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Burglars beware

Paul Tain outlines the Sentencing Advisory Panel’s proposals for dealing fairly with those who commit different levels of domestic burglary

19 July 2002

The Sentencing Advisory Panel has now provided its advice to the Court of Appeal on domestic burglary. Although the Court of Appeal may reject the advice, it gives every appearance of fitting in both with the domestic burglary guideline decision in R v Brewster [1998] 1 Cr App R (S) 181 and the implications of s 111 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, requiring a minimum sentence of three years in custody on a third conviction for domestic burglary. The Panel focused on theft related domestic burglaries. There were 1,248,000 such offences and attempts in 1999, of which 548,000 involved incidents where property was actually stolen, as opposed to attempts or entries where no property was taken. As is required, the Panel engaged in wide consultations in formulating their advice and undertook a ‘properly conducted survey’ of public opinion to avoid tabloid press-style analysis of the public view. They were conscious that the issue of public opinion on sentencing i...

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