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Assault and attempted murder guidelines published

New guidelines

16 July 2021
Assault and attempted murder guidelines published

Following wide consultation, the Sentencing Council has published revised sentencing guidelines for assault offences including attempted murder and common assault. The guidelines apply to adult offenders, and came into effect on 1 July 2021.

Changes in the new guidelines include:

  • An increased sentence range of up to 40 years for attempted murder offences
  • A revised aggravating factor of ‘offence committed against those working in the public sector or providing a service to the public, or against person coming to the assistance of emergency worker’ which provides for increased sentences for assaults on an individual providing a service to the public
  • A new high-culpability factor of ‘intention to cause fear of serious harm, including disease transmission’ in the common assault guideline
  • A new aggravating factor of ‘deliver spitting or coughing’ in the common assault and assault causing Actual Bodily Harm offences guidelines
  • A new high-culpability factor of strangulation to include asphyxiation and suffocation in all guidelines except attempted murder
  • A revised high-culpability factor of ‘victim obviously vulnerable due to age, personal characteristics or circumstances’, across all guidelines
  • The introduction of a greater number of offence categorise and sentence starting points. These aim to ensure appropriate assessments of culpability and harm, and proportionate sentences which reflect the seriousness of the offences

The MA’s response to the sentencing of assault offences can be found here.

The Sentencing Council’s consultation response document, which includes details of all the revisions made to the guidelines, can be found here.

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