CAPCJ / ACJCP

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A Trial Judge’s Reading Blog

SENTENCING-ASSAULTS UPON CHILDREN

ZB, R. v [2022] NICA 69, December 5, 2022, at paragraph 54:

Sentencing policy must, therefore, reflect that vulnerability.  Where significant force is applied to a young child with intent to cause that child grievous bodily harm, the increased likelihood of significant damage to the child renders the conduct itself highly culpable.  In general, therefore, we consider that a range of 7-15 years for such conduct is appropriate.  The place within the bracket will be heavily influenced by the extent of harm actually caused but we recognise that there will be cases where a person of good character is engaged in an isolated incident as a result of which a sentence below the range might be appropriate.