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The criminal sentence tool is not a comprehensive database of criminal convictions. We record conviction details in the public domain where a person is sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a serious crime or where there is an established public interest in the sentence. Sentencing data relating to personal details are redacted/anonymised once a conviction is spent.


Disclaimer

The sentencing tool is intended to be used as a guide only. Individual cases should be read if they are to be relied upon. The information available on this site is not intended to be comprehensive, and many details which may be relevant to particular circumstances have been omitted. The Law Pages cannot take any responsibility for the consequences of errors or omissions. Any information found on this site should not be considered in any manner to replicate or replace the advice of lawyers or other qualified individuals working within the criminal justice system with whom you may have contact.




Open Justice and Transparency - Criminal court cases

Journalists, the media and the general public can contact a court to verify the facts about a case they have heard about or to get details of a specific case after the event. The court can release factual information that is said or read out in open court, contained within a court document that is open to public inspection, or placed on a public notice board.


Information the courts must provide to the media

Where the relevant information is available and the case is ongoing (or the verdict is less than six months ago), the courts must supply the following details on request from a member of the media (in court or by phone/email) in line with the Criminal Procedure Rules:

a)the date of any hearing in public, unless any party has yet to be notified of that date;
b)each alleged offence and any plea entered;
c)the court's decision at any hearing in public, including any decision about bail, or the committal, sending or transfer of the case to another court;
d)whether the case is under appeal;
e)the outcome of any trial and any appeal; and
f) the identity of the prosecutor, the defendant, the parties' representatives, including their addresses, and the judge, magistrate or magistrates, or justices' legal adviser by whom a decision at a hearing in public was made.

Details of any reporting or access restrictions ordered by the Court should also be given.

Please note that in order to comply with the obligation in relation to the identity of the defendant, the court should also provide the media (although not the public) with defendant's address, age and where it is provided, date of birth.


Request for information about historic cases

Under rule 5.8(4) of the Criminal Procedure Rules, court staff can only supply information about cases that are ongoing or where the verdict was not more than 6 months ago. If the media want information about a case that ended more than 6 months ago then they must apply to a judge, under rule 5.8(7), and they must explain the reasons for the request: see paragraph I 5B of the Criminal Practice Directions. Court staff should give all the help they can and in particular should make sure that the request is referred promptly to a judge - the process of court staff referring these requests to a judge is already in place and in most instances a decision is made within 5 working days depending on the nature of the request and the age and complexity of the case. The Criminal Procedure Rule Committee decided that for court staff to supply the information allowed under rule 5.8 within 6 months of the end of a case would not breach any of the data protection principles in Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018, or any restriction imposed by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. After 6 months, however, the legal position is more complicated and that is why any request for information about older cases needs to be decided by a judge, even if the request is made by the media.

Transcripts

Anyone may ask for an available transcript of a hearing held in public. You can order a transcript of the whole or part of the hearing you are interested in (eg. Sentencing Remarks) under the criminal procedural rules where the case is heard in public and not subject to reporting restrictions. This is subject to a fee (calculated on the hearing length/word count) and the availability of a recording of the hearing. The transcription company must not provide information where a reporting restriction applies if doing so would contravene the reporting restriction. For a hearing held in private, the transcription company can only provide the transcript to a person who was present at the hearing (or to the registrar).

Please see: https://www.gov.uk/apply-transcript-court-tribunal-hearing

The full details of Rule 5.8 of the Criminal Procedure Rules can be found at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/criminal/docs/2015/crim-proc-rules-2015-part-05.pdf

If you would like to contact a court, please contact the court directly using the details available here: https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/search/

If the records you require are your own please see the instructions here: https://www.gov.uk/copy-of-police-records

The police may provide disclosure (under schemes designed to protect children and against domestic violence) where applicable.