A victim of certain serious and prescribed offences may provide the sentencing court with a written personal statement (called a victim impact statement) about the impact of the injury, loss or damage suffered as a result of a crime.
If the victim wishes they will be allowed an opportunity to read their statement aloud to the court. This usually occurs in the presence of the defendant (although the sentencing court can make arrangements as is done for vulnerable witnesses).
If the victim does not wish to read the statement aloud, the court orderly will read it. The statement can also be considered by the court without being read aloud, by anyone.
Statements must comply with the law and the rules of the relevant sentencing court.
The defendant or the defendant's lawyer must be given a copy of the statement beforehand and the defendant is entitled to make submissions to the sentencing court about the statement.
See Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) s 14.
More information is available from the Victims of Crime Commissioner SA.
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