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Custodial sentences must be imposed for some serious offences

People who commit specific serious offences after 19 March 2017 will be required to serve custodial sentences.

People who commit specific serious offences after 19 March 2017 will be required to serve custodial sentences. Two categories of offences have been created under the Sentencing Act 1991. Category 1 offences are the more serious. A court must impose a custodial sentence for offenders who commit a category 1 offence. Examples of category 1 offences are: murder, rape, trafficking large commercial quantities of a drug of dependence.

Category 2 offences are slightly less serious. These include: manslaughter, intentionally causing serious injury, arson. The court must impose a custodial sentence for someone convicted of category 2 offences unless special circumstances exist. Special circumstances include: providing assistance to police in the investigation of an offence, court will make a Court Secure Treatment Order or Residential Treatment Order, or person was between 18 and 21 at the time of offending and can show psychological immaturity which substantially reduced their ability to regulate their behaviour.

See When custodial sentences are required.

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