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Sentencing Counsel member Rosina Cottage QC outlines the new sentencing guidelines for possessing a bladed article or offensive weapon.

5. Jun 2018

Sentencing Counsel member Rosina Cottage QC outlines the new sentencing guidelines for possessing a bladed article or offensive weapon, such as acid, following the rise in such attacks.

The new guideline is divided into three sections covering:

  • possession (adult offenders);
  • threats (adult offenders); and
  • possession and threats (children and young people).

A mandatory minimum sentence of six months custody exists for offenders who use any type of weapon to threaten. The new guideline gives the highest sentences to those offenders who threaten with knives or highly dangerous weapons.  These offenders will always receive sentences greater than six months. The combination of the legislation and the guideline may therefore mean that there is an increase in sentences received by some offenders convicted of these offences.

Sentencing Council member Rosina Cottage said:

“Too many people in our society are carrying knives. If someone has a knife on them, it only takes a moment of anger or drunkenness for it to be taken out and for others to be injured or killed. These new guidelines give courts comprehensive guidance to ensure that sentences reflect the seriousness of offending.”

The guidelines came into force 1 June 2018

Click here to read the new guideline.

Click here to read the Counsel Magazine article on the new guideline.

Associated members: