Miscellaneous amendments to sentencing guidelines – response to consultation

19 March 2024

The Sentencing Council has published details of amendments it will be making to a number of sentencing guidelines following consultation. The changes apply to guidelines in both magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court and will come into force on 1 April 2024.

The majority of the changes are being made in response to recent changes in legislation and others are in response to feedback from guideline users. The Council considered the changes to be significant enough to warrant consultation but not so substantial that they require new guidelines to be drafted.

The main changes are:

• amendments to the Fraud guideline to give more recognition to the impact on victims even where there is no or very little financial loss

• amendments to the guideline for sentencing individuals for fly-tipping and other environmental offences to give greater emphasis to community orders over fines

• changes to the manslaughter guidelines relating to strangulation and coercive control, in response to recommendations in the Domestic Homicide Sentencing Review

• amendments and additions to mitigating factors and their associated expanded explanations across sentencing guidelines. These include replacing the existing reference to pregnancy in the ‘Sole or primary carer’ factor with a dedicated factor for pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal care.

• The changes follow the Council’s third, annual miscellaneous amendments consultation, which considered potential changes to guidelines arising from various sources including case law, changes to legislation and feedback from sentencers.

The Council encourages sentencers and other practitioners to use the feedback function in the sentencing guidelines to tell them about any issues with guidelines to do with the law or their experience of using and applying the guidelines.

Full details can be found in the response to consultation document on the Sentencing Council website.