A judge can order a sentence to begin on an earlier date than the date the sentence is given. This is called a backdated sentence and is normally done to take account of time the offender has already spent in custody (in prison or a young offenders' institution) during the case.
While accused are waiting for proceedings to be heard in court, they can either be held in custody (in prison, a young offenders' institution or police cell) or released on bail. ‘Released on bail’ means that they are free to leave the court but only under certain conditions. These conditions will include not committing any further offences. If they do commit another offence while on bail this will be added to the charge as a bail 'aggravation' and can add up to six months on to the sentence.
Beyond reasonable doubt
Beyond reasonable doubt is the standard of proof in criminal cases. All the relevant facts in a criminal trial need to be proved beyond this point for an accused to be found guilty.