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Homicide: Sentencing

Volume 494: debated on Monday 22 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average sentence was for offenders convicted of attempted murder or conspiracy to murder in each of the last five years. (280842)

The requested information is shown in the following table. The data show the number of persons sentenced in the last five years, for attempted murder or soliciting or conspiracy to murder and the average custodial sentence length (ACSL). ACSL excludes the growing number of indeterminate sentences.

These are given to the most serious offenders and may cause ACSL to appear lower in recent years.

Number of persons sentenced, number of indeterminate sentences and Average Custodial Sentence Length (ACSL)1, for attempted murder2 or conspiracy to murder3, 2003-07

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Attempted murder

Total number sentenced

94

96

66

79

87

Total indeterminate sentences

14

14

9

37

44

ACSL (years)

11.3

11.3

11.8

11.8

13.4

Soliciting or conspiracy to murder

Total number sentenced

29

10

13

13

21

Total indeterminate sentences

9

0

0

5

10

ACSL (years)

10.4

10.8

8.6

12.0

6.6

1 Excludes life/indeterminate sentences

2 Common law

3 Offences Against the Person Act 1861 S.4

Note:

These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system

Source:

OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

These data are based on the principal offence. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence, the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed. Where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences, the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders prosecuted for (a) attempted murder and (b) conspiracy to murder (i) were found guilty, (ii) received a caution, (iii) received a fine, (iv) received a community sentence, (v) were placed in immediate custody, (vi) received a suspended sentence and (vii) received another disposal in the latest period for which figures are available. (280844)

Information showing the number of persons cautioned, proceeded against, found guilty, and sentenced (broken down by outcome) for attempted murder and conspiracy to murder for 2007 (latest available) is shown in the table. 2008 data will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Number of persons cautioned1, proceeded against at magistrates' courts, found guilty at all courts, sentenced, broken down by outcome, or attempted murder2 and conspiracy to commit murder3, England and Wales, 20074,5

Outcome of sentence

Offence

Cautioned

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Sentenced

Fine

Community sentence

Suspended sentence

Immediate custody

Other disposals

Attempted murder

333

87

87

1

2

74

10

Conspiracy to commit murder

3

33

21

21

21

1 From 1 June 2000 the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and warnings. These figures have been included in the totals.

2 Includes Attempted Murder, under Common Law.

3 Includes Conspiracy or soliciting etc; to commit murder under Common Law.

4 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

5 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit - Office for Criminal Justice Reform.