Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords

back to previous text
 
  PART VI
  FINANCIAL PENALTIES AND ORDERS
 
Financial circumstances orders
Powers to order statement as to offender's financial circumstances.     126. - (1) Where an individual has been convicted of an offence, the court may, before sentencing him, make a financial circumstances order with respect to him.
 
      (2) Where a magistrates' court has been notified in accordance with section 12(4) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 that an individual desires to plead guilty without appearing before the court, the court may make a financial circumstances order with respect to him.
 
      (3) In this section "a financial circumstances order" means, in relation to any individual, an order requiring him to give to the court, within such period as may be specified in the order, such a statement of his financial circumstances as the court may require.
 
      (4) An individual who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with a financial circumstances order shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
 
      (5) If an individual, in furnishing any statement in pursuance of a financial circumstances order-
 
 
    (a) makes a statement which he knows to be false in a material particular,
 
    (b) recklessly furnishes a statement which is false in a material particular, or
 
    (c) knowingly fails to disclose any material fact,
  he shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale or both.
 
      (6) Proceedings in respect of an offence under subsection (5) above may, notwithstanding anything in section 127(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (limitation of time), be commenced at any time within two years from the date of the commission of the offence or within six months from its first discovery by the prosecutor, whichever period expires the earlier.
 
 
Fines: general
General power of Crown Court to fine offender convicted on indictment.     127. Where a person is convicted on indictment of any offence, other than an offence for which the sentence is fixed by law or falls to be imposed under section 109(2), 110(2) or 111(2) above, the court, if not precluded from sentencing the offender by its exercise of some other power, may impose a fine instead of or in addition to dealing with him in any other way in which the court has power to deal with him, subject however to any enactment requiring the offender to be dealt with in a particular way.
 
Fixing of fines.     128. - (1) Before fixing the amount of any fine to be imposed on an offender who is an individual, a court shall inquire into his financial circumstances.
 
      (2) The amount of any fine fixed by a court shall be such as, in the opinion of the court, reflects the seriousness of the offence.
 
      (3) In fixing the amount of any fine to be imposed on an offender (whether an individual or other person), a court shall take into account the circumstances of the case including, among other things, the financial circumstances of the offender so far as they are known, or appear, to the court.
 
      (4) Subsection (3) above applies whether taking into account the financial circumstances of the offender has the effect of increasing or reducing the amount of the fine.
 
      (5) Where-
 
 
    (a) an offender has been convicted in his absence in pursuance of section 11 or 12 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (non-appearance of accused), or
 
    (b) an offender-
 
      (i) has failed to comply with an order under section 126(1) above, or
 
      (ii) has otherwise failed to co-operate with the court in its inquiry into his financial circumstances,
 
    and the court considers that it has insufficient information to make a proper determination of the financial circumstances of the offender, it may make such determination as it thinks fit.
Remission of fines.     129. - (1) This section applies where a court has, in fixing the amount of a fine, determined the offender's financial circumstances under section 128(5) above.
 
      (2) If, on subsequently inquiring into the offender's financial circumstances, the court is satisfied that had it had the results of that inquiry when sentencing the offender it would-
 
 
    (a) have fixed a smaller amount, or
 
    (b) not have fined him,
  it may remit the whole or any part of the fine.
 
      (3) Where under this section the court remits the whole or part of a fine after a term of imprisonment has been fixed under section 139 below (powers of Crown Court in relation to fines) or section 82(5) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (magistrates' powers in relation to default), it shall reduce the term by the corresponding proportion.
 
      (4) In calculating any reduction required by subsection (3) above, any fraction of a day shall be ignored.
 
 
Compensation orders
Compensation orders against convicted persons.     130. - (1) A court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence, instead of or in addition to dealing with him in any other way, may, on application or otherwise, make an order (in this Act referred to as a "compensation order") requiring him-
 
 
    (a) to pay compensation for any personal injury, loss or damage resulting from that offence or any other offence which is taken into consideration by the court in determining sentence; or
 
    (b) to make payments for funeral expenses or bereavement in respect of a death resulting from any such offence, other than a death due to an accident arising out of the presence of a motor vehicle on a road;
  but this is subject to the following provisions of this section and to section 131 below.
 
      (2) Where the person is convicted of an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law or falls to be imposed under section 109(2), 110(2) or 111(2) above, subsection (1) above shall have effect as if the words "instead of or" were omitted.
 
      (3) A court shall give reasons, on passing sentence, if it does not make a compensation order in a case where this section empowers it to do so.
 
      (4) Compensation under subsection (1) above shall be of such amount as the court considers appropriate, having regard to any evidence and to any representations that are made by or on behalf of the accused or the prosecutor.
 
      (5) In the case of an offence under the Theft Act 1968, where the property in question is recovered, any damage to the property occurring while it was out of the owner's possession shall be treated for the purposes of subsection (1) above as having resulted from the offence, however and by whomever the damage was caused.
 
      (6) A compensation order may only be made in respect of injury, loss or damage (other than loss suffered by a person's dependants in consequence of his death) which was due to an accident arising out of the presence of a motor vehicle on a road, if-
 
 
    (a) it is in respect of damage which is treated by subsection (5) above as resulting from an offence under the Theft Act 1968; or
 
    (b) it is in respect of injury, loss or damage as respects which-
 
      (i) the offender is uninsured in relation to the use of the vehicle; and
 
      (ii) compensation is not payable under any arrangements to which the Secretary of State is a party.
      (7) Where a compensation order is made in respect of injury, loss or damage due to an accident arising out of the presence of a motor vehicle on a road, the amount to be paid may include an amount representing the whole or part of any loss of or reduction in preferential rates of insurance attributable to the accident.
 
      (8) A vehicle the use of which is exempted from insurance by section 144 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is not uninsured for the purposes of subsection (6) above.
 
      (9) A compensation order in respect of funeral expenses may be made for the benefit of anyone who incurred the expenses.
 
      (10) A compensation order in respect of bereavement may be made only for the benefit of a person for whose benefit a claim for damages for bereavement could be made under section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976; and the amount of compensation in respect of bereavement shall not exceed the amount for the time being specified in section 1A(3) of that Act.
 
      (11) In determining whether to make a compensation order against any person, and in determining the amount to be paid by any person under such an order, the court shall have regard to his means so far as they appear or are known to the court.
 
      (12) Where the court considers-
 
 
    (a) that it would be appropriate both to impose a fine and to make a compensation order, but
 
    (b) that the offender has insufficient means to pay both an appropriate fine and appropriate compensation,
  the court shall give preference to compensation (though it may impose a fine as well).
 
Limit on amount payable under compensation order of magistrates' court.     131. - (1) The compensation to be paid under a compensation order made by a magistrates' court in respect of any offence of which the court has convicted the offender shall not exceed £5,000.
 
      (2) The compensation or total compensation to be paid under a compensation order or compensation orders made by a magistrates' court in respect of any offence or offences taken into consideration in determining sentence shall not exceed the difference (if any) between-
 
 
    (a) the amount or total amount which under subsection (1) above is the maximum for the offence or offences of which the offender has been convicted; and
 
    (b) the amount or total amounts (if any) which are in fact ordered to be paid in respect of that offence or those offences.
 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Lords home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2000
Prepared 2 March 2000