News type:

News topic:
Perverting the course of justice and witness intimidation

Published on:

12 July 2023

The Sentencing Council has published two new guidelines for sentencing offenders convicted of perverting the course of justice and witness intimidation offences in England and Wales.

The guidelines will ensure a consistent approach is taken to sentencing these two offences and make the process more transparent and easier to understand for victims, witnesses, offenders and the public.

There are currently no sentencing guidelines for perverting the course of justice offences. The new guidelines will provide the first guidance for sentencing these common law offences.

The current sentencing guidance for witness intimidation offences available for magistrates’ courts has also been updated. Witness intimidation includes pressuring witnesses to withdraw allegations or witness statements, or not to give evidence in court.

The new guidelines will come into force on 1 October 2023.

Related documents including the response to consultation, resource assessment and data tables can be found here.