Courts to change tack on sentencing in child abuse cases

21st May 2021

Courts to change tack on sentencing in child abuse cases

The sentencing guidelines currently in use allow a court to sentence an offender accused of child abuse on the basis of actual harm caused to a child.

This approach has meant that those who intend to abuse but are prevented from doing so can expect to receive shorter sentences than those who actually carry out their intention and harm a child.

The issue is highlighted in some recent cases where the sentences imposed in the Crown Court were reviewed by the Court of Appeal.  The Court said that the intentions of the offenders should be the key starting point. As a result, the Sentencing Council said that “the changes that we are proposing will make sure the Courts give the proper weight to the harm intended by those who commit offences against children.

When an offender intends sexual activity with a child, that must be reflected in the sentence imposed, even where activity does not ultimately take place”. This will include, for instance, where an offender engages with a police officer posing as a child on social media and sets out to commit an offence which, in fact, could never have been completed.

The change reflects growing concern to safeguard children from those who either abuse them or intend to do so.


Upcoming Events

Supply Chain Supper Club – February 2020


This event is invite only. If you would like to receive an invite, please…

Read More
News Posts

Gotelee welcomes Sian Walker…


We are delighted to welcome Sian Walker as a trainee solicitor within Gotelee Solicitors…

Read More


"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."


"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."

- Ros Jones

"“ This is the second time we have used Tracey for the conveyancing to buy our new home. She is always completely approachable, she has helped us along the way with advice and useful tips that has helped lessen the stress. We have complete confidence in her and would not hesitate to recommend her to our friends and family”.  - Peter Dawes, Cater Dawes Financial Planning "


"I would like to say thank you for your help, support and guidance over the last two and a half years. Obviously should I need further assistance in the future I shall not hesitate to call you guys."


"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"


"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"


"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."

- JH

    Please select preferred method of contact

    * We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact. All web enquiries will be stored on our website for 30 days.