Preventive orders

Date01 June 2021
Published date01 June 2021
Subject MatterIn court
with rehabilitation activity and attendance centre requirements. The judge duly
imposed an 18 month community order combining 20 days’ rehabilitation with 36
hours’ attendance centre. Shortly thereafter the other six, also without prior con-
victions, incurred referral orders, normally the mandatory sentence at youth court on
first conviction following guilty plea.
On T.’s appeal it was argued on his behalf that his sentence was excessive in
comparison with his fellow offenders, particularly given that his role in the offending
episode had been considerably less serious than the part played by at least two of
them, one being aged only 3 months less than him. The Court of Appeal
acknowledged that his 18th birthday had served as a ‘cliff edge’ for sentencing
purposes. Though there are occasions when a young person’s increase in age to
adulthood will result in the maximum sentence on the date of the finding of guilt
being greater than that available on the date on which the offence was committed,
in such situations the sentencing court should take as its starting point the sentence
likely to have been imposed on the date on which the offence was committed
(Definitive Guideline on Sentencing Children and Young People, 2017 para. 6.2).
His greater age ‘provided some justification for a somewhat more severe sentence
than those imposed upon his co-accused’. However, the difference in age here had
not so great as to justify the discrepancy or disparity which had resulted here. The
real problem in this case ‘arises simply from the accident of the appellant’s age and
the timing of the relevant court appearances’. T. had meantime served 6 months of
his order, engaging very well, though there had been no opportunity to date to
complete any attendance centre hours (because of COVID restrictions). He had
already performed and achieved much of what would have been involved through
a referral order (‘designed to provide appropriate support and guidance and to
equip the defendant to avoid further involvement in offending behaviour’), had it
been available. To achieve some degree of parity and fairness between the
defendants, the Court judged it appropriate to reduce the length of T.’s community
order to 9 months with a rehabilitation activity requirement of 10 days and without
an attendance centre requirement.
Preventive orders
CBO: Managing risk of romance fraud
In a further instance of ‘romance fraud’, akin to Brain (‘In Court’ March 2021,
setting out the relevant statutory provisions), T. had preyed on ‘vulnerable and
lonely women’ seeking a relationship, claiming to be a successful surgeon and
duping them into giving him sums of money to assist him with temporary financial
issues, spending the proceeds on on-line gambling and other indulgences, also
tricking one into participating in degrading sexual activity’. He had numerous prior
convictions for offending of this nature and some of his current offending had been
committed when he was a serving prisoner. Following his guilty pleas to three
counts of fraud he incurred 3 years’ imprisonment and was made subject to a 10
In court 297

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