§ ACTIVATION OF SUSPENDED SENTENCE
§ Lords amendment: No. 48, after clause 27 insert:
" G. In section 23(1) of the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973, the words "which have arisen since the suspended sentence was passed" shall be omitted."
§ 7. 45 pm566
§ Mr. Mayhew
The amendment relates to section 23 of the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973, which specifies the powers of a court in dealing with an offender who has committed an imprisonable offence during the operational period of a suspended sentence. At present section 23 requires the court to make an order that the suspended sentence shall take effect unless it is of the opinion that: it would be unjust to do so in view of all the circumstances that have arisen since the suspended sentence was passed, including the facts of the subsequent offence.
The purpose of the amendment is simply to enable the courts to take account also of matters that arose before the suspended sentence was passed, but of which the court imposing the original sentence may not have been aware—such as, for example, medical history. The Government are satisfied, after careful consideration and on the basis of consultation with the Lord Chief Justice, that the amendment is, on balance, desirable and will not undermine the deterrent impact of the suspended sentence.
The amendment to schedule 15 which we are discussing with this amendment is purely consequential. Amendment No. 48 was accepted by the Government on Third Reading of the Bill in another place and this is, therefore, the first opportunity to male this tidying-up amendment.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Consequential amendment made: In schedule 15, page 116, line 23, leave out 'Section 23' and insert
In section 23, in subsection (1), the words "which have arisen since the suspended sentence was passed", arid subsections'.—[Mr. Mayhew.]