With the press reporting an ever increasing number of instances of this offence being committed, Naz Maqsoom of Kangs Solicitors looks at the offence of threats to kill.
The Law | Kangs Serious Crime Defence Solicitors
Section 16 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 provides that:
“A person who without lawful excuse makes to another a threat, intending that, that other would fear it would be carried out, to kill that other or a third person shall be guilty of an offence”
Of note is the intention that another person would fear that the threat would be carried out.
The Prosecution are not required to prove that the defendant actually intended to kill anyone.
The threat can be made indirectly via a third party and therefore does not have to be made directly to the other party.
Jurisdiction | Kangs Criminal Trial Advisory Team
- The offence is triable ‘either way’ before a Magistrates’ Court or a Crown Court with the maximum sentence being ten years imprisonment before a Crown Court.
- The defence of lawful excuse maybe available with the Magistrates or a Crown Court jury having to determine the level of the threat in the prevailing the
Court Sentencing | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
When considering the appropriate sentence for an offender, the court will consider the following factors:
- whether or not a weapon was used /produced whilst making the threat
- the Impact on the victim
- the location and context in which the threat was made e.g whether or not it was made ‘in the heat of the moment’
- whether there was a single or multiple threats
- the nature of the threat(s) and the period of time over which made
- whether there was any level of planning /premeditation.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
An allegation of threatening to kill is extremely serious and it is therefore imperative that expert legal advice is sought from the outset.
Please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following: