- Once the accused has been convicted, the prosecutor should ensure that the court is in a position to sentence appropriately. The prosecutor may need to advise the court of the victim's views and circumstances. The court may have to be alerted to relevant guideline and tariff cases. An abuse of trust in a domestic context will invariably be an aggravating factor, as also will child assault. If the accused has been convicted of a specified offence as defined in the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance, Cap 455, the prosecutor may supply the court with information concerning the nature and extent of any harm caused, directly or indirectly, to any person by the crime. The definition of ‘specified offence’ is such as to include the consequences of the offence, whether physical, psychological or financial.
- It is the duty of the prosecutor to ensure that the court sentences the accused on a correct factual basis. The evidence should support every ingredient of the charge. The prosecutor must correct any misleading information given by the defence. The court should be provided with information to help it to decide whether to make any order it has power to make in addition to the main sentence. In an appropriate case the prosecutor should apply for a compensation order or a restitution order.
- If the accused pleads guilty to an offence but disagrees with the prosecution version of events, the court has to decide on which version to sentence. In order to do this, the court may hold a ‘Newton hearing’. The court will only hold such a hearing if it feels that there would be a substantial difference in sentence if the accused were to be sentenced on the prosecution’s version of events. If there would be no substantial difference to the sentence, the accused is sentenced on his account.