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Sentencing

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 213938, tabled on 10 November 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times a sentence has been altered under section 155 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 in the last five years; and what the (a) offence, (b) sentencing variation and (c) reason for the sentence being altered was in each case.

Answered on

15 January 2015

Section 155 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Courts Act 2000 provides for the Crown Court to vary or rescind a sentence imposed, or other order made, by the Crown Court within 56 days of the original sentence being made. The power to vary is primarily to rectify small technical errors and not to allow for a fundamental change of mind.

The number of sentences which were varied in Crown Court trials the last five years is as follows:

Number of Crown Court sentences recorded as replaced on CREST, by offence group

Offence Group

09/10

10/11

11/12

12/13

13/14

Burglary

120

189

182

220

129

Criminal damage

25

34

22

26

13

Drug offences

304

436

495

472

407

Fraud and forgery

199

333

312

349

228

Indictable motoring offences

35

34

42

33

24

Other indictable offences

344

488

604

359

294

Robbery

125

147

164

130

97

Sexual offences

313

243

236

284

191

Summary Motoring Offences

9

18

7

5

2

Summary Non-motoring Offences

52

99

104

67

99

Theft and handling stolen goods

193

282

303

205

256

Unknown

72

122

60

44

36

Violence against the person

282

387

390

302

268

Total

2,073

2,812

2,921

2,496

2,044

Notes:

1. The above figures only relate to cases committed or sent for trial.

2. The above figures relate to actual sentences replaced; they do not relate to the number of defendants involved.

3. The data were extracted from CREST, the Crown Court case management system specifically to answer this question.

4. The data are management information and not subject to the same level of checks as Official Statistics.

The fact a sentence has been replaced is recorded on the Crown Court case management system, CREST. Whilst the new sentence will also be recorded it is not possible to link the two for every offence to calculate the variation. The reason for the sentence being varied is not recorded on CREST and can only be found by manually checking case files at disproportionate cost.