Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1973 c. 62


Powers of Criminal CourtsAct 1973

1973 CHAPTER 62

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to the powers of courts to deal with offenders and defaulters, to the treatment of offenders and to arrangements for persons on bail.

[25th October 1973]

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:—

I Powers of Courts to Deal with Offenders

Part I

Powers of Courts to Deal with Offenders

Preliminary

Preliminary

S-1 Deferment of sentence.

1 Deferment of sentence.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Crown Court or a magistrates' court may defer passing sentence on an offender for the purpose of enabling the court to have regard, in determining his sentence, to his conduct after conviction (including, where appropriate, the making by him of reparation for his offence) or to any change in his circumstances.

(2) 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 of the conviction; and where the passing of sentence has been deferred under this section it shall not be further deferred thereunder.

(3) The power conferred by this section shall be exercisable only if the offender consents and 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.

(4) A court which under this section has deferred passing sentence on an offender may pass sentence on him before the expiration of the period of deferment if during that period he is convicted in Great Britain of any offence.

(5) Where a court which under this section has deferred passing sentence on an offender proposes to sentence him, whether on the date originally specified by the court or by virtue of subsection (4) above before that date, it may issue a summons requiring him to appear before the court, or may issue a warrant for his arrest.

(6) Notwithstanding section 14(4) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 (adjournment of trial), a magistrates' court shall not be obliged to remand an offender in whose case it defers the passing of sentence under this section.

(7) Nothing in this section shall affect the power of the Crown Court to bind over an offender to come up for judgment when called upon or the power of any court to defer passing sentence for any purpose for which it may lawfully do so apart from this section.

Probation and discharge

Probation and discharge

S-2 Probation.

2 Probation.

(1) Where a court by or before which a person of or over seventeen years of age is convicted of an offence (not being an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law) is of opinion that having regard to the circumstances, including the nature of the offence and the character of the offender, it is expedient to do so, the court may, instead of sentencing him, make a probation order, that is to say, an order requiring him to be under the supervision of a probation officer for a period to be specified in the order of not less than one year nor more than three years.

For the purposes of this subsection the age of a person shall be deemed to be that which it appears to the court to be after considering any available evidence.

(2) A probation order shall name the petty sessions area in which the offender resides or will reside; and the offender shall (subject to the provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act relating to probationers who change their residence) be required to be under the supervision of a probation officer appointed for or assigned to that area.

In this Act ‘supervising court’ means, in relation to a probation order, a magistrates' court acting for the petty sessions area for the time being named in the order.

(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4) below and sections 3 and 4 of this Act a probation order may in addition require the offender to comply during the whole or any part of the probation period with such requirements as the court, having regard to the circumstances of the case, considers necessary for securing the good conduct of the offender or for preventing a repetition by him of the same offence or the commission of other offences.

(4) Without prejudice to the power of the court under section 35 of this Act to make a compensation order, the payment of sums by way of damages for injury or compensation for loss shall not be included among the requirements of a probation order.

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3) above, a probation order may include requirements relating to the residence of the offender, but—

(a ) before making an order containing any such requirements, the court shall consider the home surroundings of the offender; and

(b ) where the order requires the offender to reside in an approved probation hostel, an approved probation home or any other institution, the name of the institution and the period for which he is so required to reside shall be specified in the order, and that period shall not extend beyond twelve months from the date of the order.

(6) Before making a probation order, the court shall explain to the offender in ordinary language the effect of the order (including any additional requirements proposed to be inserted therein under subsection (3) or (5) above or under section 3 or 4 of this Act) and that if he fails to comply with it or commits another offence he will be liable to be sentenced for the original offence; and the court shall not make the order unless he expresses his willingness to comply with its requirements.

(7) The court by which a probation order is made shall forthwith give copies of the order to a probation officer assigned to the court, and he shall give a copy to the offender, to the probation officer responsible for the supervision of the offender and to the person in charge of any institution in which the probationer is required by the order to reside; and the court shall, except where it is itself the supervising court, send to the clerk to the justices for the petty sessions area named in the order a copy of the order, together with such documents and information relating to the case as it considers likely to be of assistance to the supervising court.

(8) Where a probation order requires the offender to reside in any institution, not being—

(a ) an approved probation hostel or approved probation home; or

(b ) an institution in which he is required to reside for the purposes of any such treatment as is mentioned in section 3(2)(a ) of this Act;

the court shall forthwith give notice of the terms of the order to the Secretary of State.

S-3 Probation orders requiring treatment for mental condition.

3 Probation orders requiring treatment for mental condition.

(1) Where the court is satisfied, on the evidence of a duly qualified medical practitioner approved for the purposes of section 28 of the Mental Health Act 1959 , that the mental condition of an offender is such as requires and may be susceptible to treatment but is not such as to warrant his detention in pursuance of a hospital order under Part V of that Act, the court may, if it makes a probation order, include in it a requirement that the offender shall submit, during the whole of the probation period or during such part of that period as may be specified in the order, to treatment by or under the direction of a duly qualified medical practitioner with a view to the improvement of the offender's mental condition.

(2) The treatment required by any such order shall be such one of the following kinds of treatment as may be specified in the order, that is to say—

(a ) treatment as a resident patient in a hospital or mental nursing home within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1959, not being a special hospital within the meaning of that Act;

(b ) treatment as a non-resident patient at such institution or place as may be specified in the order; or

(c ) treatment by or under the direction of such duly qualified medical practitioner as may be specified in the order;

but the nature of the treatment shall not be specified in the order except as mentioned in paragraph (a ), (b ) or (c ) above.

(3) A court shall not by virtue of this section include in a probation order a requirement that an offender shall submit to treatment for his mental condition unless it is satisfied that arrangements have been made for the treatment intended to be specified in the order (including arrangements for the reception of the offender where he is to be required to submit to treatment as a resident patient).

(4) While the probationer is under treatment as a resident patient in pursuance of a requirement of the probation order, the probation officer responsible for his supervision shall carry out the supervision to such extent only as may be necessary for the purpose of the discharge or amendment of the order.

(5) Where the medical...

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