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Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 (c. 43)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Crime (Sentences) Act 1997

1997 CHAPTER 43

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Content
  1. Part I

    Mandatory and minimum custodial sentences

    1. 1. Conditions relating to mandatory and minimum custodial sentences.

    2. 2. Mandatory life sentence for second serious offence.

    3. 3. Minimum of seven years for third class A drug trafficking offence.

    4. 4. Minimum of three years for third domestic burglary.

    5. 5. Appeals where previous convictions set aside.

    6. 6. Certificates of convictions for purposes of Part I.

    7. 7. Offences under service law.

  2. Part II

    Effect of custodial sentences

    1. Chapter I

      Determinate sentences

      1. General

        1. 8. Time to be served.

        2. 9. Crediting of periods of remand in custody.

      2. Early release

        1. 10. Early release on compassionate grounds.

        2. 11. Award of early release days for good behaviour.

        3. 12. Early release on Parole Board recommendation.

        4. 13. Provisional early release days for remand prisoners.

      3. Additional days

        1. 14. Award of additional days for disciplinary offences.

        2. 15. Provisional additional days for remand prisoners.

      4. Supervision after release

        1. 16. Release supervision orders.

        2. 17. Breach of conditions of release supervision order.

        3. 18. Powers of arrest and search warrants.

      5. Special cases

        1. 19. Young offenders.

        2. 20. Sexual offenders.

        3. 21. Violent offenders.

        4. 22. Mentally disordered offenders.

        5. 23. Fine defaulters and contemnors.

        6. 24. Persons liable to removal from the United Kingdom.

        7. 25. Persons extradited to the United Kingdom.

      6. Supplemental

        1. 26. Continuity of sentencing.

        2. 27. Interpretation of Chapter I.

    2. Chapter II

      Life sentences

      1. Release on licence

        1. 28. Duty to release certain life prisoners.

        2. 29. Power to release other life prisoners.

        3. 30. Power to release life prisoners on compassionate grounds.

      2. Licences and recall

        1. 31. Duration and conditions of licences.

        2. 32. Recall of life prisoners while on licence.

      3. Miscellaneous and supplemental

        1. 33. Life prisoners transferred to England and Wales.

        2. 34. Interpretation of Chapter II.

  3. Part III

    Miscellaneous and supplemental

    1. Community sentences

      1. 35. Fine defaulters: general.

      2. 36. Fine defaulters under 25.

      3. 37. Persistent petty offenders.

      4. 38. Abolition of certain consent etc. requirements.

    2. Driving disqualifications

      1. 39. Offenders.

      2. 40. Fine defaulters.

    3. Transfer and repatriation of prisoners

      1. 41. Transfer of prisoners within the British Islands.

      2. 42. Repatriation of prisoners to the British Islands.

    4. Young offenders

      1. 43. Curfew orders.

      2. 44. Long term detention.

      3. 45. Publication of reports.

    5. Mentally disordered offenders

      1. 46. Power to make hospital and limitation directions.

      2. 47. Power to specify hospital units.

      3. 48. Offenders conditionally discharged from hospital.

      4. 49. Other amendments of the 1983 Act.

    6. Miscellaneous

      1. 50. Disclosure of pre-sentence reports.

      2. 51. Committals for sentence.

      3. 52. Increased penalty for offence of indecency with children.

    7. Supplemental

      1. 53. Financial provisions.

      2. 54. General interpretation.

      3. 55. Minor and consequential amendments.

      4. 56. Transitional provisions, savings and repeals.

      5. 57. Short title, commencement and extent.

  4. Schedules:

    1. Schedule 1

      Transfer of prisoners within the British Islands.

      1. Part I

        Powers of transfer.

      2. Part II

        Effect of transfers.

      3. Part III

        Supplemental.

    2. Schedule 2

      Repatriation of prisoners to the British Islands.

    3. Schedule 3

      Transfers within the British Islands of responsibility for offenders conditionally discharged from hospital.

      1. Part I

        Amendments of the 1983 Act.

      2. Part II

        Amendments of the 1984 Act.

    4. Schedule 4

      Minor and consequential amendments.

    5. Schedule 5

      Transitional provisions and savings.

    6. Schedule 6

      Repeals.

An Act to make further provision with respect to the treatment of offenders; and for connected purposes.

[21st March 1997]

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:--



Part I Mandatory and minimum custodial sentences

1 Conditions relating to mandatory and minimum custodial sentences

(1) This section has effect for the purposes of setting out the basis on which the court shall carry out its sentencing functions under this Part.

(2) Under section 2 below, when determining whether it would be appropriate not to impose a life sentence the court shall have regard to the circumstances relating to either of the offences or to the offender.

(3) Under sections 3 and 4 below, when determining whether it would be appropriate not to impose a custodial sentence of at least seven years under section 3(2) or, as the case may be, of at least three years under section 4(2) the court shall have regard to the specific circumstances which--

(a) relate to any of the offences or to the offender; and

(b) would make the prescribed custodial sentence unjust in all the circumstances.

2 Mandatory life sentence for second serious offence

(1) This section applies where--

(a) a person is convicted of a serious offence committed after the commencement of this section; and

(b) at the time when that offence was committed, he was 18 or over and had been convicted in any part of the United Kingdom of another serious offence.

(2) The court shall impose a life sentence, that is to say--

(a) where the person is 21 or over, a sentence of imprisonment for life;

(b) where he is under 21, a sentence of custody for life under section 8(2) of the [1982 c. 48.] Criminal Justice Act 1982 ("the 1982 Act"),

unless the court is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances relating to either of the offences or to the offender which justify its not doing so.

(3) Where the court does not impose a life sentence, it shall state in open court that it is of that opinion and what the exceptional circumstances are.

(4) An offence the sentence for which is imposed under subsection (2) above shall not be regarded as an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law.

(5) An offence committed in England and Wales is a serious offence for the purposes of this section if it is any of the following, namely--

(a) an attempt to commit murder, a conspiracy to commit murder or an incitement to murder;

(b) an offence under section 4 of the Offences Against the [1861 c. 100.] Person Act 1861 (soliciting murder);

(c) manslaughter;

(d) an offence under section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (wounding, or causing grievous bodily harm, with intent);

(e) rape or an attempt to commit rape;

(f) an offence under section 5 of the [1956 c. 69.] Sexual Offences Act 1956 (intercourse with a girl under 13);

(g) an offence under section 16 (possession of a firearm with intent to injure), section 17 (use of a firearm to resist arrest) or section 18 (carrying a firearm with criminal intent) of the [1968 c. 27.] Firearms Act 1968; and

(h) robbery where, at some time during the commission of the offence, the offender had in his possession a firearm or imitation firearm within the meaning of that Act.

(6) An offence committed in Scotland is a serious offence for the purposes of this section if the conviction for it was obtained on indictment in the High Court of Justiciary and it is any of the following, namely--

(a) culpable homicide;

(b) attempted murder, incitement to commit murder or conspiracy to commit murder;

(c) rape or attempted rape;

(d) clandestine injury to women or an attempt to cause such injury;

(e) sodomy, or an attempt to commit sodomy, where the complainer, that is to say, the person against whom the offence was committed, did not consent;

(f) assault where the assault--

(i) is aggravated because it was carried out to the victim's severe injury or the danger of the victim's life; or

(ii) was carried out with an intention to rape or to ravish the victim;

(g) robbery where, at some time during the commission of the offence, the offender had in his possession a firearm or imitation firearm within the meaning of the [1968 c. 27.] Firearms Act 1968;

(h) an offence under section 16 (possession of a firearm with intent to injure), section 17 (use of a firearm to resist arrest) or section 18 (carrying a firearm with criminal intent) of that Act;

(i) lewd, libidinous or indecent behaviour or practices; and

(j) an offence under section 5(1) of the [1995 c. 39.] Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 (unlawful intercourse with a girl under 13).

(7) An offence committed in Northern Ireland is a serious offence for the purposes of this section if it is any of the following, namely--

(a) an offence falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (e) of subsection (5) above;

(b) an offence under section 4 of the [1885 c. 69.] Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (intercourse with a girl under 14);

(c) an offence under Article 17 (possession of a firearm with intent to injure), Article 18(1) (use of a firearm to resist arrest) or Article 19 (carrying a firearm with criminal intent) of the [S.I. 1981/155 (N.I.2).] Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 1981; and

(d) robbery where, at some time during the commission of the offence, the offender had in his possession a firearm or imitation firearm within the meaning of that Order.

3 Minimum of seven years for third class A drug trafficking offence

(1) This section applies where--

(a) a person is convicted of a class A drug trafficking offence committed after the commencement of this section;

(b) at the time when that offence was committed, he was 18 or over and had been convicted in any part of the United Kingdom of two other class A drug trafficking offences; and

(c) one of those other offences was committed after he had been convicted of the other.

(2) The court shall impose a custodial sentence for a term of at least seven years except where the court is of the opinion that there are specific circumstances which--

(a) relate to any of the offences or to the offender; and

(b) would make the prescribed custodial sentence unjust in all the circumstances.

(3) Where the court does not impose such a sentence, it shall state in open court that it is of that opinion and what the specific circumstances are.

(4) Where--

(a) a person is charged with a class A drug trafficking offence (which, apart from this subsection, would be triable either way); and

(b) the circumstances are such that, if he were convicted of the offence, he could be sentenced for it under subsection (2) above,

the offence shall be triable only on indictment.

(5) In this section "class A drug trafficking offence" means a drug trafficking offence committed in respect of a class A drug; and for this purpose--

  • "class A drug" has the same meaning as in the [1971 c. 38.] Misuse of Drugs Act 1971;

  • "drug trafficking offence" means a drug trafficking offence within the meaning of the [1994 c. 37.] Drug Trafficking Act 1994, the [1995 c. 43.] Proceeds of Crime (Scotland) Act 1995 or the [S.I. 1996/1299 (N.I.9).] Proceeds of Crime (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

(6) In this section and section 4 below "custodial sentence" means--

(a) in relation to a person who is 21 or over, a sentence of imprisonment;

(b) in relation to a person who is under 21, a sentence of detention in a young offender institution.

4 Minimum of three years for third domestic burglary

(1) This section applies where--

(a) a person is convicted of a domestic burglary committed after the commencement of this section;

(b) at the time when that burglary was committed, he was 18 or over and had been convicted in England and Wales of two other domestic burglaries; and

(c) one of those other burglaries was committed after he had been convicted of the other, and both of them were committed after the commencement of this section.

(2) The court shall impose a custodial sentence for a term of at least three years except where the court is of the opinion that there are specific circumstances which--

(a) relate to any of the offences or to the offender; and

(b) would make the prescribed custodial sentence unjust in all the circumstances.

(3) Where the court does not impose such a sentence, it shall state in open court that it is of that opinion and what the specific circumstances are.

(4) Where--

(a) a person is charged with a domestic burglary which, apart from this subsection, would be triable either way; and

(b) the circumstances are such that, if he were convicted of the burglary, he could be sentenced for it under subsection (2) above,

the burglary shall be triable only on indictment.

(5) In this section "domestic burglary" means a burglary committed in respect of a building or part of a building which is a dwelling.

5 Appeals where previous convictions set aside

(1) This section applies where--

(a) a sentence has been imposed on any person under subsection (2) of section 2, 3 or 4 above; and

(b) any previous conviction of his without which that section would not have applied has been subsequently set aside on appeal.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in section 18 of the [1968 c. 19.] Criminal Appeal Act 1968, notice of appeal against the sentence may be given at any time within 28 days from the date on which the previous conviction was set aside.

6 Certificates of convictions for purposes of Part I

(1) Where--

(a) on any date after the commencement of this section a person is convicted in England and Wales of a serious offence, a class A drug trafficking offence or a domestic burglary; and

(b) the court by or before which he is so convicted states in open court that he has been convicted of such an offence on that date; and

(c) that court subsequently certifies that fact,

the certificate shall be evidence, for the purposes of the relevant section, that he was convicted of such an offence on that date.

(2) Where--

(a) after the commencement of this section a person is convicted in England and Wales of a class A drug trafficking offence or a domestic burglary; and

(b) the court by or before which he is so convicted states in open court that the offence was committed on a particular day or over, or at some time during, a particular period; and

(c) that court subsequently certifies that fact,

the certificate shall be evidence, for the purposes of the relevant section, that the offence was committed on that day or over, or at some time during, that period.

(3) In this section--

  • "serious offence", "class A drug trafficking offence" and "domestic burglary" have the same meanings as in sections 2, 3 and 4 respectively; and

  • "the relevant section", in relation to any such offence, shall be construed accordingly.

7 Offences under service law

(1) Where--

(a) a person has at any time been convicted of an offence under section 70 of the [1955 c. 18.] Army Act 1955 or the [1955 c. 19.] Air Force Act 1955 or section 42 of the [1957 c. 53.] Naval Discipline Act 1957; and

(b) the corresponding civil offence (within the meaning of that Act) was a serious offence, a class A drug trafficking offence or a domestic burglary,

the relevant section shall have effect as if he had at that time been convicted in England and Wales of the corresponding civil offence.

(2) Subsection (3) of section 6 above applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of that section.



Part II Effect of custodial sentences

Chapter I Determinate sentences

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General

8 Time to be served

(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Chapter, a prisoner shall be released when he has served his sentence.

(2) In this Chapter "prisoner" means any person who is sentenced to imprisonment for a term in respect of an offence committed after the commencement of this Chapter.

9 Crediting of periods of remand in custody

(1) This section applies where--

(a) a court sentences an offender to imprisonment for a term in respect of an offence committed after the commencement of this section; and

(b) the offender has been remanded in custody in connection with the offence or a related offence, that is to say, any other offence the charge for which was founded on the same facts or evidence.

(2) It is immaterial for that purpose whether the offender--

(a) has also been remanded in custody in connection with other offences; or

(b) has also been detained in connection with other matters.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) below, the court shall direct that the number of days for which the offender was remanded in custody in connection with the offence or a related offence shall count as time served by him as part of the sentence.

(4) Subsection (3) above shall not apply if and to the extent that--

(a) rules made by the Secretary of State so provide in the case of--

(i) a remand in custody which is wholly or partly concurrent with a sentence of imprisonment; or

(ii) sentences of imprisonment for consecutive terms or for terms which are wholly or partly concurrent; or

(b) it is in the opinion of the court just in all the circumstances not to give a direction under that subsection.

(5) Where the court gives a direction under subsection (3) above, it shall state in open court--

(a) the number of days for which the offender was remanded in custody; and

(b) the number of days in relation to which the direction is given.

(6) Where the court does not give a direction under subsection (3) above, or gives such a direction in relation to a number of days less than that for which the offender was remanded in custody, it shall state in open court--

(a) that its decision is in accordance with rules made under paragraph (a) of subsection (4) above; or

(b) that it is of the opinion mentioned in paragraph (b) of that subsection and what the circumstances are.

(7) The power to make rules under subsection (4)(a) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument; but no such rules shall be made unless a draft of the rules has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(8) For the purposes of this section a suspended sentence shall be treated as a sentence of imprisonment when it takes effect under section 23 of the [1973 c. 62.] Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973 ("the 1973 Act") and as being imposed by the order under which it takes effect.

(9) References in this section to an offender being remanded in custody are references to his being--

(a) held in police detention; or

(b) remanded in or committed to custody by an order of a court.

(10) A person is in police detention for the purposes of this section--

(a) at any time when he is in police detention for the purposes of the [1984 c. 60.] Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984; and

(b) at any time when he is detained under section 14 of the [1989 c. 4.] Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989.



Early release

10 Early release on compassionate grounds

(1) The Secretary of State may at any time release a prisoner if he is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist which justify the prisoner's release on compassionate grounds.

(2) Before releasing under subsection (1) above a prisoner who is serving a sentence of imprisonment for a term of three years or more, the Secretary of State shall consult the Parole Board, unless the circumstances are such as to render such consultation impracticable.

11 Award of early release days for good behaviour

(1) This section applies where a prisoner is serving a sentence of imprisonment for a term of more than two months and less than three years.

(2) For each initial assessment period, the prescribed person may award the prisoner such number of early release days, not exceeding twelve, as he may determine having regard to the extent to which the prisoner's behaviour during the period has attained the prescribed minimum standard.

(3) For each subsequent assessment period, the prescribed person may award the prisoner--

(a) such number of early release days, not exceeding six, as he may determine having regard to the extent to which the prisoner's behaviour during the period has attained the prescribed minimum standard; and

(b) such number of such days, not exceeding six, as he may determine having regard to the extent to which the prisoner's behaviour during the period has exceeded that standard.

(4) Where at any time this section applies in place of section 12, 28 or 29 below because a sentence is set aside or varied on appeal, then, for each assessment period for the purposes of this section beginning before that time, the prescribed person shall assume, for the purposes of subsection (2) or (3) above, that the prisoner's behaviour was such as to entitle him to the maximum number of early release days available under that subsection.

(5) Where any early release days are awarded to a prisoner, any period which he must serve before becoming entitled to be released shall be reduced by the aggregate of those days; but nothing in this subsection shall entitle a prisoner to be released on the basis of an award before the day after that on which the award is made.

(6) Prison rules may--

(a) require determinations under this section to be made at prescribed times, and to be notified to the prisoners concerned in the prescribed manner; and

(b) make provision for enabling prisoners to appeal against such determinations to prescribed persons.

(7) The Secretary of State may by order provide that subsections (2) and (3) above shall have effect subject to such amendments as may be specified in the order; but no amendment so specified shall reduce--

(a) the number of days specified in subsection (2) or (3)(a); or

(b) the total number of days specified in subsection (3).

(8) The power to make an order under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(9) In this section, in relation to a prisoner--

  • "assessment period" means--

    (a)

    the period of two months beginning with the day on which he was sentenced; and

    (b)

    each successive period of two months ending before his release;

  • "initial assessment period" means an assessment period beginning less than twelve months after the day on which he was sentenced and "subsequent assessment period" shall be construed accordingly.

12 Early release on Parole Board recommendation

(1) This section applies where a prisoner is serving a sentence of imprisonment for a term of three years or more.

(2) As soon as the prisoner has served five-sixths of his sentence, the Secretary of State shall, if recommended to do so by the Parole Board, release him.

13 Provisional early release days for remand prisoners

(1) This section applies where an accused is remanded in custody in connection with one or more offences--

(a) which are alleged to have been committed after the commencement of this Chapter; and

(b) in respect of which he would be liable, if convicted, to a life sentence or to imprisonment for a term of more than two months.

(2) For the purpose of enabling early release days to be awarded on a provisional basis, subsections (2) and (3) of section 11 above shall have effect as if--

(a) the accused had been convicted of, or of an offence related to, the offence or any of the offences, and had been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of more than two months and less than three years, on the day on which he was remanded in custody;

(b) any days falling after that day for which he is not remanded in custody were disregarded; and

(c) references in that section to periods of two months were references to periods of 60 days.

(3) Subsections (4) to (6) below shall apply if, and only if, each of the following conditions is fulfilled, namely--

(a) the accused is convicted of, or of an offence related to, the offence or any of the offences;

(b) he is sentenced to imprisonment for a term of more than two months and less than three years; and

(c) a direction is given under section 9 above.

(4) For the purposes of section 11(5) above, any early release days provisionally awarded under subsection (2) above shall be treated as early release days awarded on the day on which the direction under section 9 above is given.

(5) For the purpose of securing that any days for which the accused was remanded in custody are taken into account in determining assessment periods for the purposes of section 11 above, that section shall have effect as if--

(a) the accused had been convicted and sentenced on the day on which he was remanded in custody;

(b) any days which fell before the day on which he was sentenced, and for which he was not remanded in custody, were disregarded; and

(c) references to periods of two months, in their application to periods beginning before that day, were references to periods of 60 days.

(6) If the direction under section 9 above is given in relation to a number of days less than that for which the accused was remanded in custody--

(a) subsection (4) above shall have effect as if the reference to any early release days provisionally awarded under subsection (2) above were a reference to the appropriate proportion of those days (rounded up to the nearest whole day); and

(b) subsection (5) above shall have effect as if the reference to days for which he was not remanded in custody included a reference to the complementary proportion of the days for which he was so remanded (rounded down to the nearest whole day).

(7) Where for any period the accused has been held in police detention, the prescribed person shall assume, for the purposes of section 11(2) and (3) above as modified by subsection (2) above, that during that period--

(a) the prisoner had been in prison; and

(b) his behaviour had attained, but not exceeded, the prescribed minimum standard for the purposes of that section.

(8) In this section--

  • "the appropriate proportion" means the proportion which the number of days in relation to which the direction under section 9 above is given bears to the number of days for which the accused was remanded in custody, and "the complementary proportion" shall be construed accordingly;

  • "life sentence" has the same meaning as in section 34 below;

  • "related", in relation to an offence, has the same meaning as in section 9 above;

and subsections (2), (9) and (10) of section 9 above shall apply for the purposes of this section as they apply for the purposes of that section.



Additional days

14 Award of additional days for disciplinary offences

(1) Prison rules may include provision for the award of additional days to prisoners who are guilty of disciplinary offences.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, where any additional days are awarded to a prisoner, and are not remitted in accordance with prison rules, any period which he must serve before becoming--

(a) entitled to be released under section 11 above; or

(b) eligible to be released under section 12 above,

shall be extended by the aggregate of those days.

(3) Nothing in subsection (2) above shall have the effect of extending any such period beyond the end of the prisoner's sentence, taking into account for this purpose any days directed by the court to count as time served as part of that sentence.

15 Provisional additional days for remand prisoners

(1) This section applies where an accused is remanded in custody in connection with one or more offences--

(a) which are alleged to have been committed after the commencement of this Chapter; and

(b) in respect of which he would be liable, if convicted, to a life sentence or to imprisonment for a term of more than two months.

(2) For the purpose of enabling additional days to be awarded on a provisional basis, prison rules made by virtue of section 14(1) above shall have effect as if the accused--

(a) had been convicted of, or of an offence related to, the offence or any of the offences; and

(b) had been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of more than two months, on the day on which he was remanded in custody.

(3) Subsections (4) and (5) below shall apply if, and only if, each of the following conditions is fulfilled, namely--

(a) the accused is convicted of, or of an offence related to, the offence or any of the offences;

(b) he is sentenced to imprisonment for a term of more than two months; and

(c) a direction is given under section 9 above.

(4) For the purposes of section 14(2) and (3) above, any additional days provisionally awarded under subsection (2) above shall be treated as additional days awarded on the day on which the direction under section 9 above is given.

(5) If the direction under section 9 above is given in relation to a number of days less than that for which the accused was remanded in custody, subsection (4) above shall have effect as if the reference to any additional days provisionally awarded under subsection (2) above were a reference to the appropriate proportion of those days (rounded up to the nearest whole day).

(6) In this section--

  • "the appropriate proportion" has the same meaning as in section 13 above;

  • "life sentence" has the same meaning as in section 34 below;

  • "related", in relation to an offence, has the same meaning as in section 9 above;

and subsections (2), (9) and (10) of section 9 above shall apply for the purposes of this section as they apply for the purposes of that section.



Supervision after release

Pages: P.1 | P.2 | P.3 | P.4 | P.5 | P.6 | P.7

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