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Sentencing Manual

Revised 20/03/2013

The CPS Sentencing Manual has been designed as a source of information for advocates to assist them with trial preparation, in particular when addressing the court at the sentencing hearing. It consists of templates, grouped by subject headings, based on the chapter headings in Archbold, and provides sentencing guidance on the most commonly encountered offences. It is intended to complement established texts on sentencing, such as Current Sentencing Practice.

Each template signposts the advocate to relevant sentencing guidelines or guideline cases; gives details of statutory limitations and maximum sentences; identifies potential aggravating and mitigating factors for a given offence; and highlights relevant ancillary orders, or other provisions relevant to sentence.

The Manual is also a tool to assist the reviewing lawyer to complete the Plea and Sentence Document (PSD) when one is required under the Attorney General's Guidelines on the Acceptance of Pleas and the Prosecutor's Role in the Sentencing Exercise. It is an aide to both reviewing lawyers and prosecution advocates in meeting the standard of service in relation to the sentencing process set out in Standard 9 of the Core Quality Standards .

By providing a consistent standard of sentencing assistance to the court, the CPS aims to reduce the number of erroneous sentences being passed and thereby reduce the number of cases referred to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

Administration of Justice Offences

Criminal Damage Offences

Criminal Damage Act

Computer Misuse Act

Malicious Damage Act

Drugs Offences

Explosives Offensives

Financial Crime Offences

Forgery Offences


Offences against the person

Offensive weapons

Offensive weapons - Firearms

Public morals

Public nuisance

Public order

Revenue Offences

Road traffic offences

Sexual offences

Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 - s63

Possession s160 Criminal Justice Act 1988
Taking, distributing, publishing or possession with a view to distribute or show - s1 of the Protection of Children Act, 1978.

Sexual Offences Act 1956 s33A inserted by s55 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

Sexual Offences Act 2003


Fraud Act

Theft Act

Social Security Administration Act