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An SP10, SP20, SP30, SP40 or SP50 driving licence endorsement is classed as a conviction. The rehabilitation period for driving licence endorsements is a period of five years, after which they will be classed as 'spent'. You must declare all 'unspent' convictions to insurers when required to do so. More information can be found here.
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Car insurance quotes for drivers convicted of exceeding the speed limit

DVLA Speeding Endorsement Codes: SP10, SP20, SP30, SP40 and SP50
(remains on driving licence 4 years from date of offence)

Fixed penalty for speeding: 3 penalty points and a £100 fine


Exceeding the Speed Limit Offence

s. 89(1) of The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 [1] states:
  1. A person who drives a motor vehicle on a road at a speed exceeding a limit imposed by or under any enactment [...] shall be guilty of an offence.

It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road while exceeding the legal speed limit.

Evidence of speeding can be produced by various mechanical devices such as:

  • a police vehicles speedometer
  • VASCAR (Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder)
  • GATSO speed cameras
  • TRUVELO speed cameras
  • speed radar equipment (Speed Guns)

Some of these devices can often corroborate a police officers observational evidence in order to help secure speeding convictions.

For evidence produced by a radar speed measuring device to be admissible in a court of law, it must be a device that is type approved by the Secretary of State (Home Office).


FREE Legal Advice - England & Wales

FREE Legal Advice - England & Wales


FREE Legal Advice - Scotland

FREE Legal Advice - Scotland


National Maximum Speed Limits In the UK

Cars & Motorbikes (including car derived vans and dual purpose vehicles)

  • Built-up areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • Single carriageways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
  • Dual carriageways: 70 mph (112 km/h)
  • Motorways: 70 mph (112 km/h)
Cars & Motorbikes when Towing Caravans or Trailers (including car derived vans and dual purpose vehicles)

  • Built-up areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • Single carriageways: 50 mph (80 km/h)
  • Dual carriageways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
  • Motorways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
Motor-homes or motor caravans (weighing no more than 3.05 tonnes unladen weight)

  • Built-up areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • Single carriageways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
  • Dual carriageways: 70 mph (112 km/h)
  • Motorways: 70 mph (112 km/h)
Motor-homes or motor caravans (weighing more than 3.05 tonnes unladen weight)

  • Built-up areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • Single carriageways: 50 mph (80 km/h)
  • Dual carriageways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
  • Motorways: 70 mph (112 km/h)
Buses, coaches and minibuses (no more than 12 metres overall length)

  • Built-up areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • Single carriageways: 50 mph (80 km/h)
  • Dual carriageways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
  • Motorways: 70 mph (112 km/h)
Buses, coaches and minibuses (more than 12 metres overall length)

  • Built-up areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • Single carriageways: 50 mph (80 km/h)
  • Dual carriageways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
  • Motorways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
Goods vehicles (weighing no more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight)

  • Built-up areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • Single carriageways: 50 mph (80 km/h)
  • Dual carriageways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
  • Motorways: 70 mph (112 km/h) or 60 mph (96 km/h) if articulated or towing a trailer
Goods vehicles (England & Wales) (weighing more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight)

  • Built-up areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • Single carriageways: 50 mph (80 km/h)
  • Dual carriageways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
  • Motorways: 60 mph (96 km/h)
Goods vehicles (Scotland) (weighing more than 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight)

  • Built-up areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
  • Single carriageways: 40 mph (64 km/h)
  • Dual carriageways: 50 mph (80 km/h)
  • Motorways: 60 mph (96 km/h)

Local Maximum Speed Limits in the UK

In addition to the national speed limits outlined above there may be locally set speed limits. Locally set speed limits are set by local councils in certain areas such outside schools or on particularly bad roads. These locally set speed limits must be clearly signposted.

Find out about speed limits in your local area

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ACPO Speed Enforcement Guidelines

Driving at any speed over the legal speed limit is an offence and the police are not restricted as to whether to prosecute or not. However ACPO speed enforcement guidelines outlined below recommend that enforcement by prosecution should only be considered when a motorist exceeds the relevant speed limit by a certain threshold.

These are guidelines only and police officers can use their own discretion as to what enforcement action is taken, depending upon various factors surrounding the offence.

ACPO Speed Enforcement Guidelines
Speed Limit: 20mph

  • Prosecution Threshold: 24mph
  • Fixed Penalty: 24mph
  • Court Summons: above 35mph
  • Speed Awareness Course: from 24mph to 31mph (if eligible)
Speed Limit: 30mph

  • Prosecution Threshold: 35mph
  • Fixed Penalty: 35mph
  • Court Summons: above 50mph
  • Speed Awareness Course: from 35mph to 42mph (if eligible)
Speed Limit: 40mph

  • Prosecution Threshold: 46mph
  • Fixed Penalty: 46mph
  • Court Summons: above 66mph
  • Speed Awareness Course: from 46mph to 53mph (if eligible)
Speed Limit: 50mph

  • Prosecution Threshold: 57mph
  • Fixed Penalty: 57mph
  • Court Summons: above 76mph
  • Speed Awareness Course: from 57mph to 64mph (if eligible)
Speed Limit: 60mph

  • Prosecution Threshold: 68mph
  • Fixed Penalty: 68mph
  • Court Summons: above 86mph
  • Speed Awareness Course: from 68mph to 75mph (if eligible)
Speed Limit: 70mph

  • Prosecution Threshold: 79mph
  • Fixed Penalty: 79mph
  • Court Summons: above 96mph
  • Speed Awareness Course: from 79mph to 86mph (if eligible)

Police Officers Discretion

ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) have issued speed enforcement policy guidelines. Part of these guidelines state that when police officers believe that a speeding offence has been committed, then they must exercise their discretion as to the appropriate enforcement action after considering the nature and circumstances surrounding the offence.

Depending upon the circumstances surrounding the speeding offence, they may:

  • Issue a court summons; or
  • Issue a fixed penalty notice (speeding ticket); or
  • Offer the motorist the chance to take the speed awareness course; or
  • Caution, warn or take no further action.

An example of a police officer exercising their discretion of speeding enforcement might be where a motorist is caught speeding outside of a school. The motorist may not be exceeding the speed limit by much, however, a different course of action may be taken depending on the circumstances.

If for example, the motorist is caught speeding outside of a school during adverse weather conditions at the end of the school day when lots of pupils and traffic are present then they may decide that it is appropriate to issue a court summons for the offence due to the potential danger posed.

However, if they caught the motorist speeding outside of the school in the middle of the night, in clear weather conditions and no pedestrians were present, then they may decide the appropriate course of action would be to issue a fixed penalty notice (FPN).

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Speeding Penalties, Speeding Fines and Penalty Points

Minimum Penalty for Speeding (Fixed Penalty)

£100 fine and 3 penalty points

Maximum Penalty for Speeding (Magistrates Court)

Fine: Level 3 Fine (Level 4 Fine if on Motorway)

Penalty Points: 6 points; OR

Disqualification: up to 56 days if no penalty points imposed

Endorsement: relevant driving licence endorsement (which must be declared to insurers for a period of 5 years)

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the speeding offence a motorist may:

If they have been pulled over by the police.

  • Receive a fixed penalty notice on the spot; if:
    • They produce their driving licence and counterpart for inspection to the police constable; and
    • The police constable is satisfied that the motorist would not be liable to be disqualified under the totting up procedure; and
    • They surrender their driving licence to the police officer to be retained and dealt with accordingly.
  • In other circumstances they will receive a speeding ticket and verbal notice that they will either receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) or a summons to appear at court.

If they have NOT been pulled over by the police.

If for example a motorist has been detected exceeding the speed limit by a fixed speed camera or mobile speed camera van or any other prescribed speed detection device and they were not pulled over by the police for the offence they will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) in the post.


Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)

Under section 1(1)(c) of The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 [2] a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) must be served on the driver of the vehicle or the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days of the commission of the offence. The NIP will provide details of the alleged offence, including the time and place where the alleged offence was committed.

Any one who receives a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) has 28 days in which to comply with the notice.

People who fail to comply within 28 days will be liable to prosecution under section 172 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 [3] (Fail to give information of driver's identity as required), the maximum penalty for this offence is 6 penalty points, a driving licence endorsement (DVLA Endorsement Code: MS90) and a Level 5 Fine.

The notice of intended prosecution may provide a motorist with the option of accepting a conditional offer of paying a fixed penalty and sending their driving licence back for endorsement along with payment or opting to take a speeding awareness course in lieu of the fixed penalty if eligible.

The motorist may also request a hearing in a court of law if he wishes to contest the alleged charge(s).

A fixed penalty will only be accepted when a person sends appropriate payment along with the relevant documents and the appropriate person who inspects them is satisfied that upon conviction of the offence, the offender would not be liable to be disqualified under the section 35 of The Road Traffic Offenders Act [2] (totting up procedure).


Fixed Penalty System

Fixed penalty for speeding: 3 penalty points and a £100 fine

The fixed penalty system was introduced by The Transport Act 1982 [4]. It was introduced as a means to speed up the prosecution procedure for certain road traffic offences such as exceeding the legal speed limit.

Drivers who accumulate 12 penalty points within a three year period for speeding or other driving offences will have to appear at a magistrates court and will be liable to receive a driving ban under the totting up procedure.

Magistrates sentencing guidelines for speeding offences.

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DVLA Speeding Offence Endorsement Codes

CODE DESCRIPTION PENALTY POINTS
Speeding Offences (remain on driving licence 4 years from date of offence)
SP10 Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits 3 - 6 points
SP20 Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles) 3 - 6 points
SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road 3 - 6 points
SP40 Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit 3 - 6 points
SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway 3 - 6 points

Endorsements & Penalty Points

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Speeding Awareness Courses

The national speed awareness scheme offers certain motorists who have been caught speeding an alternative to prosecution. This applies to all speed bands with the exception of 20mph zones.

Motorists who are caught speeding while travelling at a speed greater than 10% plus 6mph above the speed limit will not be able to take a national speed awareness course.

Speed Awareness Course

The speed awareness course is designed to educate motorists with the intention of helping them become safer drivers and hopefully avoid exceeding legal speed limits in the future.

Motorists offered the chance to complete a speed awareness course will have the option of paying a fee and completing the course as an alternative to receiving penalty points and a fine (the fixed penalty).

Once a driver has completed a speed awareness course they will not be eligible to receive another speeding awareness course offer if they commit a speeding offence within 3 years of the original speeding offence.

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Type Approved Speed Detection Devices

S.20 of The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 [2] states:

20 Speeding Offences etc: admissibility of certain evidence

(1) Evidence (which in Scotland shall be sufficient evidence) of a fact relevant to proceedings for an offence to which this section applies may be given by the production of--

  1. a record produced by a prescribed device, and
  2. (in the same or another document) a certificate as to the circumstances in which the record was produced signed by a constable or by a person authorised by or on behalf of the chief officer of police for the police area in which the offence is alleged to have been committed:

...

(4) A record produced or measurement made by a prescribed device shall not be admissible as evidence of a fact relevant to proceedings for an offence to which this section applies unless--

  1. the device is type approved by the Secretary of State, and
  2. any conditions subject to which the approval was given are satisfied.

...

(9) In this section "prescribed device" means device of a description specified in an order made by the Secretary of State.

There have been many speed measurement detection devices type approved over the years from hand held speed guns to fixed speed cameras.

Home Office Type Approval (HOTA) is a rigorous process that ensures type approved speed detection devices are of the required accuracy, resistant to error and the evidence produced by these devices is reliable.

The following is a selection of speed detection devices that have been type approved by the home office.

TYPE APPROVED SPEED DETECTION DEVICES

Device Name: Gatsometer BV Type 24+AUS

Manufacturer: Gatsometer BV

Approval Year: 1992

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Gatsometer BV Type 36

Manufacturer: Gatsometer BV

Approval Year: 1992

Type Approval Order

Device Name: LTI 20.20.TS/M Speed Measuring Device

Manufacturer: Laser Technology Inc & Tele-Traffic UK

Approval Year: 1993

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Traffphot "S" Speed Detection Device

Manufacturer: Traffipax-Vertrieb GmbH

Approval Year: 1994

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Kustom Prolaser II Speed Measuring Device

Manufacturer: Kustom Signals Inc

Approval Year: 1995

Type Approval Order

Device Name: LTI 20.20.TS/M "Speedscope"

Manufacturer: Laser Technology Inc & Tele-Traffic UK

Approval Year: 1996

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Kustom Cordless Falcon Speed Measuring Device

Manufacturer: Kustom Signals Inc

Approval Year: 1997

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Lastec Local Video System

Manufacturer: Kustom Signals Inc

Approval Year: 1998

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Peek Guardian Freelane

Manufacturer: Peek Traffic Ltd

Approval Year: 1998

Type Approval Order

Device Name: RIEGL LR90-235/P

Manufacturer: RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems

Approval Year: 1998

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Speedar SR1 Speed Measuring Device

Manufacturer: Ottery Electronics

Approval Year: 1998

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Autovision 3 (AV3)

Manufacturer: Traffic Safety Systems Ltd

Approval Year: 1999

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Laser Data Interface (LDI)

Manufacturer: Traffic Safety Systems Ltd

Approval Year: 1999

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Clearstone Stealth Speedlaser

Manufacturer: Cleartone Telecoms plc

Approval Year: 1999

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Jenoptik Laserpatrol Speedlaser

Manufacturer: Jenoptik (UK) Ltd

Approval Year: 1999

Type Approval Order

Device Name: LTI 20.20 Ultralyte 100

Manufacturer: Laser Technology Inc & Tele-Traffic UK Ltd

Approval Year: 1999

Type Approval Order

Device Name: RIEGL FG21-P

Manufacturer: RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems

Approval Year: 1999

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Speed Violation Detection Deterrant (SVDD)

Manufacturer: Symonds Group Ltd

Approval Year: 1999

Type Approval Order

Device Name: TRUVELO Combi S-mc Speed Camera System

Manufacturer: Truvelo (UK) Ltd

Approval Year: 1999

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Unipar Urban Speed Ace

Manufacturer: Unipar Services

Approval Year: 1999

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Gatsometer BV Type 24+AUS

Manufacturer: GATSOMETER BV

Approval Year: 2000

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Peek Guardian Freelane MKII

Manufacturer: Peek Traffic Ltd

Approval Year: 2000

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Autovelox 104/C-2

Manufacturer: Sodi Scientifica

Approval Year: 2001

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Leica XV2 Speedlaser

Manufacturer: Leivtec Verkeherstechnik GmbH

Approval Year: 2001

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Prolaser III Hand Held Speedmeter

Manufacturer: Kustom Signals Inc

Approval Year: 2002

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Autovision 3 (AV3)

Manufacturer: Traffic Safety Systems Ltd

Approval Year: 2003

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Level Crossing Camera

Manufacturer: Peek Traffic Ltd

Approval Year: 2003

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Speedcurb

Manufacturer: Monitron International Ltd

Approval Year: 2003

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Lasercam NT Speedmeter

Manufacturer: Redflex Traffic Systems Pty Ltd

Approval Year: 2004

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Speedcurb

Manufacturer: Redspeed International Ltd

Approval Year: 2004

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Redspeed

Manufacturer: Redspeed International Ltd

Approval Year: 2004

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Lastec Local Video System

Manufacturer: Laser Technology Inc & Tele-Traffic (UK) Ltd

Approval Year: 2005

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Speedar SR1 Speed Measuring Device

Manufacturer: Speedar Ltd

Approval Year: 2005

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Unipar SL 700

Manufacturer: Unipar Services

Approval Year: 2005

Type Approval Order

Device Name: HADECS (Highways Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System)

Manufacturer: not stated on approval order

Approval Year: 2006

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Lastec Concept DVD System

Manufacturer: Laser Technology Inc & Tele-Traffic (UK) Ltd

Approval Year: 2007

Type Approval Order

Device Name: LTI.20.20 Ultralyte 1000

Manufacturer: Tele-Traffic (UK) Ltd

Approval Year: 2007

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Truvelo Prolaser III Camcorder

Manufacturer: Truvelo (UK) Ltd

Approval Year: 2007

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Gatsometer Type 24- IDC

Manufacturer: Serco Enforcement Products & Services

Approval Year: 2008

Type Approval Order

Device Name: HADECS (Highways Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System)

Manufacturer: Peek Traffic Ltd

Approval Year: 2008

Type Approval Order

Device Name: Puma SE6 Speedmeter

Manufacturer: Cleartone Telecoms plc

Approval Year: 2008

Type Approval Order

Device Name: GATSO TLSC type 36 Traffic Light and Speed Camera

Manufacturer: not stated on approval order

Approval Year: 2008

Type Approval Order


FREE Legal Advice - England & Wales

FREE Legal Advice - England & Wales


FREE Legal Advice - Scotland

FREE Legal Advice - Scotland


Reference:

[1] The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

[2] The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

[3] The Road Traffic Act 1988

[4] The Transport Act 1982

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Speeding Sentencing Guidelines

SPEEDING
Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, s.84

Triable: Summarily
Maximum: Level 3 Fine (Level 4 Fine if Motorway)

Must endorse and may disqualify. If no disqualification, impose 3-6 points

Offence seriousness (culpability and harm)
A. Identify the appropriate starting point

Starting points based on first time offender pleading not guilty


Speed Limits & Recorded Speeds (mph)
Speed Limit: 20 mph
  • Recorded Speed: 21 - 30 mph
  • Starting Point: Band A Fine
  • Range: Band A Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 3 penalty points
  • Recorded Speed: 31 - 40 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 4 - 6 penalty points OR disqualify 7 - 28 days
  • Recorded Speed: 41 - 50 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: Disqualify 7 - 56 days OR 6 penalty points
Speed Limit: 30 mph
  • Recorded Speed: 31 - 40 mph
  • Starting Point: Band A Fine
  • Range: Band A Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 3 penalty points
  • Recorded Speed: 41 - 50 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 4 - 6 penalty points OR disqualify 7 - 28 days
  • Recorded Speed: 51 - 60 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: Disqualify 7 - 56 days OR 6 penalty points
Speed Limit: 40 mph
  • Recorded Speed: 41 - 55 mph
  • Starting Point: Band A Fine
  • Range: Band A Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 3 penalty points
  • Recorded Speed: 56 - 65 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 4 - 6 penalty points OR disqualify 7 - 28 days
  • Recorded Speed: 66 - 75 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: Disqualify 7 - 56 days OR 6 penalty points
Speed Limit: 50 mph
  • Recorded Speed: 51 - 65 mph
  • Starting Point: Band A Fine
  • Range: Band A Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 3 penalty points
  • Recorded Speed: 66 - 75 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 4 - 6 penalty points OR disqualify 7 - 28 days
  • Recorded Speed: 76 - 85 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: Disqualify 7 - 56 days OR 6 penalty points
Speed Limit: 60 mph
  • Recorded Speed: 61 - 80 mph
  • Starting Point: Band A Fine
  • Range: Band A Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 3 penalty points
  • Recorded Speed: 81 - 90 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 4 - 6 penalty points OR disqualify 7 - 28 days
  • Recorded Speed: 91 - 100 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: Disqualify 7 - 56 days OR 6 penalty points
Speed Limit: 70 mph
  • Recorded Speed: 71 - 90 mph
  • Starting Point: Band A Fine
  • Range: Band A Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 3 penalty points
  • Recorded Speed: 91 - 100 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: 4 - 6 penalty points OR disqualify 7 - 28 days
  • Recorded Speed: 101 - 110 mph
  • Starting Point: Band B Fine
  • Range: Band B Fine
  • Points/Disqualification: Disqualify 7 - 56 days OR 6 penalty points

Offence seriousness (culpability and harm)
B. Consider the effect of aggravating and mitigating factors
(other than those with examples above)

The following relevant aggravating and mitigating factors may be particularly relevant
this list is not exhaustive.

Factors indicating higher culpability

Factors indicating lower culpability

1. Poor road or weather conditions
2. LGV, HGV, PSV etc.
3. Towing caravan/trailer
4. Carrying passengers or heavy load
5. Driving for hire or reward
6. Evidence of unacceptable standard of driving over and above the speed limit

Factors indicating greater degree of harm

1. Location e.g. near school
2. High level of traffic in the vicinity

1. Genuine emergency established


Magistrates Must:

Form a preliminary view of the appropriate sentence, then consider offender mitigation

Consider a reduction for guilty plea
(ranging from a recommended one third off any sentence imposed)

Consider ancillary orders including disqualification

Decide sentence
Give reasons

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For more information on sentencing guidelines, fine bands, sentencing for multiple offences and ancillary orders please visit SGC - Sentencing Guidelines Council, Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines [online]. Available from http://www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk. ©Crown Copyright 2016.