4) of the Army Act 1955 or Air Force Act 1955 or section 43A(4) of the Naval Discipline Act 1957;

    (c)

    a sentence of detention during Her Majesty's pleasure under—

    (i)

    section 259,

    (ii)

    section 90 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000,

    (iii)

    section 53(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933,

    (iv)

    section 218 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, or

    (v)

    section 71A(3) of the Army Act 1955 or Air Force Act 1955 or section 43A(3) of the Naval Discipline Act 1957;

    (d)

    a sentence of custody for life under—

    (i)

    section 272 or 275 (including one passed as a result of section 210A, 217, 218A or 219 of the Armed Forces Act 2006),

    (ii)

    section 93 or 94 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 (including one passed as a result of paragraph 6 or 7 of Schedule 2 to the Armed Forces Act 2006 (Transitional Provisions etc) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/1059)),

    (iii)

    section 8 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982, or

    (iv)

    section 71A(1A) or (1B) of the Army Act 1955 or Air Force Act 1955 or section 43(1A) or (1B) of the Naval Discipline Act 1957;

    (e)

    a sentence of imprisonment or detention in a young offender institution for public protection under section 225 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (including one passed as a result of section 219 of the Armed Forces Act 2006);

    (f)

    a sentence of detention for public protection under section 226 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (including one passed as a result of section 221 of the Armed Forces Act 2006);

    or an equivalent sentence imposed under the law of Scotland [F16or Northern Ireland];

  • relevant pre-sentence period”, in relation to the previous offence referred to in subsection (5), means any period which the offender spent in custody or on bail before the sentence for that offence was imposed;

  • sentence of imprisonment or detention” includes any sentence of a period in custody (however expressed).

[F17(12A)If the proceedings for the index offence were instituted before IP completion day (see section 397(5)), the references to “an equivalent sentence” in the definitions of the following are to be read as also including an equivalent sentence imposed under the law of a member State—

(a)“extended sentence”, and

(b)“life sentence”.]

(13)An offence the sentence for which is imposed under this section is not to be regarded as an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law.

(14)Where an offence is found to have been committed over a period of 2 or more days, or at some time during a period of 2 or more days, it must be taken for the purposes of subsections (1)(b), (5)(a) and (6) to have been committed on the last of those days.

Textual Amendments

F15Words in s. 283(12) substituted (31.12.2020) by Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 417(9), Sch. 22 para. 89(1)(a) (with Sch. 27) (as amended by S.I. 2020/1520, regs. 1(1), 5(7)(a))

F16Words in s. 283(12) substituted (31.12.2020) by Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 417(9), Sch. 22 para. 89(1)(b) (with Sch. 27) (as amended by S.I. 2020/1520, regs. 1(1), 5(7)(a))

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C4S. 283(3) applied (with modifications) by 2006 c. 52, s. 218A(2)(3) (as amended (1.12.2020) by Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 416(1), Sch. 25 para. 38(4)(5) (with s. 416(7), Sch. 27); S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2)

Commencement Information

I7S. 283 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

284Required life sentence where second offence committed before 4 April 2005E+W

For cases in which a sentence of life imprisonment must be imposed for an offence which—

(a)is a second offence, and

(b)was committed on or after 1 October 1997 but before 4 April 2005,

see section 109 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 (life sentence for second serious offence), as it has effect by virtue of paragraph 5(2) of Schedule 2 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Commencement No.8 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/950).

Commencement Information

I8S. 284 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

285Required life sentence for offence carrying life sentenceE+W

(1)This section applies where a court is dealing with an offender for an offence where—

(a)the offender is aged 21 or over at the time of conviction,

(b)the offence is a Schedule 19 offence (see section 307),

(c)the offence was committed on or after 4 April 2005, and

(d)the court is of the opinion that there is a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm occasioned by the commission by the offender of further specified offences (see sections 306(1) and 308).

(2)The pre-sentence report requirements (see section 30) apply to the court in relation to forming the opinion mentioned in subsection (1)(d).

(3)If the court considers that the seriousness of—

(a)the offence, or

(b)the offence and one or more offences associated with it,

is such as to justify the imposition of a sentence of imprisonment for life, the court must impose a sentence of imprisonment for life.

(4)An offence the sentence for which is imposed under this section is not to be regarded as an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C6S. 285(3) applied (with modifications) by 2006 c. 52, s. 219(2)(3)(5) (as amended (1.12.2020) by Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 416(1), Sch. 25 para. 39(4)(5)(7) (with s. 416(7), Sch. 27); S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2)

Commencement Information

I9S. 285 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

[F18285ARequired life sentence for manslaughter of emergency workerE+W

(1)This section applies where—

(a)a person aged 21 or over is convicted of a relevant offence,

(b)the offence was committed—

(i)when the person was aged 16 or over, and

(ii)on or after the relevant commencement date, and

(c)the offence was committed against an emergency worker acting in the exercise of functions as such a worker.

(2)The court must impose a sentence of imprisonment for life unless the court is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances which—

(a)relate to the offence or the offender, and

(b)justify not doing so.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (1)(c) the circumstances in which an offence is to be taken as committed against a person acting in the exercise of functions as an emergency worker include circumstances where the offence takes place at a time when the person is not at work but is carrying out functions which, if done in work time, would have been in the exercise of functions as an emergency worker.

(4)In this section “relevant offence” means the offence of manslaughter, but does not include—

(a)manslaughter by gross negligence, or

(b)manslaughter mentioned in section 2(3) or 4(1) of the Homicide Act 1957 or section 54(7) of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (partial defences to murder).

(5)In this section—

  • emergency worker” has the meaning given by section 68;

  • relevant commencement date” means the date on which section 3 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 (required life sentence for manslaughter of emergency worker) comes into force.

(6)An offence the sentence for which is imposed under this section is not to be regarded as an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law.

(7)Where an offence is found to have been committed over a period of 2 or more days, or at some time during a period of 2 or more days, it must be taken for the purposes of subsection (1)(b) to have been committed on the last of those days.]

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