Offences against Children: Sentencing

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 13 April 2021.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, in the last full reporting year what the average sentence was for people convicted of a contact child sex offence.

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

The Ministry of Justice has published information on proceedings and outcomes for child sexual offences in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code data tool’, available here:

A full list of child sexual offences can be found in the table attached to the response to PQ 266750 (

All of the offences listed in the table are contact child sexual offences, apart from the following:

  • 8602 - Taking, permitting to be taken or making, distributing or publishing indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children
  • 8610 - Possess an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child
  • 8615 - Possess prohibited images of children.

The average custodial sentence length for offenders convicted of contact child sexual offences in 2019 was 5 years and 2 months (61.5 months).

Court statistics on proceedings and outcomes for 2020 will be published in May 2021.

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