HC Deb 12 May 1982 vol 23 cc915-7

In the Vagrancy Act 1824 the words ", subject to section [Vagrancy offences] of the Criminal Justice Act 1982," shall be inserted—

  1. (a) in sections 3 and 4, before the words "it shall be lawful"; and
  2. (b) in section 5—
    1. (i) before the words "be deemed an incorrigible rogue; and
    2. 916
    3. (ii) before the words "it shall be lawful".' [Mr. Mayhew.]

Mr. Mayhew

I beg to move amendment No. 75 in page 90, line 20 leave out 'subsection 11 of".

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to take Government amendment No. 76.

Mr. Mayhew

This amendment deals with the relationship between release on parole under sect ion 60 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 and the partly suspended sentence under section 47 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. In new clause 33, we proposed that the Home Secretary should have the power to lower the minimum threshold for eligibility for parole. If that power is exercised, it would mean that people who are subject to a partly suspended sentence could be released on parole before the expiry of the initial custodial part ordered to be served in prison. That, in turn, would mean that for a period they would be liable, on the commission of a further imprisonable offence, to both restoration of the suspended part of the sentence and revocation of the licence.

There is no difficulty of principle. Dual liability arises in other contexts. But if the court ordered restoration of the suspended part but the licence were left unrevoked—that would be the result in the magistrates' courts, which Lave no power to revoke—there could be the untidy result of the offender subsequently being released on completion of the restored part, which removed all further liability as regards the partly suspended sentence still being subject to a licence that, in practice, could have no practical effect. We therefore think it right to secure automatic revocation of the licence whenever a sentence is restored in these circumstances. I ask the House to accept this minor consequential amendment, which I am sure is as clear as daylight.

Mr. Stevens

I venture on treacherous ground. I wish to take advantage of the amendment moved by my Lon. and learned Friend to slip in a question that is not directly related to it. I can deal with the matter in 30 seconds. I was talking to a man who served a two-year sentence preceded by six-and-a-half months in custody on remand. How is it, in arriving at the date when a defendant can be considered for parole, that the period spend in custody on remand is not taken into consideration?

Mr. Mayhew

"Because the statute so provides" is the answer that I would give immediately. If I find that it is inaccurate, I shall write to my hon. Friend.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 76 in page 90, line 2 l, at end add—

  1. '(a) in subsection (7), after the words "sentence)," there shall be inserted the words "then, except in a case to which subsection (7A) of this section applies,";
  2. (b) the following subsection shall be inserted after that subsection—
  1. "(7A) Any such licence shall be treated as revoked where—
    1. (a) the offender—
      1. (i) was sentenced to imprisonment with an order under subsection (1) of section 47 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 (sentences partly suspended); and
      2. (ii) was released on licence before the expiration of any part of his sentence which he was required to serve in prison under subsection (1) of that section; and
  2. (b) by virtue of subsection (3) of that section a court restores any part of the sentence held in 917 suspense, and subsection (9) of this section shall apply to the offender accordingly."; and
  3. (c) in subsection (11).'.

No. 41 in page 92, leave out lines 19 to 22.—[Mr. Mayhew.]

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