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Causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property is an offence that can come with a stiff punishment. This article provides detailed guidance on the typical sentencing for this offence.

What is the sentence for Causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property in 2024?

Causing explosion likely to endanger life or property is an offence in UK law and related to many acts of legislation and regulations including the Explosives Act 1875 and the Terrorism Act 2000 and 2006.

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Explosions of this nature are typically related to terrorism and may have links to other terrorism-related offences.

For those accused, being under investigation for any offence can be considerably stressful. There will be concerns about being separated from a life partner and family through being imprisoned. Will you still be able to provide for dependents?

To provide guidance on what being part of an investigation into this crime is like, we’ve put together some of the questions that our clients typically ask, along with answers. It’s important to know that by engaging a solicitor who has extensive experience in this field, it may be possible to reduce a prison sentence or to even avoid it altogether.

Have you been charged or arrested for causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property?  

There’s no doubt that anybody who is charged or arrested in connection to causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property, will be feeling under pressure. There will be feelings of stress, confusion, worry and concern about what the outcome might be.

A competent and experienced terrorism solicitor will be able to provide you with the support you need. They will be able to guide you through the police interview and negotiate the tricky terrain of the probing questions and enquiries. Many of the queries that the police ask are intended to trip you up.

The police are trained in how to secure convictions, and they will be working hard to ensure that they achieve their goals. They won’t want to share all the evidence they have on you initially; however; a competent lawyer can demand to see all evidence and will begin working on a defence strategy immediately.

The role of the prosecution is to prove that you are guilty and that there was the intention to create an explosion to endanger. There will be expert evidence required. A good quality solicitor will look for ways to argue your case, including the weakening of any evidence held by the prosecution.

Investigations into causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property will often be instigated by the police or other government agencies such as the National Counter Terrorism Security Office which is a police unit funded by the Home Office.

What type of actions are considered causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property?

Several acts are deemed to be categorised as causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property, including:

What is the average sentence for causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property offences?

Depending on what the charges are, the maximum sentence for this offence is life imprisonment, in particular, if the act had connections to terrorism.

Here are the guidelines that judges and magistrates receive to decide what sentence to give.

What are some of the mitigating factors that might reduce the causing explosion likely to endanger life or property sentence?

When deciding a sentence for causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property, your case will be investigated thoroughly by the police and other regulatory agents.

It will be investigated to see whether you have taken part in a group activity or to see if you were forced into it. If you’ve used a false identity, or you have used the identity of others to access more funds, this will be considered to decide your sentence.

Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating factors – these can positively influence the sentence that a judge gives. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.

The following are some of the other factors considered when the Court decides which sentence to give. They will look at:

  • Any previous conviction
  • Your level of remorse
  • Your level of cooperation with the investigation
  • Whether the activity you took part in was originally legitimate
  • Your reputation / good character
  • Whether you have any serious medical conditions that require long term, urgent or intensive treatment
  • Whether you have a learning disability or a mental disorder
  • Whether you are the sole or primary carer for related dependents

Other aspects of a case, known as aggravating factors, can negatively influence the sentence a judge gives. These are factors that can lengthen your sentence, or harshen the punishment a judge passes down. Examples of aggravating factors include:

  • whether the offence was racially or religiously aggravated;
  • offence motivated by, or demonstrating, hostility to the victim based on his or her sexual orientation (or presumed sexual orientation);
  • offence motivated by, or demonstrating, hostility based on the victim’s disability (or presumed disability);
  • previous conviction(s), particularly where a pattern of repeat offending is disclosed;
  • whether it was planned, and how much planning was involved
  • an intention to commit more serious harm than actually resulted from the offence;
  • if the offenders operating in groups or gangs.

Is it possible to reduce a sentence for causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property with a guilty plea?

In recent years, several changes have been made to the sentencing system in the UK to save the court time and cost and to protect witnesses from the stress of needlessly going through a trial. For offenders aged 18 and over, pleading guilty early on in a case can reduce a sentence by as much as one third (maximum). The later the plea is entered, the smaller the reduction.

‘Early on’ refers to ‘the first stage of the proceedings’ and means anytime up to and including the first hearing at the Magistrates Court or Crown Court for indictable offences.

If a plea is entered 14 days after the first hearing, for example, the maximum level of reduction is just 20% or one-fifth of the sentence. For indictable offences, the limit for a guilty plea to be made is within 28 days after the prosecutor has stated compliance with section 3 of CPIA 1996 and serving disclosure;. However, the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Judge, who has the discretion to apply whatever credit is deemed appropriate.

After these times, there is a sliding scale of credit applied. This goes down to one-tenth on the first day of the trial and to zero if entered during the course of the trial. In theory, the 10 per cent could be given if the plea is issued after the opening speeches on the first day, but before any witness evidence is heard.

If the accused does not want to plead guilty, then it’s essential for the solicitor to regularly inform the Court throughout the trial of the reasons why the client’s plea is not guilty.

What are some of the other consequences of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property offence?

Ancillary Orders

A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of a causing explosion likely to endanger life or property offence. These are extra elements of punishment that can be added to a sentence and include additional restrictions or requirements that can affect a dependent’s finances, your property or business or financial activity.

Ancillary orders that are typically added to the penalty for those who are found to be guilty of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property include:

  • Compensation for loss
  • Restraint orders
  • Reparation orders
  • Financial reporting order
  • Disqualification from directing a company
  • Confiscation orders

As part of your investigation, you may also have your assets frozen with the possibility of having cash or other assets seized.

Besides, the Court may demand payment of the following if the accused is convicted:

Payment of costs applied for by the prosecutors

Although the police meet some of the costs involved in the prosecution, the costs of investigation are typically sought from the convicted. These may include the costs of:

  • The work done in obtaining sufficient evidence for prosecution either at the initial stage or later at the request of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
  • Seeking medical or expert evidence as part of the investigation, (where a witness is required to attend Court, the cost of the attendance falls on the CPS).
  • Re-interviewing witnesses.
  • The entire costs of the prosecutor, including fees for the use of external Barristers used by the CPS, can be recovered from the defendant, subject to means. At the end of the case, the prosecutor under The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 will request the Judge to order a sum to be paid for the costs incurred by the prosecutor in bringing the prosecution.

Victims surcharges

The term ‘victims’ surcharges’ can be explained as paying compensation to a fund for victims and can range between £20 to £170 depending on what sentence you were given at conviction.

How sentences can be added to national information databases

There are several national databases that hold information about individuals and any allegations made about them, their criminal and court records. These include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) and the Police National Computer (PNC).  Depending on what happened, whether the accused is convicted and what sentence was issued, the accused may be added to one or all these databases. Their purpose is to provide information to potential employers and to regulate the ability to take part in certain activities.

If your case progresses to Court and you are convicted of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.

Below are details on how long you will be listed as holding a criminal record if convicted. This is something very serious to consider when it comes to future employment. The term ‘spent’ refers to when your name can be removed from the databases.

Bear in mind that the table below is relevant for non-specified offences; serious offences like causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property may never be spent, and will always remain on record. This depends on the seriousness of the offence and the amount of damage that was caused.

Rehabilitation Period
(the time it takes for the sentence to become ‘spent’)
Sentence Adult (aged 18+) at time of conviction Young person (aged under 18) at time of conviction
Prison sentences of more than 4 years Sentence length+7 years Sentence length+3.5 years
Prison sentences of more than 1 year but less than 4 years Sentence length+4 years Sentence length+ 2 years
Prison sentences of less than 1 year Sentence length +1 year Sentence length +6 months
Conditional Discharge Length of order Length of order
Absolute Discharge None None
Conditional Caution 3 months 3 months
Simple Caution / Youth Caution None – immediately ‘spent’ None – immediately ‘spent’
Other Including Compensation Order, Supervision Order, Bind Over, Hospital Order Length of the order / once compensation is paid Length of the order / once compensation is paid

How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?

Stuart Millers have been defending the accused of the causing explosion to endanger life or property for more than thirty years.

As mentioned above, the prosecutors must prove the intention of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property. The role of your solicitor is to oppose this argument by presenting you to the jury in a fair and just way.

Our defence approach always begins by exploring the circumstances surrounding your case thoroughly, and we always seek to protect on the front foot.

Our legal team will develop a defence strategy to fight your case that includes witness statements, forensic analysis report, evidence and other materials that will support your account of events.

Being involved in a case of this nature is genuinely challenging for the accused and their family. Your lawyers must examine the matter thoroughly. This may mean looking through all your bank records, social media messages and phone bills.

Taking our time to get to know you is crucial in a case like this. We need to know you well enough to be able to sell you to the jury so that they are more likely to be lenient on the judgement.

Arrest & Interview

You’re likely to be arrested by the police and interviewed. We know it can put a considerable amount of pressure on your and your family. Our clients are always informed that the sooner they hire a solicitor, the better their outcome is likely to be.

The interviews are likely to be gruelling and lengthy. We can prepare you for this and provide you with what you need to say and not say to the police. We will support you throughout the entire process, including any court case.

Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?

You’re invited to call us at any time to arrange for a free 30-minute consultation on your case. You can ask questions, express your concerns and find out more about what the outcome of your trial might be.

The consultation can be arranged by completing our contact form or by calling us on 0208 888 5225. Also, we can look into getting legal aid for you. If for some reason, you do not qualify, our fees are highly competitive, and we do not add on charges without informing you first, wherever possible.

If you are arrested, we have an emergency number that you can call at any time of the day or night. The emergency number is 07980 000 076.

Get in touch with us now for possession of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property legal help.

(This page was last updated on November 28, 2023.)


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