7 September 2023
Miscellaneous amendments to sentencing guidelines: consultation 2023
A consultation paper on miscellaneous amendments to sentencing guidelines.
The consultation closed on 30 November 2023.
What was this consultation about?
The Sentencing Council sought views on a series of proposed changes to existing guidelines in the third annual miscellaneous amendments consultation.
The proposed changes, which apply to both the magistrates’ courts and Crown Court, are designed to bring greater clarity and consistency and reflect developments in legislation. The Council considers the changes to be significant enough to warrant consultation but not so substantial that they require new guidelines to be drafted.
Who did we ask to respond?
We sought views from anyone who uses sentencing guidelines in their work or who has an interest in sentencing. We also sought views from individuals and organisations representing anyone who could be affected by the proposals, including:
- victims and their families
- defendants and their families
- those under probation supervision or youth offending teams/supervision
- those with protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
What did we want to know?
Through this consultation process, the Council sought views on amendments that included:
- Fraud: amending the Fraud guideline to give more recognition to non-financial impact and situations where there is no or very little financial loss
- Fly-tipping: amending the guideline for sentencing individuals to give greater emphasis to community orders over fines
- Manslaughter: changes relating to: strangulation, suffocation or asphyxiation, and coercive or controlling behaviour
- Remorse: amending the expanded explanation to include ‘learning disability, communication difficulties and cultural differences’ as influential factors in the evaluation of remorse
- Good character and/or exemplary conduct: amending the factor and expanded explanation to remove specific example and make the factor more inclusive
- Determination and/or demonstration of steps having been taken to address addiction or offending behaviour: to clarify that the factor should be applied where support has been sought but not received
- Age and/or lack of maturity: to clarify the age range to which the factor typically applies
- Adding new mitigating factors: Difficult and/or deprived background or personal circumstances and Prospects of or in work, training or education
- Adding new mitigating factor: Pregnancy and maternity