§ Sir Harold Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will introduce legislation to seek to end the power of a Crown court on appeal to substitute a sentence of imprisonment for a fine imposed by a magistrates' court;
(2) in how many cases since 1st January 1975 sentences of imprisonment have been imposed by the High Court in appeals against the imposition of a fine by a magistrates' court; how many such cases were in respect of a first offence; and in how many a jury was empanelled.
§ Mr. John
We have no proposal to amend the law concerning the power of the Crown court, when rehearing a case on appeal from a magistrates' court, to pass a sentence of imprisonment instead of a fine originally imposed.
As regards the second Question, statistical information about appeals to the Crown court shows the sentence imposed by the Crown court, but not the original sentence imposed by the magistrates' court. Arrangements have already been made to collect such information for 1978 onwards. No juries are empanelled on appeal.