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Criminal Justice Act 1972

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Compensation orders

1Compensation orders against convicted persons

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, a court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence, in addition to dealing with him in any other way, may, on application or otherwise, make an order (in this Act referred to as " a compensation order ") requiring him to pay compensation for any personal injury, loss or damage resulting from that offence or any other offence which is taken into consideration by the court in determining sentence.

(2)In the case of an offence under the Theft Act 1968, where the property in question is recovered, any damage to the property occurring while it was out of the owner's possession shall be treated for the purposes of subsection (1) above as having resulted from the offence, however and by whomsoever the damage was caused.

(3)No compensation order shall be made in respect of loss suffered by the dependants of a person in consequence of his death, and no such order shall be made in respect of injury, loss or damage due to an accident arising out of the presence of a motor vehicle on a road, except such damage as is treated by subsection (2) above as resulting from an offence under the Theft Act 1968.

(4)In determining whether to make a compensation order against any person, and in determining the amount to be paid by any person under such an order, the court shall have regard to his means so far as they appear or are known to the court.

(5)The compensation to be paid under a compensation order made by a magistrates' court in respect of any offence of which the court has convicted the offender shall not exceed £400; and the compensation or total compensation to be paid under a compensation order or compensation orders made by a magistrates' court in respect of any offence or offences taken into consideration in determining sentence shall not exceed the difference (if any) between the amount or total amount which under the foregoing provisions of this subsection is the maximum for the offence or offences of which the offender has been convicted and the amount or total amounts (if any) which are in fact ordered to be paid in respect of that offence or those offences.

(6)Section 4 of the Forfeiture Act 1870, section 4 of the Protection of Animals Act 1911, section 11(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1948, section 34 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 and section 8 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 shall cease to have effect.

2Appeals in the case of compensation orders

(1)A compensation order made on conviction on indictment shall be treated for the purposes of sections 30 and 42(1) and (2) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 (effect of appeals on orders for the restitution of property) as an order for the restitution of property ; and where by reason of the quashing by the Court of Appeal of a person's conviction any such order does not take effect, and on an appeal to the House of Lords the conviction is restored by that House, the House may make any compensation order which could be made on his conviction by the court which convicted him.

(2)A compensation order made by a magistrates' court shall be suspended—

(a)in any case until the expiration of the period for the time being prescribed by law for the giving of notice of appeal against a decision of a magistrates' court;

(b)where notice of appeal is given within the period so prescribed, until the determination of the appeal.

(3)Where a compensation order has been made against any person in respect of an offence taken into consideration in determining his sentence—

(a)the order shall cease to have effect if he successfully appeals against his conviction of the offence or, if more than one, all the offences, of which he was convicted in the proceedings in which the order was made;

(b)he may appeal against the order as if it were part of the sentence imposed in respect of the offence or, if more than one, any of the offences, of which he was so convicted.

3Review of compensation orders

At any time before a compensation order has been complied with or fully complied with, the magistrates' court for the time being having functions in relation to the enforcement of the order may, on the application of the person against whom it was made, discharge the order, or reduce the amount which remains to be paid, if it appears to the court—

(a)that the injury, loss or damage in respect of which the order was made has been held in civil proceedings to be less than it was taken to be for the purposes of the order; or

(b)in the case of an order in respect of the loss of any property, that the property has been recovered by the person in whose favour the order was made.

4Effect of compensation order on subsequent award of damages in civil proceedings

(1)This section shall have effect where a compensation order has been made in favour of any person in respect of any injury, loss or damage and a claim by him in civil proceedings for damages in respect thereof subsequently falls to be determined.

(2)The damages in the civil proceedings shall be assessed without regard to the order ; but where the whole or part of the amount awarded by the order has been paid, the damages awarded in the civil proceedings shall not exceed the amount (if any) by which, as so assessed, they exceed the amount paid under the order.

(3)Where there is an amount unpaid under the compensation order (whether the whole or part of the amount awarded) and the court awards damages in the civil proceedings, then, unless the person against whom the order was made has ceased to be liable to pay the amount unpaid (whether in consequence of an appeal, of his imprisonment for default or otherwise), the court shall direct that the judgment—

(a)if it is for an amount not exceeding the amount unpaid under the order, shall not be enforced ; or

(b)if it is for an amount exceeding the amount unpaid under the order, shall not be enforced as to a corresponding amount,

without the leave of the court.

5Priority for sums awarded by compensation orders

For the purposes of section 114 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 (which sets out the manner in which the clerk to a magistrates' court is to apply moneys received by him on account of a sum adjudged to be paid by a summary conviction) the payment of compensation so adjudged to be paid to any person shall, instead of taking second place to the payment of any costs so adjudged to be paid to the prosecutor, take precedence over the payment of such costs.

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