Speeding Offenders could now be fined upwards of £5,000, according to new sentencing guidelines

This week, for the first time since 2008, changes have been made to the way in which sentencing is carried out at Magistrate’s courts. 

Since the magistrate’s guidelines were last updated there have been significant changes in the law and the new sentencing guidelines have been brought in to reflect these changes.

Significantly, there will no longer be a £5,000 cap on fines.  The fining criteria will look at culpability and the harm the offending has caused.  For example, with regards to motoring, the fine may take into account the potential harm caused by the driver’s speed. 

Fines will now begin at 150% of the offender’s weekly income where beforehand it was 100%.


car speeding fine increase magistrates courts

Driving under the influence, careless driving, driving without insurance and failure to stop/report a road traffic accident will also be subject to change in sentencing guidelines.

Other offences that will be affected will be animal cruelty, TV licence payment evasion and alcohol sales offences.

The guidelines will be used to sentence adult offenders in all magistrates’ courts in England and Wales from 24 April.


For information regarding motoring offences please contact our expert motoring lawyer j.wilkins@cjch.co.uk or call us: 029 2048 3181

Serious Fraud Office cracks down on Rolls Royce Plc.

When people hear the name ‘Rolls Royce’ they often think only of the high-end luxury vehicles. However, Rolls Royce PLC is a global firm,  with interests in civil and defence aerospace, as well as nuclear, marine and power system engineering.

This week the UK’s 3rd ever Deferred Prosecution Agreement (‘DPA’) since its introduction in 2014 was entered into by the Serious Fraud Office (‘the SFO’), involving Rolls Royce plc. The SFO has revealed that the FTSE 100 firm faces 12 counts of conspiracy to corrupt or failure to prevent bribery spanning 25 years and across 7 jurisdictions.


Section 1 of the Bribery Act 2010 (‘the Act’) prevents financial advantages being ‘offered, promised or given by a company directly or through a third party’.  Investigations began in 2013 and are understood to have been probing claims that Rolls Royce had paid millions of GBP in bribes, or had used ‘middlemen’ to bribe in order to make commercial and military deals in various countries. Part of the investigation looked at Rolls Royce’s former Energy business, formally carried out by Rolls-Royce Energy Systems Inc, a private company incorporated in Delaware, US.


Under the DPA, the prosecution of Rolls Royce is suspended in the UK provided that it abides by the terms of the agreement including a payment of £671,000,000 to settle the corruption and bribery claims. Similar deals have also been struck in Brazil and the US.


Further information can be found at https://www.sfo.gov.uk/cases/rolls-royce-plc/.


This case highlights the importance of ensuring companies, and their subsidiaries, are not acting in contravention of the Act. This can be achieved through careful consideration of the Act, and any guidance published under section 9 of the Act. It is important to ensure that when drafting the company’s contracts, consideration is given to the requirements of the Act. This is particularly important when drafting outsourcing agreements.


If you are considering outsourcing work, whether in the UK or abroad, we would strongly recommend that you take independent legal advice from a commercial contracts solicitor. Our commercial team are available to assist at corporatelaw@cjch.co.uk, or on 029 2048 3181.
Written by Emma Hales.