Highbury magistrates presentation


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Highbury Corner Magistrates Court Islington London community outreach presentation

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  • Explains sentencing well…good graphics
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  • Judicial Independence
  • Each sentence must have one or more purpose Punishment – e.g. Prison, Unpaid work, Curfew Reform/Rehabilitation – community order with Supervision & drug/alcohol treatment
  • Four main bands of sentence – least serious absolute discharge to most serious prison The more serious the offence the more the restriction of liberty. Can have restriction of liberty without someone being in prison i.e. tagging, curfew, having to attend attendance centres, programmes, etc. All sentences must be proportionate (commensurate) with seriousness of offence
  • Sliding scale Tailor sentence to seriousness and to purpose – if reform/rehabilitation – to address offenders’ needs to prevent further offences Community Payback – unpaid work Compensation at all levels – or in own right Victims impact statement Other Orders - ASBOs
  • Structured approach to decision-making Each case approached in same way but outcome different Next they look at the offender- have they been in trouble before, are previous offences similar, is the offender sorry, have they got a stable background, are they in work, what is their attitude. They revisit their starting point again. It may go up or down. They have to consider sentencing thresholds to ascertain sentence and identify purposes of sentencing. If the offence is serious enough for a community sentence or prison, the magistrates will need more information. They ask probation to prepare a report to give more information about the offender and the risk to the public.
  • Guidelines made by Council of Senior Judges / Legal Officials Created by Parliament Magistrates and all Judges MUST consider guidelines Have discretion to depart BUT consistency in approach important to Justice
  • Together Culpability & Harm determine Seriousness Culpability Degree to which offence was deliberate May be an imbalance with Harm e.g. Low Culpability – Careless Driving – momentary lapse – High harm – fatality Culpability most important of 2 considerations
  • Harm Immediate – and risk of longer term Indirect harm to community Victim Impact Statement Community Impact Statements???
  • Introduced the Approach Some Quick Scenarios to see what your views would be And what legal considerations might be
  • Starting Point Band B Fine (100% RWI) Range (CD to LLCO) First time offender – NG
  • Slide to consider if any bias against individuals Starting Point Band B Fine (100% RWI) Range (CD to LLCO) First time offender – NG
  • Slide to consider if any bias against individuals Starting Point Band B Fine (100% RWI) Range (CD to LLCO) First time offender – NG Teenager hoodie, facial piercing Single mum hardworking, P-T cleaner 45’ish female self-employed consultant 70 year old man retired teacher
  • T agg feature – attempt conceal/dispose evidence – more serious SM agg feature - child involved 45 Mitig – paid 70 – agg - aggressive
  • Highbury magistrates presentation

    1. 1. Sentencing Local Crime Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court Camden and Islington
    2. 2. Law & Order - Who’s who? <ul><li>Parliament create and change laws </li></ul><ul><li>Police enforce laws and arrest </li></ul><ul><li>CPS charge and criminal prosecutions </li></ul><ul><li>Magistrates decide guilt and impose sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Prison/Probation apply the sentence </li></ul>
    3. 3. What’s the purpose of sentencing? <ul><li>Punishment </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in crime / deterrence </li></ul><ul><li>Reform and rehabilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Protection of the public </li></ul><ul><li>Reparation </li></ul>
    4. 4. Types of sentence Community order <ul><ul><li>Conditional discharge </li></ul></ul>Fine Prison/curfew order
    5. 5. Sentencing - Seriousness Discharge conditional Fine £5,000 Community Order unpaid work supervision drug rehabilitation etc programme exclusion curfew Prison Crown Court Immediate Suspended C o m p e n s a t i o n
    6. 6. How is a sentencing decision made? 2. Assess Seriousness of offence 3. Consider the offender 1. Guidelines 4. Decide your sentence
    7. 7. 1. Guidelines Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines Starting Points Ranges Court of Appeal Decisions Similar cases
    8. 8. 2. Assessing Seriousness <ul><li>A. Culpability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intention? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recklessness? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Assault </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher Lower </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weapon Provocation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning Single push, blow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Head-butting, kicking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hostility to victim </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group attack </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>B. Harm (or Risk of Harm) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To individuals? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To the community? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Assault </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggravating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Injury </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vulnerable victim / public service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child present </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Previous violence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alcohol </li></ul></ul>2. Assessing Seriousness cont
    10. 10. 3. The offender <ul><li>Previous record </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of remorse </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of response to previous court orders </li></ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul><ul><li>Genuine Remorse </li></ul><ul><li>Co-operation with Police </li></ul>More Serious Less Serious
    11. 11. Reduced sentence for a guilty plea 1/3 first opportunity 1/4 trial date set 1/10 day of trial
    12. 12. You be the magistrate
    13. 13. Sentencing 2. Seriousness - actual offence 3. Consider the offender 1. Guideline - type of offence 4. Decide your sentence
    14. 14. 1. Type of offence <ul><li>Theft: Shoplifting £50 supermarket groceries </li></ul><ul><li>Guidelines? </li></ul>Discharge Fine Prison Community Order
    15. 15. Offender <ul><li>Do you treat them all </li></ul><ul><li>the same? </li></ul>
    16. 16. 2. Seriousness of actual offence <ul><li>Teenager ran off & hid items </li></ul><ul><li>Single mum child’s buggy to conceal </li></ul><ul><li>45’ish female paid for some shopping </li></ul><ul><li>70 year old man aggressive to staff </li></ul>Discharge Fine Prison Community Order
    17. 17. 3. Offender information – Probation Report <ul><li>Teenager student & charity work </li></ul><ul><li>Single mum suffering alcohol addiction </li></ul><ul><li>45’ish female on suspended prison sentence for credit fraud </li></ul><ul><li>70 year old man suffering from Alzheimer’s </li></ul>
    18. 18. 4. Possible sentence? <ul><li>Teenager Fine? </li></ul><ul><li>Single mum CO-Alcohol Programme? </li></ul><ul><li>45’ish female Prison – activate suspended </li></ul><ul><li>70 year old man Absolute discharge? </li></ul>
    20. 20. Contact us <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.magistrates.gov.uk </li></ul>