The Sentencing Council has issued the ‘Bladed Articles and Offensive Weapons Definitive Guideline (‘the guidelines’), which came into force on the 1st June 2018, regardless of the date of any offence.

This is increasingly important as:

  • knife crime has become more prevalent in the media,
  • the first year anniversary of the London Bridge terrorist attacks has taken place and
  • the increase in knife crime relating to ‘turf wars’ and ‘road rage’ incidents nationwide.

Frances Murray of Kangs Solicitors comments on ‘bladed articles’.

The Guidelines | Kangs Criminal Law Advisory Solicitors

The guidelines apply to the following offences:

  • Possession of an offensive weapon in a public place; Prevention of Crime Act 1953 (section 1(1))
  • Possession of an article with blade/point in a public place; Criminal Justice Act 1988 (section 139(1))
  • Possession of an offensive weapon on school premises; Criminal Justice Act 1988 (section 139A(2))
  • Possession of an article with blade/point on school premises; Criminal Justice Act 1988 (section 139A(1))
  • Unauthorised possession in prison of a knife or offensive weapon; Prison Act 1952 (section 40CA)
  • Threatening with an offensive weapon in a public place; Prevention of Crime Act 1953 (section 1A)
  • Threatening with an article with blade/point in a public place; Criminal Justice Act 1988 (section 139AA(1))
  • Threatening with an article with blade/point or offensive; weapon on school premises, Criminal Justice Act 1988 (section 139AA(1))

It is to be noted that ‘Offensive Weapons’ includes a corrosive substance, such as acid.

Sentencing | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

These offences are triable either in the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court with the maximum sentence four  years custody.

The guidelines also provide for mandatory minimum terms as follows:

Minimum Terms – second or further relevant offence

When sentencing the offences of:

  • possession of an offensive weapon in a public place;
  • possession of an article with a blade/point in a public place;
  • possession of an offensive weapon on school premises; and
  • possession of an article with blade/point on school premises,

a court must impose a sentence of at least six months imprisonment where this is a second or further relevant offence, unless the court is of the opinion that there are particular circumstances relating to the offence, the previous offence or the offender which make it unjust to do so in all the circumstances.

The court should consider the following factors to determine whether it would be unjust to impose the statutory minimum sentence:

  • any strong personal mitigation;
  • whether there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation;
  • whether custody will result in significant impact on others.

How Kangs Solicitors Can Help You | Kangs Serious Crime Solicitors

Kangs legal team possesses specialist knowledge and extensive experience in handling cases involving bladed articles and offensive weapons. We have particular experience of advising and assisting in relation to ‘road rage’ incidents involving such bladed articles and offensive weapons.

Should you find yourself in a position where you need advice and support then please do not hesitate to contact our team which can be contacted through the following:

John Veale
jveale@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07779 055907 | 0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Frances Murray
fmurray@kangssolicitors.co.uk
020 7936 6396 | 07989 521219 (24 hour emergency number)