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Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Bill [H.L.]
 
 

[NOTE: A Table showing the derivation of the provisions of this consolidation Bill will be found at the end of the Bill. The Table has no official status.]

 
 
A

B I L L

TO

Consolidate certain enactments relating to the powers of courts to deal with offenders and defaulters and to the treatment of such persons, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

  PART I
  POWERS EXERCISABLE BEFORE SENTENCE
 
Deferment of sentence
Deferment of sentence.     1. - (1) The Crown Court or a magistrates' court may defer passing sentence on an offender for the purpose of enabling the court, or any other court to which it falls to deal with him, to have regard in dealing with him to-
 
 
    (a) his conduct after conviction (including, where appropriate, the making by him of reparation for his offence); or
 
    (b) any change in his circumstances;
  but this is subject to subsections (2) and (3) below.
 
      (2) The power conferred by subsection (1) above shall be exercisable only if-
 
 
    (a) the offender consents; and
 
    (b) the court is satisfied, having regard to the nature of the offence and the character and circumstances of the offender, that it would be in the interests of justice to exercise the power.
      (3) Any deferment under this section shall be until such date as may be specified by the court, not being more than six months after the date on which the deferment is announced by the court; and, subject to section 2(7) below, where the passing of sentence has been deferred under this section it shall not be further so deferred.
 
      (4) Notwithstanding any enactment, a court which under this section defers passing sentence on an offender shall not on the same occasion remand him.
 
      (5) Where the passing of sentence on an offender has been deferred by a court under this section, the court's power under this section to deal with the offender at the end of the period of deferment-
 
 
    (a) is power to deal with him, in respect of the offence for which passing of sentence has been deferred, in any way in which it could have dealt with him if it had not deferred passing sentence; and
 
    (b) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a) above, in the case of a magistrates' court includes the power conferred by section 3 below to commit him to the Crown Court for sentence.
      (6) Nothing in this section or section 2 below shall affect-
 
 
    (a) the power of the Crown Court to bind over an offender to come up for judgment when called upon; or
 
    (b) the power of any court to defer passing sentence for any purpose for which it may lawfully do so apart from this section.
Further powers of courts where sentence deferred under section 1.     2. - (1) A court which under section 1 above has deferred passing sentence on an offender may deal with him before the end of the period of deferment if during that period he is convicted in Great Britain of any offence.
 
      (2) Subsection (3) below applies where a court has under section 1 above deferred passing sentence on an offender in respect of one or more offences and during the period of deferment the offender is convicted in England or Wales of any offence ("the later offence").
 
      (3) Where this subsection applies, then (without prejudice to subsection (1) above and whether or not the offender is sentenced for the later offence during the period of deferment), the court which passes sentence on him for the later offence may also, if this has not already been done, deal with him for the offence or offences for which passing of sentence has been deferred, except that-
 
 
    (a) the power conferred by this subsection shall not be exercised by a magistrates' court if the court which deferred passing sentence was the Crown Court; and
 
    (b) the Crown Court, in exercising that power in a case in which the court which deferred passing sentence was a magistrates' court, shall not pass any sentence which could not have been passed by a magistrates' court in exercising that power.
      (4) Where-
 
 
    (a) a court which under section 1 above has deferred passing sentence on an offender proposes to deal with him, whether on the date originally specified by the court or by virtue of subsection (1) above before that date, or
 
    (b) the offender does not appear on the date so specified,
  the court may issue a summons requiring him to appear before the court, or may issue a warrant for his arrest.
 
      (5) In deferring the passing of sentence under section 1 above a magistrates' court shall be regarded as exercising the power of adjourning the trial conferred by section 10(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, and accordingly sections 11(1) and 13(1) to (3A) and (5) of that Act (non-appearance of the accused) apply (without prejudice to subsection (4) above) if the offender does not appear on the date specified under section 1(3) above.
 
      (6) Any power of a court under this section to deal with an offender in a case where the passing of sentence has been deferred under section 1 above-
 
 
    (a) is power to deal with him, in respect of the offence for which passing of sentence has been deferred, in any way in which the court which deferred passing sentence could have dealt with him; and
 
    (b) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a) above, in the case of a magistrates' court includes the power conferred by section 3 below to commit him to the Crown Court for sentence.
      (7) Where-
 
 
    (a) the passing of sentence on an offender in respect of one or more offences has been deferred under section 1 above, and
 
    (b) a magistrates' court deals with him in respect of the offence or any of the offences by committing him to the Crown Court under section 3 below,
  the power of the Crown Court to deal with him includes the same power to defer passing sentence on him as if he had just been convicted of the offence or offences on indictment before the court.
 
 
Committal to Crown Court for sentence
Committal for sentence on summary trial of offence triable either way.     3. - (1) Subject to subsection (4) below, this section applies where on the summary trial of an offence triable either way a person aged 18 or over is convicted of the offence.
 
      (2) If the court is of the opinion-
 
 
    (a) that the offence or the combination of the offence and one or more offences associated with it was so serious that greater punishment should be inflicted for the offence than the court has power to impose, or
 
    (b) in the case of a violent or sexual offence, that a custodial sentence for a term longer than the court has power to impose is necessary to protect the public from serious harm from him,
  the court may commit the offender in custody or on bail to the Crown Court for sentence in accordance with section 5(1) below.
 
      (3) Where the court commits a person under subsection (2) above, section 6 below (which enables a magistrates' court, where it commits a person under this section in respect of an offence, also to commit him to the Crown Court to be dealt with in respect of certain other offences) shall apply accordingly.
 
      (4) This section does not apply in relation to an offence as regards which this section is excluded by section 33 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (certain offences where value involved is small).
 
      (5) The preceding provisions of this section shall apply in relation to a corporation as if-
 
 
    (a) the corporation were an individual aged 18 or over; and
 
    (b) in subsection (2) above, paragraph (b) and the words "in custody or on bail" were omitted.
Committal for sentence on indication of guilty plea to offence triable either way.     4. - (1) This section applies where-
 
 
    (a) a person aged 18 or over appears or is brought before a magistrates' court ("the court") on an information charging him with an offence triable either way ("the offence");
 
    (b) he or his representative indicates that he would plead guilty if the offence were to proceed to trial; and
 
    (c) proceeding as if section 9(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 were complied with and he pleaded guilty under it, the court convicts him of the offence.
      (2) If the court has committed the offender to the Crown Court for trial for one or more related offences, that is to say, one or more offences which, in its opinion, are related to the offence, it may commit him in custody or on bail to the Crown Court to be dealt with in respect of the offence in accordance with section 5(1) below.
 
      (3) If the power conferred by subsection (2) above is not exercisable but the court is still to inquire, as examining justices, into one or more related offences-
 
 
    (a) it shall adjourn the proceedings relating to the offence until after the conclusion of its inquiries; and
 
    (b) if it commits the offender to the Crown Court for trial for one or more related offences, it may then exercise that power.
      (4) Where the court-
 
 
    (a) under subsection (2) above commits the offender to the Crown Court to be dealt with in respect of the offence, and
 
    (b) does not state that, in its opinion, it also has power so to commit him under section 3(2) above,
  section 5(1) below shall not apply unless he is convicted before the Crown Court of one or more of the related offences.
 
      (5) Where section 5(1) below does not apply, the Crown Court may deal with the offender in respect of the offence in any way in which the magistrates' court could deal with him if it had just convicted him of the offence.
 
      (6) Where the court commits a person under subsection (2) above, section 6 below (which enables a magistrates' court, where it commits a person under this section in respect of an offence, also to commit him to the Crown Court to be dealt with in respect of certain other offences) shall apply accordingly.
 
      (7) For the purposes of this section one offence is related to another if, were they both to be prosecuted on indictment, the charges for them could be joined in the same indictment.
 
Power of Crown Court on committal for sentence under sections 3 and 4.     5. - (1) Where an offender is committed by a magistrates' court for sentence under section 3 or 4 above, the Crown Court shall inquire into the circumstances of the case and may deal with the offender in any way in which it could deal with him if he had just been convicted of the offence on indictment before the court.
 
      (2) In relation to committals under section 4 above, subsection (1) above has effect subject to section 4(4) and (5) above.
 
 
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