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Sentencing: Mental Health

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 45166, tabled on 6 September 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what requirements are in place to ensure that the mental health of a defendant is fully considered before sentencing.

Answered on

13 September 2016

Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, before passing sentence, the Court must obtain a pre-sentence report unless it considers it unnecessary to do so in any individual case. The pre-sentence report covers all circumstances which are relevant to the offender and highlights any links to his offending behaviour, including mental health problems.

Under the same Act, the Court is required to obtain and consider a medical report on a defendant who is or appears to be mentally disordered, before passing a custodial sentence.