|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The point of Clause 59 is to make simple the over-complex arrangements for dealing with breaches of supervision orders. This amendment would require the courts to state every time a supervision order was imposed instead of custody. The consequence would be that if the original court had not made such a statement or had not been considering custody, the court would not be able to re-sentence for the original offence following a breach of supervision requirements.
Therefore, the court's ability to impose custody on an offender who had breached supervision requirements would be restricted unless the court stated that the original supervision order was imposed as an alternative to custody. It is that kind of restrictive condition that Clause 59 seeks to remove.
We believe that the requirement which is proposed in the amendment is not necessary. Courts, in re-sentencing for the original offence--I entirely agree with the noble Baroness that that is what they sentence for--will have to consider the seriousness of the original offence. They are not able to impose custody unless the original offence was serious enough to justify custody, in which case the supervision order was de facto imposed as an alternative to custody.
The amendment would have a further unfortunate effect. If the original court overlooks the need to state that the supervision order was imposed instead of custody, the court cannot re-sentence for the original offence if the supervision order is subsequently breached. Therefore, the amendment will hamstring the courts in less serious cases where they might want to impose a different community sentence for the original offence following a breach, but could not do so, if the amendment became law, because the original supervision order was not declared to have been imposed as an alternative to custody.
Baroness Hilton of Eggardon: I find that rather a confusing response. It does not seem to me that it would be impossible to impose some sentence other than custody for the breach if no statement about custody had been made in the first place. It sounded to me rather as though the Minister was producing a circular argument, but I will read carefully what he said. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|