... We shall set out the proper approach to sentencing any offence of intentional strangulation....
In view of the inherent conduct required to establish this offence a custodial sentence will be appropriate, save in exceptional circumstances. We consider that ordinarily that sentence will be one of immediate custody. The starting point will be 18 months' custody. In this instance the offender was a man, and the victim was a woman. As we have noted, the offence is much more often committed by a man against a woman, however the starting point will be the same irrespective of the gender of the perpetrator. The starting point may be increased by reference to the following factors, this list not being exhaustive:
(i) History of previous violence. The significance of the history will be greater when the previous violence has involved strangulation.
(ii) Presence of a child or children.
(iii) Attack carried out in the victim's home.
(iv) Sustained or repeated strangulation.
(v) Use of a ligature or equivalent.
(vi) Abuse of power.
(vii) Offender under influence of drink or drugs.
(viii) Offence on licence.
(ix) Vulnerable victim.
(x) Steps taken to prevent the victim reporting an incident.
(xi) Steps taken to prevent the victim obtaining assistance.
Statutory aggravating factors will apply:
(a) Previous convictions, having regard to (a) the nature of the offence to which the conviction relates, and its relevance to the current offence; and (b) the time that has elapsed since the conviction.
(b) Offence committed whilst on bail.
(c) Offence motivated by or demonstrating hostility based on any of the following characteristics, or presumed characteristics of the victim, disability, sexual orientation, or trans-gender identity.
The Sentencing Council overarching principles in relation to domestic abuse are likely to be relevant when sentencing for the offence of intentional strangulation. As the guideline makes clear, domestic abuse offences are to be regarded as particularly serious. The aggravating factors at paragraph 11 of the overarching principles will apply in every case of domestic abuse. As set out at paragraph 13 of that guideline: "Provocation is no mitigation to an offence within a domestic context, except in rare circumstances." Mitigating factors will include:
(i) Good character.
(ii) Age and immaturity.
(iv) Mental disorder.
(v) Genuine recognition of the need for change and evidence of the offender having sought appropriate help and assistance.
(vi) Very short-lived strangulation from which the offender voluntarily desisted.
Again, this list is not exhaustive.