Db v Attorney General

CourtYouth Appeal Court (Jersey)
Judge(Birt, Deputy Bailiff and Mrs. L. Falle, Mrs. C. Crill and Mrs. D. Thompson)
Judgment Date29 July 2008
Date29 July 2008
(Birt, Deputy Bailiff and Mrs. L. Falle, Mrs. C. Crill and Mrs. D. Thompson)

Criminal Proceduresentencecommunity service

The appellant was convicted of breaking and entering and larceny, committed when he was 16 years old. Before sentencing, a probation officer explained the various possible sentences, including community service, which she correctly explained was a direct alternative to youth detention. The appellant's mother expressed concern that he might not have time to perform community service if he got a job. She read the consent form for community service and the appellant signed it, confirming his willingness to undertake community service (as required under art. 3 of the Criminal Justice (Community Service Orders) (Jersey) Law 2001). The probation officer encouraged him to do so. The probation report recommended a binding-over order, which the appellant and his advocate expected to be followed, but the appellant was sentenced to 70 hours' community service.

The appellant appealed against his sentence on the basis that it was too severe compared with those of his co-accused. He submitted that, although he had signed the community service consent form, he had not given free and informed consent. He and his mother had believed that a more severe sentence might otherwise have been imposed and that he effectively had no choice but to sign the form.

Under art. 17(1) of the Magistrate's Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Jersey) Law 1949 (which applied to appeals to the Youth Appeal Court), a person who pleaded guilty before the Youth Court could appeal against his sentence, but the definition of "sentence" in art. 17(3) excluded community service orders.

Held: (1) The appeal would be dismissed as the community service order had been imposed in accordance with the provisions of art. 3 of the Criminal Justice (Community Service Orders) (Jersey) Law 2001i.e. with a report from the probation officer of the appellant's willingness to undertake community serviceand the court therefore had no jurisdiction to hear it (Uddin v. Att. Gen., 1994 JLR N-8, applied). The appellant had understood the...

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