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Custodial Sentences
These are the most severe punishments, as it affects
the liberty of the D and can have an impact on their
entire life.
Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.152 the court
should only impose a custodial sentence if: "the offence
is so severe that neither a fine alone nor a community
sentence can be justified." (AKA the custody threshold).
Custodial Sentences are rare in this country.…read more

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Life Sentences
This is the most serious sentence that our court system may
impose. It is generally a period of up to 25 years, which is
spent in prison ­ followed by release on licence.
The average term for `lifers' is 14 years, but this may go up or
down, depending on factors.
There are three types of life sentence:
Mandatory Life Sentence: This is given for charges of Murder. This
can be whole life ­ or 3o years (for police or prison murders, or
race/sexual motives) or 15 years for others.
Discretionary Life Sentence: Depends on the circumstances for he
crime, and Ds responsibility. Includes arson, manslaughter, rape
and robbery.
Whole Life Tariff: Actual Life, reserved for the most serious
offences (e.g. multiple murders, sexual sadists etc.)…read more

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Mandatory Sentence
These are sentences for which the minimum sentence is
laid out in the statute, removing the judges discretion.
Examples include:
7 years minimum for a third Class A drug trafficking offence.
3 years minimum for a third Domestic Burglary.
5 years minimum for using someone to mind a weapon.
Mandatory Life sentence for people convicted of a second
serious sexual/violent offence.
Under LAPSO 2012 Possession of an Offensive Weapon now
carries 2 years minimum.…read more

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Suspended Sentence
This is where the time in custody is suspended for a
period. The length of sentence may vary from 6 months
to 2 years, and can be suspended for up to two years.
During the suspended period, D may be asked to
complete some community work. If D commits a further
offence whilst under this sentence, then they will serve it
in custody in addition to any sentence from the
additional offence.
Under LAPSO 2012, the court does not need to impose a
community requirement, and may now impose a fine
instead of a custodial sentence (even in the event of a
breach).…read more

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Fixed Term Sentences
Also known as Determinate Sentences
These are any sentence, where the judge stipulates a
specific amount of time that must be spent in
These sentences have a clear end point.…read more

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