Regina v Stevens and Lovegrove: CACD 2 Feb 2006

The defendant appealed his sentence for breach of an anti-social behaviour order.
Held: The breach of an order was separate stand-alone offence for which the maximum penalty was five years imprisonment. It was not wrong in principle to impose a sentence of more than six months. The sentence had to be proportionate but it was not limited to what would be the sentence for any offence involved in the behaviour which led to the additional breach offence.
Sir Igor Judge P: ‘The principle to be derived from the legislation and the authorities can, in our judgment, be readily identified. Anti-social Behaviour Order requires specific statutory criteria to be established. In brief, the order is intended to provide protection against harassment, alarm or distress, caused by Anti-social behaviour. It is obvious that when passing sentence for breach of an anti-social behaviour order, the court is sentencing for the offence of being in breach of that order. Plainly, any sentence, in any court, must be proportionate or, to use the word with which all sentencers are familiar, ‘commensurate’. Therefore, if the conduct which constitutes the breach of the Anti-social Behaviour Order is also a distinct criminal offence, and the maximum sentence for the offence is limited to, say, 6 months’ imprisonment, that is a feature to be borne in mind by the sentencing court in the interests of proportionality.
It cannot, however, be right that the court’s power is thereupon limited to the 6 months maximum imprisonment for the distinct criminal offence. That would treat the breach as if it were a stand alone offence, which at the time when it was committed did not amount to a breach of the court order. In reality, the breach is a distinct offence on its own right, created by statute, punishable by up to 5 years’ imprisonment. We therefore reject the submission that it was wrong in principle for the judge to have imposed a custodial sentence, where, for the instant offence of drunkenness, the maximum sentence would have been a fine. To the extent that the submission of the appellant on this particular aspect of the appeal is supported by Morrison, we respectfully conclude that its authority has been wholly undermined.’


Sir Igor Judge P


[2006] EWCA 255, Times 24-Feb-2006


England and Wales


CitedBraxton, Regina v CACD 21-May-2004
The defendant appealed a sentence of 3.5 years imprisonment for breach of an anti-social behaviour order.
Held: The sentence stood. What the offender might have considered trivial represented repeated breaches of an ASBO that had caused real . .
CitedMorrison, Regina v CACD 26-Jul-2005
Breach of anti-social behaviour order. . .
CitedLamb, Regina v CACD 10-Nov-2005
The defendant appealed against a sentence imposed for breach of an Anti-Social behaviour Order.
Held: Where a community penalty was available for such a breach the court should be considered in an attempt to help the defendant to learn to live . .

Cited by:

CitedSteven Fenton v Regina CACD 19-Sep-2006
The defendant had been convicted of breaching his sex offender’s order. He appealed his sentence of 2.5 years. The order had included a prohibition on being drunk in a public place and using abusive or insulting behaviour toward a female.
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.240088