Sentencing Act 2020

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2020 c. 17


Sentencing Act 2020

2020 Chapter 17

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to sentencing.

[22 October 2020]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Introductory provisions and overview

PART 1

Introductory provisions and overview

S-1 Overview

1 Overview

(1) Parts 2 to 13 of this Act together make up a code called the “Sentencing Code”.

(2) They deal with the following matters.

Before sentencingPart 2 is about powers exercisable by a court before passing sentence.

SentencingPart 3 is about court procedure when sentencing.Part 4 is about the discretion a court has when sentencing.

SentencesPart 5 is about absolute and conditional discharges.Part 6 is about orders relating to conduct.Part 7 is about fines and other orders relating to property.Part 8 is about disqualification.Part 9 is about community sentences.Part 10 is about custodial sentences.Part 11 is about behaviour orders.

GeneralPart 12 contains miscellaneous and general provision about sentencing.Part 13 deals with interpretation.

(3) Part 14 of this Act contains supplementary provision.

(4) For other provision that may be relevant in relation to sentencing, see—

(a)

(a) Criminal Procedure Rules, and

(b)

(b) sentencing guidelines.

S-2 Application of Code

2 Application of Code

(1) The Sentencing Code does not apply where a person is convicted of an offence before the commencement date.

(2) Accordingly, any provision that corresponds to a provision of the Sentencing Code continues on and after that date to have effect as regards dealing with a person—

(a)

(a) for an offence of which the person was convicted before that date, and

(b)

(b) in relation to a sentence passed for an offence of which the person was convicted before that date.

(3) Where on or after that date a court is dealing with a person in relation to an offence of which the person was convicted before that date and is required to treat the person as just convicted of the offence, the requirement does not mean that subsection (2) no longer applies.

2 Powers exercisable before passing sentence

PART 2

Powers exercisable before passing sentence

CHAPTER 1

Deferment of sentence

S-3 Deferment order

3 Deferment order

(1) In this Code “deferment order” means an order deferring passing sentence on an offender in respect of one or more offences until the date specified in the order, to enable a court, in dealing with the offender, to have regard to—

(a)

(a) the offender’s conduct after conviction (including, where appropriate, the offender’s making reparation for the offence), or

(b)

(b) any change in the offender’s circumstances.

(2) A deferment order may impose requirements (“deferment requirements”) as to the offender’s conduct during the period of deferment.

(3) Deferment requirements may include—

(a)

(a) requirements as to the residence of the offender during all or part of the period of deferment;

(b)

(b) restorative justice requirements.

S-4 Availability of deferment order

4 Availability of deferment order

(1) A deferment order is available to the Crown Court or a magistrates’ court in respect of an offence where—

(a)

(a) the offender is before the court to be dealt with for the offence, and

(b)

(b) no previous deferment order has been made in respect of the offence.

See also section 11(4) (power of Crown Court to make further deferment order where magistrates’ court commits offender for sentence).

(2) But a deferment order is not available to a magistrates’ court dealing with an offender in respect of an offence for which section 85(1)(a) (compulsory referral conditions) requires the court to make a referral order.

S-5 Making a deferment order

5 Making a deferment order

(1) A court may make a deferment order in respect of an offence only if—

(a)

(a) the offender consents,

(b)

(b) the offender undertakes to comply with any deferment requirements the court proposes to impose,

(c)

(c) if those requirements include a restorative justice requirement, section 7(2) (consent of participants in restorative justice activity) is satisfied, and

(d)

(d) the court is satisfied, having regard to the nature of the offence and the character and circumstances of the offender, that it would be in the interests of justice to make the order.

(2) The date specified under section 3(1) in the order may not be more than 6 months after the date on which the order is made.

(3) A court which makes a deferment order must forthwith give a copy of the order—

(a)

(a) to the offender,

(b)

(b) if it imposes deferment requirements that include a restorative justice requirement, to every person who would be a participant in the activity concerned (see section 7(1)),

(c)

(c) where an officer of a provider of probation services has been appointed to act as a supervisor, to that provider, and

(d)

(d) where a person has been appointed under section 8(1)(b) to act as a supervisor, to that person.

(4) A court which makes a deferment order may not on the same occasion remand the offender, notwithstanding any enactment.

S-6 Effect of deferment order

6 Effect of deferment order

(1) Where a deferment order has been made in respect of an offence, the court which deals with the offender for the offence may have regard to—

(a)

(a) the offender’s conduct after conviction, or

(b)

(b) any change in the offender’s circumstances.

(2) The matters to which the court may have regard in dealing with the offender include, in particular—

(a)

(a) where appropriate, the making by the offender of reparation for the offence, and

(b)

(b) the extent to which the offender has complied with any deferment requirements.

(3) Subsection (4) applies where—

(a)

(a) the court which made a deferment order proposes to deal with the offender on the date specified in the order, or

(b)

(b) the offender does not appear on that date.

(4) The court may—

(a)

(a) issue a summons requiring the offender to appear before the court at the time and place specified in the summons, or

(b)

(b) issue a warrant for the offender’s arrest which requires the offender to be brought before the court at the time and place specified in the warrant.

(5) Subsection (6) applies where a magistrates’ court makes a deferment order.

(6) In making the order the court is to be regarded as having adjourned the trial under section 10(1) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980.

Accordingly, sections 11(1) and 13(1) to (3A) and (5) of that Act (non-appearance of the accused) apply if the offender does not appear on the date specified in the deferment order (but this is without prejudice to subsection (4)).

S-7 Restorative justice requirements

7 Restorative justice requirements

(1) Any reference in this Chapter to a restorative justice requirement is to a requirement to participate in an activity—

(a)

(a) where the participants consist of, or include, the offender and one or more of the victims,

(b)

(b) which aims to maximise the offender’s awareness of the impact of the offending concerned on the victims, and

(c)

(c) which gives an opportunity to a victim or victims to talk about, or by other means express experience of, the offending and its impact.

(2) A restorative justice requirement may not be imposed as a deferment requirement without the consent of every person who would be a participant in the activity.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a supervisor and the offender do not count as proposed participants.

(4) A person running an activity for the purposes of a restorative justice requirement must have regard to any guidance issued from time to time by the Secretary of State with a view to encouraging good practice in connection with such an activity.

(5) In this section “victim” means a victim of, or other person affected by, the offending concerned.

S-8 Deferment order: supervisor

8 Deferment order: supervisor

(1)1. Appointment of supervisor

Where a court makes a deferment order that imposes deferment requirements, it may appoint—

(a)

(a) an officer of a provider of probation services, or

(b)

(b) any other person the court thinks appropriate who consents to the appointment,

to act as a supervisor in relation to the offender.

(2)2. Function of supervisor

A supervisor must—

(a)

(a) monitor the offender’s compliance with the deferment requirements, and

(b)

(b) provide the court which deals with the offender for any offence in respect of which the order was made with such information as the court may require relating to the offender’s compliance with the deferment requirements.

(3)3. Supervisor appointed under subsection (1)(b): power of magistrates’ court to issue summons

Where—

(a)

(a) a deferment order imposes deferment requirements,

(b)

(b) it falls to a magistrates’ court to—

(i) deal with the offender for any offence in respect of which the order was made, or

(ii) determine under section 9(3)(b) whether the offender has failed to comply with a deferment requirement, and

(c)

(c) a justice of the peace is satisfied that a supervisor appointed under subsection (1)(b)—

(i) is likely to be able to give evidence that may assist the court in doing so, and

(ii) will not voluntarily attend as a witness,

the justice may issue a summons directed to that supervisor requiring the supervisor to attend before the court at the time and place appointed in the summons to give evidence.

S-9 Failure to comply with deferment requirement

9 Failure to comply with deferment requirement

(1) This section applies where—

(a)

(a) a court has made a deferment order that...

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