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Wednesday, 22 June 2022 15:21

New strangulation and suffocation laws

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Prosecutors now have new powers to charge specific offences of non-fatal strangulation and non-fatal suffocation, as key measures in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 come into force.

The new legislation sets out the legal definition that a person commits an offence of non-fatal strangulation if they intentionally strangle another person, and non-fatal suffocation where a person does any other act that affects someone’s ability to breathe and constitutes battery.

Guidance provides a non-exhaustive list of how these offences can manifest, with careful consideration to be given as to when it would be appropriate to use them rather than alternative charges such as Actual Bodily Harm, Grievous Bodily Harm and Battery. The new offences have the sentencing power of maximum five years’ imprisonment.


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