Offences against Children: Sentencing

Attorney General written question – answered on 22nd September 2017.

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Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

To ask the Attorney General, if he will ensure that the Crown Prosecution Service always considers that racial motivation may be an aggravating factor for seeking higher sentences for conviction for child abuse.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

The Sentencing Council has issued a definitive guideline on the sentencing of sexual offences. Racial aggravation increases an offender’s culpability under the guideline and therefore the starting point and sentence range for the court to consider.

Prosecutors should assist the Court as necessary during the sentencing process, including drawing the Court’s attention to any relevant sentencing guidelines and the aggravating and mitigating features of the case.

Ultimately, sentencing is a matter for the court. Racial aggravation makes an offence more serious and the court has a duty to take this into account when it sentences a defendant.

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