Policy Environmental Health Enforcement Policy

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16. Accepting guilty pleas

11.1   Defendants may want to plead guilty to some, but not all, of the charges. Alternatively, they may want to plead guilty to a different, possibly less serious, charge because they are admitting only part of the offence. The officer responsible for the case, in conjunction with the Council’s legal team, should only accept the defendant’s plea if they think the court is able to pass a sentence that matches the seriousness of the offending. A guilty plea must never be accepted because it is convenient to do so.

 11.2   In cases where a defendant pleads guilty to the charges but on the basis of facts that are different from the prosecution case, and where this may significantly affect sentence, the court should be invited to hear evidence to determine what happened, and then sentence on that basis.