Average custodial sentence length for adults sentenced for assault of a child under 13 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 has committed this offence if they intentionally penetrate sexually the vagina or anus of a child under 13 with a part of their body or with anything else.
Sentencing Guidelines Range: This offence has a sentencing range of between 2 and 19 years’ custody. It carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Graph Explained: The average custodial sentence length for this offence has experienced significant fluctuation between 2010 and 2020. Initially, the average sentence length in 2010 was 6 years and 7 months, increasing to 7 years in 2011 and 2012 and then to 8 years in 2013.
The sentence then experienced a brief decrease in 2014 followed by another increase in 2015 to almost 8 years again. In 2017 and 2018 there was, for the first time, an increase to an average of 9 years and 9 years and 7 months respectively.
The average sentence length then decreased relatively rapidly by 1 year and 6 months between 2019 to 2018, followed by a similar decrease of 1 year and 3 months between 2019 and 2020.
The most recent guidelines produced by the Sentencing Council came into force in 2014 and do not appear to have impacted the average sentence length overall.