HL Deb 21 July 1977 vol 386 cc465-7

54 After Clause 36, insert the following new clause:

Cases where magistrates' court may remit offender to another such court for sentence

".—(l) Where a person who has attained the age of seventeen ('the offender') has been convicted by a magistrates' court ('the convicting court') of an offence to which this section applies (' the instant offence ') and—

  1. (a) it appears to the convicting court that some other magistrates' court (the other court) has convicted him of another such offence in respect of which the other court has neither passed sentence on him nor committed him to the Crown Court for sentence nor dealt with him in any other way; and
  2. (b) the other court consents to his being remitted under this section to the other court,
the convicting court may remit him to the other court to be dealt with in respect of the instant offence by the other court instead of by the convicting court.

(2) The offender, if remitted under this section, shall have no right of appeal against the order of remission.

(3) Where the convicting court remits the offender to the other court under this section, it shall adjourn the trial of the information charging him with the instant offence, and— (a) section 105 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 (remand in custody or on bail) and all other enactments (whenever passed) relating to remand or the granting of bail in criminal proceedings shall have effect in relation to the convicting court's power or duty to remand the offender on that adjournment as if any reference to the court to or before which the person remanded is to be brought or appear after remand were a reference to the court to which he is being remitted; and (b) subject to subsection (4) below, the other court may deal with the case in any way in which it would have power to deal with it (including, where applicable, the remission of the offender under this section to another magistrates' court in respect of the instant offence) if all proceedings relating to that offence which took place before the convicting court had taken place before the other court.

(4) Nothing in this section shall preclude the convicting court from making any order which it has power to make under section 28 of the Theft Act 1968 (orders for restitution) by virtue of the offenders' conviction of the instant offence.

(5) Where the convicting court has remitted the offender under this section to the other court, the other court may remit him back to the convicting court; and the provisions of subsection (3) above (so far as applicable) shall apply with the necessary modifications in relation to any remission under this subsection.

(6) This section applies to—

  1. (a) any offence punishable with imprisonment; and
  2. (b) any offence in respect of which the convicting court has a power or duty to order the offender to be disqualified under section 93 of the Road Traffic Act 1972 (disqualification for certain motoring offences);
and in this section 'conviction' includes a finding under section 26(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 (remand for medical examination) that the person in question did the act or made the omission charged, and 'convicted' shall be construed accordingly."

55 Clause 37, page 28, line 18, after "him" insert "(being an offence of which he has been convicted by that or any other court)".

4.44 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 54 and 55 which, if it is for the convenience of the House, I should propose to take en bloc. Your Lordships will recall that, during the Committee stage in this House, we discussed an Amendment, inspired by the Magistrates' Association and moved by the noble Earl, Lord Mansfield, with the general object of concentrating in the hands of one court the task of sentencing a person convicted of offences by different magistrates' courts. The Government accepted the principle behind the Amendment and undertook to examine the proposal in detail with a view to bringing forward its own Amendment, and this Amendment is the outcome of our deliberations.

Although it appears at first sight to be somewhat complex, this is mainly because of the need to adapt certain procedural matters. Essentially, the clause enables a magistrates' court, after convicting a person of an offence which carries imprisonment or disqualification from driving, to transfer the case to another magistrates' court for sentence, if that other court has already convicted the person in question of such an offence but has not yet sentenced him. The proposal is designed to avoid separate—perhaps incompatible—sentences being imposed on a person within a short space of time by different courts. I think that this meets the point put to us by the noble Earl, Lord Mansfield, and I am very grateful to him for having put it to us.

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

On Question, Motion agreed to.