a complete copy of the report need not be given to the offender, or as the case
may be, to that parent or guardian.
(4) In relation to an offender aged under 18 for whom a local authority have
parental responsibility and who—
(a) is in their care, or
(b) is provided with accommodation by them in the exercise of any social
references in this section to his parent or guardian are to be read as references
to that authority.
Pre-sentence drug testing
143 Pre-sentence drug testing
(1) Where a person aged 14 or over is convicted of an offence and the court is
considering passing a community sentence, it may make an order under
subsection (2) for the purpose of ascertaining whether the offender has any
specified Class A drug in his body.
(2) The order requires the offender to provide, in accordance with the order,
samples of any description specified in the order.
(3) Where the offender has not attained the age of 17, the order must provide for
the samples to be provided in the presence of an appropriate adult.
(4) If it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the offender has, without
reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the order it may impose on him a fine
of an amount not exceeding level 4.
(5) In subsection (4) “level 4” means the amount which, in relation to a fine for a
summary offence, is level 4 on the standard scale.
(6) The court may not make an order under subsection (2) unless it has been
notified by the Secretary of State that the power to make such orders is
exercisable by the court and the notice has not been withdrawn.
(7) The Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (1) by substituting for
the age for the time being specified there a different age specified in the order.
(8) In this section—
“appropriate adult”, in relation to a person under the age of 17, means—
(a) his parent or guardian or, if he is in the care of a local authority
or voluntary organisation, a person representing that authority
(b) a social worker of a local authority social services department,
(c) if no person falling within paragraph (a) or (b) is available, any
responsible person aged 18 or over who is not a police officer or
a person employed by the police.
“specified Class A drug” has the same meaning as in Part 3 of the Criminal
Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (c. 43).
144 Powers to order statement as to offender’s financial circumstances
(1) Where an individual has been convicted of an offence, the court may, before
sentencing him, make a financial circumstances order with respect to him.
(2) Where a magistrates’ court has been notified in accordance with section 12(4)
of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (c. 43) that an individual desires to plead
guilty without appearing before the court, the court may make a financial
circumstances order with respect to him.
(3) In this section “a financial circumstances order” means, in relation to any
individual, an order requiring him to give to the court, within such period as
may be specified in the order, such a statement of his financial circumstances
as the court may require.
(4) An individual who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with a financial
circumstances order is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding
level 3 on the standard scale.
(5) If an individual, in furnishing any statement in pursuance of a financial
(a) makes a statement which he knows to be false in a material particular,
(b) recklessly furnishes a statement which is false in a material particular,
(c) knowingly fails to disclose any material fact,
he is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the
(6) Proceedings in respect of an offence under subsection (5) may,
notwithstanding anything in section 127(1) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980
(c. 43) (limitation of time), be commenced at any time within two years from
the date of the commission of the offence or within six months from its first
discovery by the prosecutor, whichever period expires the earlier.
145 General power of Crown Court to fine offender convicted on indictment
Where a person is convicted on indictment of any offence, other than an offence
for which the sentence is fixed by law or falls to be imposed under section
110(2) or 111(2) of the Sentencing Act or under any of sections 207 to 210 of this
Act, the court, if not precluded from sentencing an offender by its exercise of
some other power, may impose a fine instead of or in addition to dealing with
him in any other way in which the court has power to deal with him, subject
however to any enactment requiring the offender to be dealt with in a
146 Fixing of fines
(1) Before fixing the amount of any fine to be imposed on an offender who is an
individual, a court must inquire into his financial circumstances.
(2) The amount of any fine fixed by a court must be such as, in the opinion of the
court, reflects the seriousness of the offence.
(3) In fixing the amount of any fine to be imposed on an offender (whether an
individual or other person), a court must take into account the circumstances
of the case including, among other things, the financial circumstances of the
offender so far as they are known, or appear, to the court.
(4) Subsection (3) applies whether taking into account the financial circumstances
of the offender has the effect of increasing or reducing the amount of the fine.
(a) an offender has been convicted in his absence in pursuance of section
11 or 12 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (non-appearance of
(b) an offender—
(i) has failed to furnish a statement of his financial circumstances
in response to a request which is an official request for the
purposes of section 20A of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (c.53)
(offence of making false statement as to financial
(ii) has failed to comply with an order under section 144(1), or
(iii) has otherwise failed to co-operate with the court in its inquiry
into his financial circumstances,
and the court considers that it has insufficient information to make a proper
determination of the financial circumstances of the offender, it may make such
determination as it thinks fit.
147 Remission of fines
(1) This section applies where a court has, in fixing the amount of a fine,
determined the offender’s financial circumstances under section 146(5).
(2) If, on subsequently inquiring into the offender’s financial circumstances, the
court is satisfied that had it had the results of that inquiry when sentencing the
offender it would—
(a) have fixed a smaller amount, or
(b) not have fined him,
it may remit the whole or part of the fine.
(3) Where under this section the court remits the whole or part of a fine after a term
of imprisonment has been fixed under section 139 of the Sentencing Act
(powers of Crown Court in relation to fines) or section 82(5) of the Magistrates’
Courts Act 1980 (c. 43) (magistrates’ powers in relation to default) it must
reduce the term by the corresponding proportion.
(4) In calculating any reduction required by subsection (3), any fraction of a day is
to be ignored.
Savings for power to mitigate etc
148 Savings for powers to mitigate sentences and deal appropriately with
mentally disordered offenders
(1) Nothing in—
(a) section 130 (imposing community sentences),
(b) sections 134, 135 or 139 (imposing custodial sentences),
(c) section 138 (pre-sentence reports and other requirements),
(d) section 146 (fixing of fines),
prevents a court from mitigating an offender’s sentence by taking into account
any such matters as, in the opinion of the court, are relevant in mitigation of
(2) Section 134(2) does not prevent a court, after taking into account such matters,
from passing a community sentence even though it is of the opinion that the
offence, or the combination of the offence and one or more offences associated
with it, was so serious that a community sentence could not normally be
justified for the offence.
(3) Nothing in the sections mentioned in subsection (1)(a) to (d) prevents a court—
(a) from mitigating any penalty included in an offender’s sentence by
taking into account any other penalty included in that sentence, and
(b) in the case of an offender who is convicted of one or more other
offences, from mitigating his sentence by applying any rule of law as to
the totality of sentences.
(4) Subsections (2) and (3) are without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1).
(5) Nothing in the sections mentioned in subsection (1)(a) to (d) is to be taken—
(a) as requiring a court to pass a custodial sentence, or any particular
custodial sentence, on a mentally disordered offender, or
(b) as restricting any power (whether under the Mental Health Act 1983
(c. 20) or otherwise) which enables a court to deal with an offender in
the manner it considers to be most appropriate in all the circumstances.
(6) In subsection (5) “mentally disordered”, in relation to a person, means
suffering from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act
Sentencing and allocation guidelines
149 The Sentencing Guidelines Council
(1) There shall be a Sentencing Guidelines Council (in this Chapter referred to as
the Council) consisting of—
(a) the Lord Chief Justice, who is to be chairman of the Council,
(b) seven members (in this section and section 150 referred to as “judicial
members”) appointed by the Lord Chancellor after consultation with
the Secretary of State and the Lord Chief Justice, and
(c) five members (in this section and section 150 referred to as “non-
judicial members”) appointed by the Secretary of State after
consultation with the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice.
(2) A person is eligible to be appointed as a judicial member if he is—
(a) a Lord Justice of Appeal,
(b) a judge of the High Court,
(c) a Circuit judge,
(d) a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts), or
(e) a lay justice.
(3) The judicial members must include a Circuit judge, a District Judge
(Magistrates’ Courts) and a lay justice.
(4) A person is eligible for appointment as a non-judicial member if he appears to
the Secretary of State to have experience in one or more of the following
(b) criminal prosecution,
(c) criminal defence,
(d) the promotion of the welfare of victims of crime, and
(e) sentencing policy and the administration of sentences.
(5) The persons eligible for appointment as non-judicial members include civil
servants appearing to the Secretary of State to have the required experience.
(6) The non-judicial members must include at least one person appearing to the
Secretary of State to have experience in each area.
(7) The Lord Chief Justice must appoint one of the judicial members or non-
judicial members to be deputy chairman of the Council.
(8) In relation to any meeting of the Council from which the Lord Chief Justice is
to be absent, he may nominate any person eligible for appointment as a judicial
member to act as a member on his behalf at the meeting.
(9) In this section and section 150 “lay justice” means a justice of the peace who is
not a District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts).
150 Sentencing Guidelines Council: supplementary provisions
(1) In relation to the Council, the Lord Chancellor may by order make provision—
(a) as to the term of office, resignation and re-appointment of judicial
members and non-judicial members,
(b) enabling the appropriate Minister to remove a judicial member or non-
judicial member from office on grounds of incapacity or misbehaviour,
(c) as to the proceedings of the Council.
(2) In subsection (1)(b) “the appropriate Minister” means—
(a) in relation to a judicial member, the Lord Chancellor, and
(b) in relation to a non-judicial member, the Secretary of State.
(3) The validity of anything done by the Council is not affected by any vacancy
among its members, by any defect in the appointment of a member or by any
failure to comply with section 149(3), (6) or (7).
(4) The Lord Chancellor may pay—
(a) to any judicial member who is appointed by virtue of being a lay justice,
such remuneration or expenses as he may determine, and
(b) to any other judicial member or the Lord Chief Justice, such expenses
as he may determine.
(5) The Secretary of State may pay to any non-judicial member such remuneration
or expenses as he may determine.