Lancashire judges and magistrates to follow tougher rules for sentencing cases of attempted murder and assault

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Lancashire’s judges and magistrates have been given revised guidelines for sentencing the most serious form of non-fatal assault.

Offenders who commit attempted murder face a new sentence range of up to 40 years to ensure sentences for the most serious cases reflect the gravity of the crime.

Sentencing guidelines must be followed, unless the court is satisfied that it would be contrary to the interest of justice to do so.

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It comes as several attempted murder cases are pending in Preston’s courts.

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Lancashire's courts
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Sentencing Council member Her Honour Judge Rosa Dean said: “Assault is a traumatic offence and can cause great distress to the victim both physically and psychologically, and it is important that sentences reflect the harm and upset that can be caused to many people - both ordinary members of the public and professionals doing their work.

“The guidelines will ensure appropriate and proportionate sentences are imposed for these offences that fully recognise the level of harm caused to the victim.”

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The Council also published specific guidance for assault on emergency workers, and added factors of “intention to cause fear of serious harm, including disease transmission” and “deliberate spitting or coughing” must also be considered in guidelines about common assault and causing Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) offences.

A revised factor of “victim obviously vulnerable due to age, personal characteristics or circumstances” must be considered across such cases.

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