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New sentencing guideline for breach of a criminal behaviour order

Breach of a criminal behaviour order (also applicable to breach of an anti-social behaviour order), Sentencing Council, Effective from 01 October 2018

The Sentencing Council have published a new sentencing guideline for breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order, effective from 1 October 2018.

Details

The guideline sets out the categories of harm and levels of culpability which must be used to reach the correct sentence.

Culpability
A    Very serious or persistent breach
B Deliberate breach falling between A and C
C Minor breach
Breach just short of reasonable excuse

 

Harm
Category 1    Breach causes very serious harm or distress
Breach demonstrates a continuing risk of serious criminal and/or anti‑social behaviour
Category 2 Cases falling between categories 1 and 3
Category 3 Breach causes little or no harm or distress
Breach demonstrates a continuing risk of minor criminal and/or anti-social behaviour

 

Harm Culpability
A B C
Category 1 Starting point
2 years’ custodyCategory range
1 – 4 years’ custody
Starting point
1 year’s custodyCategory range
High level community order – 2 years’ custody
Starting point
12 weeks’ custodyCategory range
Medium level community order – 1 year’s custody
Category 2 Starting point
1 year’s custodyCategory range
High level community order – 2 years’ custody
Starting point
12 weeks’ custodyCategory range
Medium level community order – 1 year’s custody
Starting point
High level community orderCategory range
Low level community order – 26 weeks’ custody
Category 3 Starting point
12 weeks’ custodyCategory range
Medium level community order – 1 year’s custody
Starting point
High level community orderCategory range
Low level community order – 26 weeks’ custody
Starting point
Medium level community orderCategory range
Band B fine – High level community order

NOTE: A Conditional Discharge MAY NOT be imposed for breach of a criminal behaviour order.

This is an adult guideline, the starting point for sentencing children for a breach of a CBO will be the Sentencing Children and Young People: Definitive Guideline. ‘Only if the court is satisfied that the offence crosses the custody threshold, and that no other sentence is appropriate, the court may, as a preliminary consideration, consult the equivalent adult guideline in order to decide upon sentence length.'1

‘When considering the relevant adult guideline, the court may feel it appropriate to apply a sentence broadly within the region of half to two thirds of the adult sentence for those aged 15 – 17 and allow a greater reduction for those aged under 15. This is only a rough guide and must not be applied mechanistically.'2 [emphasis added]

Courts are given a wide discretion and encouraged to give greatest consideration to individual factors and may depart from the adult sentencing guidance.3

  1. Sentencing Children and Young People: Definitive Guideline, 2017, para 6.45  (back)
  2. Sentencing Children and Young People: Definitive Guideline, 2017, para 6.46  (back)
  3. Sentencing Children and Young People: Definitive Guideline, 2017, para 6.47  (back)