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Child sex offenders arrested before abusing minors could face tougher sentences | UK News

Child sex offenders who are arrested before they can abuse a minor could face up to 14 years in prison under proposed sentencing guidelines changes.

A three-month consultation has been launched on proposals for the treatment of potential offenders based on the offense they intend to commit has been launched by the Sentencing Council, which provides guidance to judges and magistrates in England and in Wales.

Many sexual predators are caught each year as part of police operations and citizen groups posing as underage children or adolescents, or as adults offering to traffic children for abuse.

Others are in communication with a real child or other abusers, but are arrested before committing physical violence.

According to current guidelines, published in 2013, some judges and magistrates have treated these offenses as “low” harm, even if the defendant intended to commit a very serious offense or the absence of harm to an actual child. was treated as a mitigating circumstance. in sentencing.

This means that the offender is punished less than those who successfully commit an attack.

The crimes affected by the proposed changes are to organize or facilitate the commission of a sexual offense against a child and to induce or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

These would be treated with the same level of severity whether or not the child was involved.

Currently, the maximum penalty for these offenses is 14 years in cases where a child is the victim of harm.

Under the proposed changes, judges and magistrates would be expected to base their sentence on what the accused intended to do to a child, but would then be able to adjust the sentence downward depending on what. happened.

The final sentence would also be determined on the basis of aggravating and mitigating factors specific to the offense and the offender.

Lord Justice Fulford, member of the Sentencing Council, said: “The changes we are proposing today will ensure that the courts give the proper weight to …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-12 22:49:00