Bladed articles and offensive weapons guideline

9th March 2018

Bladed articles and offensive weapons guideline

The guidelines were published by the Sentencing Council on 1 March 2018 and will come into effect on 1 June.

For the first time, the guidelines include specific reference to acid as an offensive weapon, described in the guidelines as a “highly dangerous weapon”.

The offence of possession of a blade or a weapon is described as being particularly serious if committed in a school or another place where vulnerable people are likely to be present.

An example of the sentences which will be imposed under the new guideline is that where a person had a blade on school premises, the starting point would be 18 months imprisonment and the range of sentences between 1 year and 2 ½ years imprisonment.

The guidelines set out a number of factors which would make the offence more serious. These include, for instance, a person acting as part of a group or gang, the offence being committed whilst drunk or under the influence of drugs and an attempt being made to conceal or dispose of evidence.

Where a person is being sentenced for a second offence of possessing an offensive weapon (including a blade) in a public place or on school premises, a court must impose a sentence of at least six months imprisonment, unless it would be unjust to do so.

Similar guidelines apply to making threats with an offensive weapon or a blade. For example, making threats on school premises with a blade has a starting point of two years imprisonment (and a range between 18 months and 3 years imprisonment). Any threat involving an offensive weapon or a blade in a public place or on school premises is likely to result in an immediate custodial sentence whatever the circumstances.

Separate guidelines apply for children and young people (aged 16 or over). A court must impose a sentence of at least 4 months detention and training order for making threats with a blade or an offensive weapon, whether or not it is a second offence. Possession of a blade or offensive weapon in a public place or on school premises will lead to a sentence of at least 4 months detention and training order if it is a second offence. It will only be in exceptional circumstances that a detention and training order could be avoided.

The new sentencing guideline sends the clearest possible message that the possession of blades, highly dangerous weapons (including acid) and any other offensive weapon in a public place or school premises without a reasonable excuse will lead to the full weight of the law being imposed.

Partner (Member)
Practice Areas
Criminal Law Solicitors
Blog Posts

What happens if you don’t get the grades for uni?


Bad results or didn’t get what you needed? Don’t panic! As someone who didn’t…

Read More
Upcoming Events

How to ensure your employees really ARE your greatest asset – invitation only


Gotelee's employment law Partners, Andrew West and Marie Allen are delighted to be working…

Read More
News Posts

Supporting Learning and Inclusion at Snape Maltings


For the second year Gotelee Solicitors proudly sponsor the Carer and Cared For Programme…

Read More


"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

"Jade made the process of buying our first home quick, easy and took the stress out of a new chapter of our lives"


"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."


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

- JH

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

- SH

"I have used Tracey Laflin at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."

- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd

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


"“ 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 "


"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

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


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.