4 August 2022
Draft sentencing guidelines for child cruelty offences published
The Council is consulting on updated sentencing guidelines for offenders convicted of child cruelty offences in England and Wales.
The draft guidelines update the existing guidelines, which came into force in January 2019, and reflect new maximum sentences introduced by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.
The Council’s proposals would introduce a new ‘very high culpability’ level for the most serious cases relating to two offences:
- causing or allowing a child to die or suffer serious physical harm; and
- cruelty to a child including ill-treatment, abandonment or neglect.
The proposed sentence for the new ‘very high culpability’ levels take into account the increased statutory maxima and are higher than the sentence ranges in the current guideline.
We are seeking views on the proposed revisions from judges, magistrates, prosecution and defence advocates and others with an interest in this area. The consultation is open until 27 October 2022.