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Possession of articles for terrorist purposes 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 Possession of articles for terrorist purposes in 2024?

Any offence that involves the possession of articles for terrorist purposes is prosecuted under the Terrorism Act.

If an article possessed by a person raises the suspicion that the item is for a purpose connected with terrorism, that is an offence. The item may be for terrorism commission, preparation or instigation.

The role of the prosecution will be to prove that the accused, otherwise known as the defendant, had that article either on his premises, or premises that he habitually uses.

The defendant will have to prove to the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court (wherever the trial is held) that he didn’t know that the article was on his premises, or that they had ‘no control’ over the item.

If you find yourself being charged, arrested or investigated for this crime, you must take the advice of a competent solicitor who has experience at defending terrorism-related offences.

Anybody who is accused or charged with possession of articles for terrorist purposes can find the experience very alarming. They will be concerned with what impact any eventual imprisonment may have on their relationships and familial bonds. If they are the primary breadwinner for their dependants, they may not be able to provide a consistent income for them to pay their rent, mortgage or other bills.

We have put together some of the questions that our clients typically ask about sentencing for possession of articles for terrorist purposes. It’s important to note that a proficient and experienced lawyer may be able to help you to avoid a prison sentence, or at least get it reduced.

Have you been charged or arrested for possession of articles for terrorist purposes?  

Anyway who is involved in a possession of articles for terrorist purposes offence will feel concerned about what their future may hold.

Taking the guidance of a terrorism lawyer who has deep expertise and in-depth experience will make all the difference to the outcome of your case and your quality of life in general.

What type of actions are considered possession of articles for terrorist purposes?

When it comes to the offence of possession of articles for terrorist purposes, the articles referred to may include the following examples:

  • An article that has the potential to endanger many lives such as a bomb or other weapon
  • An article that had the potential to facilitate an offence causing severe or widespread damage to property, or economic interest or substantial impact upon civic infrastructure

What is the average sentence for possession of articles for terrorist purposes offences?

Depending on what you are charged with, the maximum sentence for this offence is twelve years in prison.

What are some of the mitigating factors that might reduce the possession of articles for terrorist purposes sentence?

When sentencing for possession of articles for terrorist purposes, your case will be investigated thoroughly by the police and other regulatory agents.

There will be an examination into 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 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 initially legitimate
  • Your reputation / good character
  • Whether you have any severe 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 possession of articles for terrorist purposes 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 ten per cent 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 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 possession of articles for terrorist purposes offence?

Ancillary Orders

A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of possession of articles for terrorist purposes 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 possession of articles for terrorist purposes 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 possession of articles for terrorist purposes, 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?

To defend you in your possession of articles for terrorist purposes case, we will examine your case thoroughly from several angles. We will want to know what has happened and what your role was. Besides, we will carefully inspect all evidence that is held by the prosecution team to look for weaknesses that we can use to your advantage in Court.

Getting to know you is another tactic that we use to your advantage. Once we know you, we can then represent you better in Court and give a better picture of the type of person you are, which can result in the Judge being more lenient in sentencing.

Being involved in any case can be stressful. However, we will assign a dedicated legal team to you and your case so that we can craft a strong defence that can be used for the trial.

Arrest & Interview

If you’re arrested, then you must take a legal advisor with you to your interview. It’s critical to the favourable outcome of the case. What you say at the police interview can make all the difference as to whether you’re given a lighter sentence.

The police will be trying to get more evidence from you. However, with an experienced lawyer at your side, you’ll be protected and guided in what to say and what not to say.

The police are also likely to want to take your communication devices away from you for examination. Again, they will be looking to secure more evidence on you who you spoke to, when and which text messages you have sent, which will all be part of the investigation.

Our solicitors will support you every step of the way throughout the investigation – from the initial police interview – right through to the conclusion of the trial.

Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us? 

We invite you to a free thirty-minute no-obligation consultation with our legal team to discuss your case. It’s a chance to express your concerns, ask questions and get to know us and the strength of our achievements in the legal field.

In addition to representing you at the police station for free, we can look at securing legal aid for your case. If for some reason you don’t qualify for this, it’s important to note that our fees are very competitive and we don’t tack unexplained charges onto the bill, as do some other solicitors.

To arrange your consultation, please complete our contact form and ask to speak with a possession of articles for terrorist purposes lawyer. Your meeting can be face to face, on the telephone or a video call. You may also want to call us on 0208 888 5225 or in an emergency you can reach us 24/7 by calling us on 07980 000 076.

Get in touch with us now for possession of articles for terrorist purposes legal help.



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