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Crown Prosecutors

Crown Prosecutors are responsible for determining the charge in all but minor cases, advising the police during the early stages of an investigation, reviewing cases submitted by the police for prosecution, preparing cases for court and presenting those cases at court. In each case reviewed, the prosecutor will consider whether there is sufficient evidence and, if so, whether the public interest requires a prosecution. Although Crown Prosecutors work closely with the police, they are responsible to the Crown Prosecution Service, an independent governmental organisation.

11. The Prosecutor's Role In Sentencing

  1. Sentencing is a decision for the court, but prosecutors have a duty to offer assistance to the sentencing court in reaching its decision as to the appropriate sentence by drawing the court's attention to the following factors:
    1. any aggravating or mitigating factors disclosed by the prosecution case;
    2. any Victim Personal Statement;
    3. where appropriate, evidence of the impact of the offending on a community;
    4. any statutory provisions, sentencing guidelines, or guideline cases which may assist; and
    5. any relevant statutory provisions relating to ancillary orders (such as anti-social behaviour orders).
  2. Prosecutors may also offer assistance to the court by making submissions, in the light of all the above factors, as to the sentencing range within which the current offence falls.
  3. In all complex cases or where there is the potential for misunderstanding, the prosecutor must set out in writing the aggravating and mitigating factors that he or she will outline when informing the court of the case in the sentencing hearing. In all other cases, this approach should be considered and undertaken if it will be of benefit to the court or the public to understand the case.
  4. It is the duty of the prosecutor to apply for compensation and ancillary orders, such as anti-social behaviour orders and confiscation orders, in all appropriate cases. When considering which ancillary orders to apply for, the prosecutor must always have regard to the victim's needs, including the question of their future protection.
  5. Prosecutors should challenge any assertion made by the defence in mitigation that is inaccurate, misleading or derogatory. If the defence persist in the assertion, and it appears relevant to the sentence, the court should be invited to hear evidence to determine the facts and sentence accordingly.
  6. Prosecutors must comply with the "Attorney General's Guidelines on the Acceptance of Pleas and the Prosecutor's Role in the Sentencing Exercise" which set out in greater detail the extent of prosecutors' duties and role in the sentencing process.