This Act amends the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Act 2017 in relation to sentencing for subsequent offences and in relation to the schedule of offences pursuant to section 58 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 (including sexual offences, sexual offences against children, child trafficking and pornography, soliciting or importuning a trafficked person for the purpose of prostitution).
Section 4 of this Act inserts a new section 58 into the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 in relation to sentencing for repeat sexual offenders. Under the new section 58, where an offender is convicted of a sexual offence listed in the Schedule to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, and is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of at least 5 years, and is subsequently – within a period of 10 years – convicted of a further offence listed in the Schedule, the court shall, when imposing sentence for that offence, specify the minimum term of imprisonment to be served by the person. The minimum period of imprisonment shall be three quarters of the maximum term of imprisonment prescribed by law in respect of such an offence and, where the maximum term is life imprisonment, the minimum shall be specified as a term of not less than 10 years. The court will have discretion in the application of the sentence if it is satisfied that this would be disproportionate in all the circumstances of the case.
Section 5 of the 2019 Act inserts a Schedule into the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 which lists the offences to which the provisions of the new section 58 of the 2017 Act will apply. All of the scheduled offences are sexual offences of a serious nature where the maximum penalty on conviction on indictment is five years imprisonment or above, including offences under section 3 (child trafficking and taking, etc., child for sexual exploitation), section 4 (allowing child to be used for child pornography), section 4A (organising etc. child prostitution or production of child pornography), section 5 (producing, distributing, etc. child pornography), section 5A (participation of child in pornographic performance) and section 6 (possession of child pornography) of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998, and an offence under section 5 of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 (soliciting or importuning for purposes of prostitution of trafficked person).