HL Deb 21 July 1977 vol 386 cc475-6

61 After Clause 38, insert the following new clause:

Power to order search of person before Crown Court

After section 34 of the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973 there shall be inserted— 34A.—(1) Where—

  1. (a) the Crown Court imposes a fine on a person or forfeits his recognizance;
  2. (b) the Crown Court makes against a person any such order as is metioned 476 in paragraph 3, 4 or 9 of Schedule 9 to the Administration of Justice Act 1970 (orders for the payment of costs);
  3. (c) the Crown Court makes against a person any such order as is mentioned in paragraph 12 of that Schedule (fines etc. payable by parents or guardians) other than an order under section 35 of this Act; or
  4. (d) on the determination of an appeal brought by a person under section 83 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 a sum is payable by him, whether by virtue of an order of the Crown Court or by virtue of a conviction or order of the magistrates' court against whose decision the appeal was brought,
then, if that person is before it, the Crown Court may order him to be searched. (2) Any money found on a person in a search under this section may be applied, unless the court otherwise directs, towards payment of the fine or other sum payable by him; and the balance, if any, shall be returned to him".'.


My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 61. This Amendment has been brought forward in the hope that it will improve the enforcement of sums ordered at the Crown Court and, at the same time, will afford some small relief to magistrates' courts, which are responsible for enforcing Crown Court orders. The I clause gives the Crown Court power to order a person who is before it and who, broadly speaking, has been ordered to pay a sum of money by way of fine, costs, forfeited recognizance or certain other sums to be searched while he is at court and any money found on him to be applied, at the discretion of the court, towards payment of the sum. Such a power is already available to magistrates' courts and is found to be useful in circumstances where courts have reason to think that the defendant has the means on him to pay his fine.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment. — (Lord Harris of Greenwich.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.