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Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00

Transgender Hate Crime Law Change Anniversary

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Transgender Hate Crime Law Change Anniversary Photo: Justice Minister Damian Green

One year ago this week tougher sentences came into effect for murderers who kill their victim's because of their transgender identity. Under the changes in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act these murderers now face life sentences with a starting point of 30 years in prison. These changes effectively doubled the current starting points for transgender hate crime murders and brought them in line with murders motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation.

Justice Minister Damian Green said: "Transgender hate crimes, as with all hate crimes, are deplorable. They leave people living in fear of unprovoked attacks and violence. By increasing the minimum sentence for hate crime murders against transgender people we are sending out a clear message that these crimes will not be tolerated and offenders will face the full force on the law.” 

In addition under the legislation 'transgender hate crime' became a statutory aggravating factor, meaning judges can increase sentences where a victim's transgender identity has been a motivating factor in the crime. 

The changes apply to Schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which provides guidance on determining the minimum term under a life sentence for murder. This forms part of the Government's commitment to transform the criminal justice system so everyone who comes into contact with the system is treated in a fair and just way. 

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