The Sentencing A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. provides that magistrates, in sentencing defendants, must consider the crime’s impact on the victim of the crime (s 5(2)(daa)). Victims are allowed to make a A statement made to the court by a victim of a crime. It sets out details of injury, loss or damage caused by the crime. – usually by means of a A written statement of facts that meet statutory requirements by being signed and declared to be true before an official authorised to take declarations. (and occasionally, by Evidence given in court under oath or affirmation. in An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate.) – which contains details of their injury, loss or damage (s 8K). Magistrates are not allowed to decide that victim impact statements are Something that is not allowed as evidence in a court hearing. For example, the fact that someone has been convicted of theft in the past is inadmissible to show that they stole something this time. just because the statements contain subjective or emotional Relevant or important. For example, material evidence is something that helps to prove an argument in a criminal case..
The victim impact statement A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. usually be made by the victim, or by another person if the victim is under 18 or incapable of making the statement. The statement will be provided to the court and to the A person who has been charged with a criminal offence or against whom a civil action has been brought. some time before the court case. The defendant, or their lawyer, may cross-examine the victim in court about the contents of their statement (s 8O). Victim impact statements must, at the request of the victim, be read aloud during the sentencing The time and place at which a court or tribunal hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. (ss 8Q, 8R).
The Sentencing Act provides for victim impact statements to have a medical report attached to them (which may include reports from psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists or dentists) (s 8M).
Magistrates can, in addition to imposing penalties against a defendant, consider the victim impact statement and any attached reports and (1) A standard set of working conditions, including pay rates, for a particular industry. (2) A court decision that a party receive compensation, such as an award of damages to compensate them for physical injuries. compensation to the victim for pain and suffering, particularly in sexual assault cases (see ‘Compensation orders’ above and Chapter 10.6: Assistance for victims of crime).
For further information on victim impact statements arising from charges of sex offences, see ‘Sentencing’ in Chapter 3.3: Sexual offences.