Breach of a suspended sentence at Chesterfield Magistrates
Chesterfield Crime Solicitor David Gittins recently represented a client in difficulties at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court. The client had committed an offence in breach of a suspended sentence.
The court would have to be given a good reason not to activate the sentence.
David’s client had been arrested in relation to two allegations of common assault owing to having been drinking all day. He had drunk about 20 pints of lager so had not considered the consequences.
His partner who had been with him left the public house. Unfortunately she had taken an item of sentimental value belonging to the pub landlord. As a result the landlord understandably followed her and retrieved the item. Meanwhile, David’s client remained at the pub.
When his partner returned she was suddenly tripped up and landed heavily on the floor. Without thinking, our client punched the male to the face and a small scuffle began. The scuffle ended after a few moments and the David’s client began talking to others at the scene.
During this time, he lashed out again, punching another male to the face before walking away from the pub.
Offence in breach of a suspended sentence
When charged and before the court David’s client accepted that he was guilty of the charges. He entered guilty pleas. Unfortunately, these offences were committed in breach of a suspended sentence imposed three weeks previously.
As a result, the court would immediately consider that the suspended sentence ought to be activated. A separate sentence would be imposed for the new offences. The likelihood was that this would happen at the first appearance and without reports being prepared.
Mitigation sought to try and avoid the inevitable
David secured information to put before the Court in a bid to convince it not to send his client to prison. David took detailed personal mitigation from his client. The client was very proud to say that he had undertaken a period of alcohol abstinence and had been dry, albeit for a short period.
His main concern was not for himself but rather his daughter. He cared for her four nights per week so that his ex-partner was able to work on the evenings he had his daughter. If his client was sent to prison it was unclear who would provide the necessary case. His ex-partner may have had to leave her employment because there were no other family members close by to assist.
Additionally any period of imprisonment would have resulted in our client’s online business closing so staff would be made redundant. His current partner would be as a result unable to maintain payments on their family home. Customers would lose out as well.
David spoke with the probation service at court. Therefore he gained information confirming that his client was progressing well on his suspended sentence order. He had begun to resolve long term issues in his life.
Unjust to activate the suspended sentence
Owing to his detailed preparation, David was able to address the Magistrates at length about the reasons behind the recent offending. He could provide significant personal mitigation. David outlined the good progress that his Client was making under his current order. Much emphasis could also be placed on the impact to others if our client was sent to prison. This last factor was perhaps the most important in persuading the court it was unjust to activate the prison sentence.
After listening to this extensive mitigation the Magistrates agreed that the suspended sentence should not be activated. Instead they imposed a community order with a stand alone curfew for 12 weeks.
Following the breach of a suspended sentence the court extended the operational period by 6 months.
Our client was relieved not to face a prison sentence and because of that he was delighted with the outcome.
Contact a Chesterfield Criminal Defence Lawyer
If you find yourself under investigation by the police or face court proceedings and wish to instruct David then please him telephone at our Chesterfield office on 01246 283000.
Alternatively you can contact him using the form below.