Fourteen sentences are to be added to the unduly lenient sentence scheme today, which was launched in 1989. The scheme gives anyone the power to ask the Attorney General to consider referring a sentence to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration where it could be increased if deemed unduly lenient. The person requesting the review need not have a connection to the case. It must be lodged within 28 days of the sentencing hearing.
Under the existing scheme, offences such as murder, a range of terror offences, rape, serious fraud and drug offences are covered. The government has pledged to extend the scheme to further protect the public and make sure victims see justice done.
The offences to be added include:
- Abuse of position of trust: sexual activity with a child;
- Abuse of position of trust: causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity;
- Abuse of position of trust: sexual activity in the presence of a child;
- Inciting a child family member to engage in sexual activity;
- Sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder impeding choice;
- Causing or inciting a person with a mental disorder impeding choice to engage in sexual activity;
- Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorder impeding choice;
- Causing a person with a mental disorder impeding choice to watch a sexual act;
- Possession of an indecent photograph of a child;
- Taking, possessing, distributing or publishing indecent photographs of children;
- Harassment: putting people in fear of violence;
- Stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress;
- Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship
In 2018, there were 140 offenders referred to the scheme. 99 of those saw their sentences increased following the review.
Diana Goldstein, Associate, BLM