Variation of CPO following expiry of order was not ‘incompetent’, appeal court rules



High Court of Justiciary
High Court of Justiciary

ry applications. Such applications could prove to have been unnecessary. For the legislature to have intended to impose such a regime seems absurd.

“Also, the offender could suffer prejudice. He is entitled to apply for a variation of the time limit but, on the complainer’s interpretation, if he failed to do so in advance of its expiry, he could find himself facing breach proceedings – under the provisions of s.227ZC – when, had he been able to present an application for an extension of time at that stage, it might have been successful and the s.227ZC procedure would thereby have been elided. It seems highly unlikely that Parliament intended such results; they seem absurd when considered in the context of legislation directed towards achieving practical implementation of effective community sentences.”

On the complainer’s contention that the procedure in section 227ZA would require to be applied to an application to extend a time limit to complete unpaid work, the judges were satisfied that if a court decides to vary a CPO by adding to its existing requirements, “then, but only then, s.227ZA applies”.

Finally, the court observed that nowhere is it provided that failure to complete the required hours of unpaid work within the time limit provided by the court will bring an end to the CPO.

Lady Smith added: “We do not find that surprising. On the contrary, for the above reasons it would be surprising if that were the statutory intention.”

© Scottish Legal News Ltd 2021