Criminals who breach court orders will be getting tougher sentences from today

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Criminals who breach court orders will be getting tougher sentences from today

Criminals who breach court orders will now face tougher sentences.

Earlier this year, the Sentencing Council published new guidelines for judges and magistrates dealing with offenders who fail to comply with punishments like suspended sentence orders, community orders, restraining orders and sexual harm prevention orders.

The guidelines aim to provide a “clear approach”, which will mean a tightening up of the way courts deal with offenders, the council claims.

They come into force on Monday, October 1.



Lady Justice, holding scales and a sword, on top of the Central Criminal Court
Lady Justice, holding scales and a sword, on top of the Central Criminal Court

It is the first time there have been comprehensive guidelines setting out a consistent approach for courts to use, and it is hoped they will help ensure if an offender breaches a court order sentencers impose appropriate penalties.

Sentencing Council member Julian Goose said: “Court orders are there to protect individuals and the wider public from particular types of offending or continuing criminal behaviour by offenders.

“Making sure that offenders comply with court orders is crucial in reinforcing public confidence in sentencing.

“Where offenders do not comply, the public have a right to expect that this is properly addressed by the courts.

“We are giving courts clear guidance on what action should be taken against those offenders who ignore court orders so that they are dealt with robustly and consistently.”

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The guideline includes advice on sentencing ten different types of breach. The guidelines for breaches of community orders, suspended sentence orders and post-sentence supervision will help courts assess the seriousness of any breach by looking at how much the offender has kept to the terms of their order and how deliberate any breach of the order has been.

Breaches of community orders and suspended sentence orders may at one end of the scale involve an “uncharacteristic breach” after good overall compliance and at the other, “wilful and persistent noncompliance” from the start, says the council.

It is hoped the guidelines will tighten up courts’ approach to dealing with these breaches.

Breaches of orders imposed to prevent particular behaviour or protect individuals or groups from it, such as sexual harm prevention orders and restraining orders, is also covered in the guidelines.

They prompt courts to look at an offender’s “motivation and intention” in committing a breach to assess the seriousness of the breach. The guidelines also instruct courts to look at any harm caused, and for the first time in a guideline, the risk of harm being caused.

A Sentencing Council spokesman said: “Including a focus on risk of harm for such breaches helps ensure appropriate sentences are imposed where a breach presents a serious risk of harm to the public, without any actual harm needing to have occurred.

“This could include for example a sex offender who fails to comply with notification requirements with the intention of evading detection in order to commit further offences.”



Liam Dolan, jailed for breaching a restraining order in relation to his ex
Liam Dolan, jailed for breaching a restraining order in relation to his ex

Persistent pest Liam Dolan, from Backworth in North Tyneside, found creative ways to contact his ex-partner after she got a restraining order against him.

The 24-year-old, of Stretton Way, made small deposits into her bank account in order to send her messages using a reference section for the transactions.

Dolan also left flowers, a card and a blue plastic fish in her front garden, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

And he transferred small amounts of money into her bank account and used the transaction reference section to tell her he missed her and that he “can’t take this pain”.

Dolan, who admitted breaching a restraining order and flouting previous suspended sentences, was locked up for 21 months in September.

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artikel by :chroniclelive.co.uk