Cruelty to a child – assault and ill treatment, abandonment, neglect, and failure to protect

A  High culpability

  • Prolonged and/or multiple incidents of serious cruelty, including serious neglect
  • Gratuitous degradation of victim and/or sadistic behaviour
  • Use of very significant force
  • Use of a weapon
  • Deliberate disregard for the welfare of the victim
  • Failure to take any steps to protect the victim from offences in which the above factors are present
  • Offender with professional responsibility for the victim (where linked to the commission of the offence)

B  Medium culpability

  • Use of significant force
  • Prolonged and/or multiple incidents of cruelty, including neglect
  • Limited steps taken to protect victim in cases with category A factors present
  • Other cases falling between A and C because:
    • Factors in both high and lesser categories are present which balance each other out; and/or
    • The offender’s culpability falls between the factors as described in high and lesser culpability

C  Lesser culpability

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