Northern Territory Explanatory Statements
SENTENCING AMENDMENT (VIOLENT OFFENCES) BILL 2008
Sentencing Amendment (Violent Offences) Bill 2008 (Serial 4)
This Bill amends the Sentencing Act.
This bill sets out specific minimum sentences for violent offences which affect some first time offences, and all second and subsequent offences.
The Bill removes the ability for suspension of any of the minimum sentence and suspension of sentence for second or subsequent offences within 10 years of conviction of a previous violent offence.
The current arrangements provide for a gaol time, however this may simply be to the rising of the court. The new provisions change this and install a minimum sentence,
The Amendments proposed in this bill fulfil an election promise to impose certain minimum sentences on serious violent offenders.
1. The amendments will allow the court to decide the outcome for first time offenders (except where serious harm is caused to the victim).
Clause 1 sets out the short title of the Bill
Clause 2 indicates the Act to be amended, which is the Sentencing Act of the Northern Territory.
Clause 3 sets out that the Bill repeals section 78BA of the Sentencing Act and substitutes a new section 78BA.
The proposed new 78BA only applies to adults and is as follows:
(1) Sets out who the act will apply to
(2) Sets out that the court must record a conviction and impose a term of imprisonment
(3) (a) prevents the court from suspending any part of the sentence for an offender that has been found guilty of a previous violent offence within the preceding 10 years
(b) Allows the court to suspend the sentence in part but not in whole in other cases
(4) Sets out the various minimum periods of imprisonment
(a) Adult, 2nd violent offence, serious harm - 12 months
(b) Adult, 1st violent offence, serious harm – 6months
(c)Adult, 2nd violent offence (a) and (b) don’t apply, aggravated circumstances – 3 months
(d) Adult, 2nd violent offence, harm – 1 month
(5) Allows the court to decide the sentence length in cases not covered by subsection (4)
(6) Gives the court discretion to consider the circumstances to decide if a person accused with multiple violent assaults committed those assaults as one incident or a series of incidents
(7) Who can be found guilty of a previous violent offence
(a) Committed offence as an adult or
(b) Was convicted in a supreme court
(8) This bill will not affect the court using other provisions in the Sentencing Act or any other Act in regards to sentencing
(9) Defines harm, previous violent offence and serious harm