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Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000

Section 53: Breach of community orders: warning and punishment

122.Subsection (2) specifies the community orders to which the warning scheme will apply, namely, curfew orders, exclusion orders, community rehabilitation orders, community punishment orders, community punishment and rehabilitation orders, and drug abstinence orders.

123.Subsection (3) places a duty on staff employed by local probation boards to issue a warning to an offender who has unacceptably failed to comply with the requirements of his order if the offender has not already been referred back to court for the failure. Where there is a second unacceptable failure to comply within 12 months, or six months in the case of a curfew order, the offender must be referred back to court for breach proceedings. The warning must be recorded. If two or more orders were imposed for the same offence, they will be considered as one order to which the warning scheme applies, i.e. only one warning in total will be given in any 12 month period.

124.Subsection (4) creates new arrangements for dealing with a breach of community sentences where that breach is referred back to the court. In such a case, where the warning provisions apply, the court must first determine whether it is likely that the offender will comply with the requirements of the community order if it remains in force. If the court does not consider this likely then it must impose a custodial sentence as punishment for breach of the community order, even where the original offence was not imprisonable, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Where the warning provisions do not apply or where the court thinks that the offender is likely to comply with the community sentence or that there are exceptional circumstances the court must impose a community sentence in respect of the breach or re-sentence the offender for the original offence as if he had just been convicted of it.

125.Subsection (5) places the same duty on the Crown Court.

126.Subsection (6) disapplies the warning and punishment measures to any failure to abstain from misusing specified Class A drugs.

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