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The Magistrates' Blog
What's The Point?
The Magistrates' Blog
on the 24
October 2014 at 11:27
- Posted in
This is a post by Bystander N)
Whatâ€™s the Point in a Situation Like This?
For an imprisonable offence committed after 1
â€œYour offence is so serious that only a prison sentence is appropriate. You have
blah blah blah.
We sentence you to X weeks/months in prison. There has been no request for compensation. The prosecution has asked for X as a contribution towards their costs. You have no fixed address and are not receiving any benefits. In fact you have no income whatsoever and are sleeping rough so we are not going to order you to pay anything towards the costs. We are however obliged, we have no choice in the matter, to order you to pay a surcharge of Â£80.â€
So how is that ever going to be paid by someone with, quite literally, not a bean? If it were ever to be chased for payment, which is unlikely, how will that be done and what will it cost to do so? We have discretion not to award costs or compensation based on a defendantâ€™s means, and to deem a fine served but we canâ€™t deem a surcharge served, even if we put someone inside. How daft is that?
We dealt with two such offenders yesterday and imposed the surcharge as we have to. What a pointless waste of words in doing so.
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