7 March 2023
Updated sentencing guidelines for child cruelty offences published
The Council has published updated sentencing guidelines for offenders convicted of child cruelty offences in England and Wales, following consultation.
The new 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 guidelines introduce a new ‘very high culpability’ level for the most serious cases relating to these 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 new sentences 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.
The guidelines will come into effect on 1 April 2023.