Average custodial sentence length for adults sentenced for assault by penetration
Source: Ministry of Justice (2021) Criminal Justice System Statistics publication: Outcomes by Offence 2010 to 2020: Pivot Table Analytical Tool for England and Wales
Offence Definition: A person commits this offence if they intentionally penetrate the vagina or anus of another person with a part of their body or anything else, and the penetration is sexual, and there is no consent to the penetration and the offender does not reasonably believe that the other person consents. Whether there is reasonable belief to consent is determined by looking at all the circumstances, including any steps the offender has taken to determine whether the other person is consenting.
Sentencing Guideline Range: The sentencing range for this offence ranges from a community order to 19 years’ custody. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
Graph Explained: This graph shows the average custodial sentence length given to adult for offenders convicted of assault by penetration. In 2018 the longest average sentence length for this offence was given to offenders, a length of 6 years.
In contrast, 2011 saw the shortest average sentence length of 3 years and 6 months. The Sentencing Council’s Definitive Guideline for sexual offences came into force in April 2014.
The introduction of this guideline may have contributed to the increase in average length of custodial sentence from 4 years in years in the pre-definitive guideline period to between 5 and 6 years on average post-definitive guideline period, however, further research would be required to confirm this. Regardless, the general trend is of an increase in sentence lengths from 2010 to 2014, until a general plateau between 2015-2020 of around 5 years and 5 months on average.