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Conspiracy to kidnap 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 Conspiracy to kidnap in 2024?

Contrary to what many people believe, conspiracy to kidnap is not a crime based on actually seizing a person. It’s a crime of agreeing or conspiring with another person or persons to kidnap a person.

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It’s the role of the prosecution team to prove that you have agreed with one or more persons to kidnap another. Kidnapping is the abduction of a person without their consent, and in some cases it can lead to false imprisonment of the person.

To prove the crime of conspiracy to kidnap, the prosecution must show that those accused were acting together, in an expressed or implied or assumed ‘agreement’. They must also show, with direct or circumstantial evidence, the intention to kidnap.

Conspiracy to kidnap is considered to be a serious offence by the courts. If you are tried, found guilty and convicted, you’re likely to be handed a sentence of imprisonment. The length of your sentence will depend on what you planned to do, what happened and what the outcome of the crime has been.

We have drawn out some of the questions that our clients ask us concerning sentencing for the offence of conspiracy to kidnap. It’s important to note that hiring a competent and experienced solicitor may give you the chance of avoiding a prison sentence entirely or at least getting it reduced.

Have you been charged or arrested for conspiracy to kidnap? 

Taking legal help from the time you find out that you’re under investigation for the offence of conspiracy to kidnap can make all the difference to the outcome of your case. Solicitors who have not only the expertise in this area of law but years of in-depth experience will know all the best defence arguments to use when it comes to getting your case either quashed or improved.

When the police ask you to attend a question session or interview, having a solicitor by your side to support you can make all the difference to how your case pans out. The interview room is the place where the case is shaped and influenced for the future trial.

If you say the wrong words to the police, you could put yourself into deeper hot water. The police are also likely to have more evidence on you than they are telling you. If you take a lawyer with you, they can insist on viewing that evidence. Once the lawyer understands more about your case, they will be in a position to start crafting a defence for you that addresses the points the prosecution are making.

Good lawyers also have access to forensic analysts, expert witnesses, Barristers and QCs who can all play their part in helping the solicitor to get your defence argument strengthened and the evidence from the prosecution weakened.

Being under investigation is frightening for you and your close circle of family and friends. There will be concern about what will happen if you have to go to prison and you have a criminal record on your name. Your ability to provide for your dependents will be negatively impacted, and this may even adversely affect your relationship with them.

It’s crucial to the future of your career, happiness and ability to provide an income that you engage a solicitor who knows how to minimise the impact of being involved in a conspiracy to kidnap case.

What type of actions are involved in a conspiracy to kidnap?

An example of the conspiracy to kidnap crime is when two or more persons agree to take a person and hold them against their will.

As in any court case, the prosecution is required to prove the guilt of the accused. They need to prove to both the Judge and the jury that without doubt, the people accused were acting together and had some form of agreement to kidnap. That agreement may be expressed, implied or assumed, but it was in existence.

What is the average sentence for conspiracy to kidnap?  

Conspiracy to kidnap does not have a maximum sentence. Depending on what happened, you may be handed a very lengthy prison sentence.

What are some of the mitigating factors that might reduce the conspiracy to kidnap sentence?

Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating aspects which can 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

Is it possible to reduce a sentence for conspiracy to kidnap 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; although the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Judge who has 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 ten percent could be given if the plea is issued after the opening speeches on the first day, but prior to any witness evidence being heard.

If the accused does not want to plead guilty, then it’s important 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 the conspiracy to kidnap offence?

Ancillary Orders

A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of a conspiracy to kidnap 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 conspiracy to kidnap include:

  • Compensation for loss
  • Restraint orders
  • Reparation orders
  • Being on licence
  • Confiscation orders

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

In addition, 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 enough 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 conspiracy to kidnap, 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.

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 is never spent Sentence is never spent
Prison sentences of more than 2.5 years (30 months) but less than 4 years Sentence length 7 years Sentence length 3.5 years
Prison sentences of more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years (30 months) Sentence length +4 years Sentence length +2 years
Prison sentences of less than 6 months Sentence length + 2 years Sentence length +18 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?

Using their expertise and over 30 years of experience of defending conspiracy to kidnap cases, our solicitors are some of the brightest and sharpest in their field.

Our approach is to give our clients a team of dedicated lawyers and legal professionals to support them, a team they can trust and on which they can depend.

Being under investigation can be very stressful for you, your loved ones and family members, we understand this and go all out to keep everybody current and up to date with proceedings as the case progresses.

Arrest & Interview

You’ll first get to know that you’re under investigation for conspiracy to kidnap when you hear from the police. They will either arrest you or ask you to the police station for a ‘chat’ about what has happened.

The police are keen to get convictions, and they will be going all out to try to get one from you too. Their tactics will involve trying to trick you into incriminating yourself. Any conversation will be recorded and used against you in Court as evidence.

Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?

You are invited to make an appointment with us for a free thirty-minute consultation. This can happen in person, by phone or on a video call.

If you have already been arrested and you need to speak to somebody about representing you at the police station, call 07980 000 076. We will represent you for free at the police station and will also look into securing legal aid for you.

Even if for some reason you don’t qualify for legal aid, our fees are some of the most competitive that you’ll find. We also don’t add on unexpected charges without discussing it with you first, wherever possible.

Please complete our contact form and ask to speak with a conspiracy to kidnap lawyer or call 0208 888 5225. We will discuss your case and your concerns with you in addition to explaining anything else you need to know.

Get in touch with us now for conspiracy to kidnap legal help.



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