Offences against Children: Prison Sentences

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of automatic custodial sentences for people convicted of sexual offences against children.

Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the tariffs of custodial sentences for people convicted of committing sexual offences against children.

Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of discretionary life sentences for people that have been convicted of the rape of minors.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides for a range of sexual offences, including specific sexual offences committed against children. The sentences available to the courts for offences against children are significant, and reflect the seriousness of the offending. Several of these offences, such as rape, already carry a discretionary life sentence.

Sentencing in individual cases is entirely a matter for the independent courts, taking into account the circumstances of the offence and the offender, and relevant sentencing guidelines. We currently have no plans to change the penalties available for these offences in statute.

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