The Sentencing Council has published two sentencing guidelines for offenders convicted of perverting the course of justice and witness intimidation offences in England and Wales following consultation.
The guidelines will ensure a consistent approach is taken to sentencing these two offences and will make the sentencing process more transparent and easier to understand for victims, witnesses, defendants and the public.
Currently, there are no guidelines for perverting the course of justice offences, which cover a wide range of conduct from giving false information to police officers at a traffic stop to avoid prosecution, to fabricating evidence designed to incriminate an innocent person.
There is limited guidance in magistrates’ courts for witness intimidation offences which include pressuring witnesses to withdraw allegations or witness statements, or not to give evidence in court.
The new guidelines will come into force on 1 October 2023.
A press notice is available on the Sentencing Council website.