Sentencing

Attorney-General written question – answered on 11th July 2012.

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Photo of Gareth Johnson Gareth Johnson Conservative, Dartford

To ask the Attorney-General

(1) how many requests he received from the Crown Prosecution Service relating to unduly lenient sentences in each of the last 10 years;

(2) how many unduly lenient sentences he referred to the Court of Appeal in each of the last 10 years; what the offence was in each case; and how many times the Court of Appeal found a sentence to be unduly lenient in each year;

(3) how many requests he received from victims' families relating to unduly lenient sentences in each of the last 10 years.

Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier The Solicitor-General

Statistics on sentences referred to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient are published annually on the Attorney-General's Office website at:

http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.uk/ULS/Pages/default.aspx

The figures show that the Attorney-General and I have referred 117 individual sentences from the year 2011. The Court of Appeal found 97 of these sentences to be unduly lenient. The figures for the preceding years are as follows:

  Referred sentences considered by Court of Appeal Sentences found by the Court of Appeal to be Unduly Lenient
2010 77 65
2009 108 77
2008 71 57
2007 106 86
2006 144 113
2005 108 82
2004 137 108
2003 96 88
2002 139 120

These figures do not include those sentences in respect of which a notice of application was lodged with the Court of Appeal and subsequently withdrawn prior to the sentence being considered by the Court of Appeal.

Information published on the website also shows the offences associated with each Reference to the Court of Appeal for years 2008 to 2011 inclusive, however reliable data for the earlier years could only be obtained at disproportionate cost as it would have to be extracted from individual files.

Data held by the Attorney-General's Office, but which has not been assured, indicate that in 2011 the Attorney-General and I received requests from the Crown Prosecution Service to consider referring 225 individual sentences to the Court of Appeal as potentially unduly lenient sentences. Equivalent figures for the preceding years are:

  Number
2010 200
2009 223
2008 190
2007 271
2006 247
2005 308
2004 194
2003 238
2002 252

The Attorney-General's Office does not hold the equivalent data for requests received from victims or their families. To provide such information would incur a disproportionate cost as it would have to be extracted from individual files.

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