"Driving ban sentencing needs to be looked at again. Many hon. Members have referred to how the exceptional hardship plea is being used, and suggested that courts and magistrates have been granting it too readily. That clearly needs to be looked at. Maybe there needs to be a change in the sentencing guidelines that magistrates take into account when deciding whether to grant exceptional hardship. That area also needs to be revisited and reviewed".
I have posted here all too often [for those interested just type the term exceptional hardship into the search box] that the get out of jail free card that is exceptional hardship indeed appears to be too often accepted by benches. From my experience I suspect that legal advisors are perhaps having too much input into bench sentencing discussions. I recollect that I had to ask a new to our court L/A on her first day who sat without invitation as my colleagues and I were about to begin our deliberations to kindly leave the table and await our decision. After somewhat heated objections she did as was requested and was more respectful of our independence at future occasions when I was sitting. The shadow minister quoted above yesterday on 20th November perhaps is unaware that this decision is outwith sentencing guidelines but on her general point I do agree. It is scandalous that so many thousands of totters escape their due deserts.