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Court of Appeal Ruling on DYOI and DTO running concurrently

R v McGeechan [2019] EWCA Crim 235

The Court of Appeal ruled that a sentence of Detention in a Young Offenders Institution (DYOI) could only run concurrently to a period of detention imposed for breaching the conditions of the supervision element of a Detention and Training Order (DTO) by virtue of committing new imprisonable offences.

Details

The appellant was subject to the supervision element of a Detention and Training Order when, now aged 18, he committed new offences. For the commission of an imprisonable offence during the supervision period of the DTO, he was sentenced to a period of detention of 9 months and 18 days being the total period between the date of the new offences and the date when the DTO would have expired. For the new offences he was sentenced to 12 months DYOI. The sentences were ordered to run consecutively.

The Court of Appeal analysed sections 105 and 106 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 and held that a sentence of DYOI could only run concurrently to a period of detention imposed for breaching the conditions of the supervision element of a DTO.

The position for children who are subject to the supervision element of a DTO and are then sentenced to a second DTO is different as explained in the sentencing guidelines:

‘If a child or young person is found guilty of further imprisonable offence committed during the currency of the order then the court can impose a further officer of detention. This period of detention cannot exceed the period between the date of the new offence and the date on which the original order would have expired’ (paragraph 7.22).

‘This period can be served consecutively or currently with any sentence imposed for the new offence and this period should not be taken into account when determining the appropriate length of the sentence for the new offences’ (paragraph 7.23).

The Court of Appeal also held that the period of time for which the appellant was detained for the commission of an imprisonable offence during the supervision period of the DTO should be reduced to reflect that he had complied with over 2 months of the DTO supervision period and the new offences were of an different nature to the original ones.

Commentary

The wording of the relevant legislation requires careful analysis and practitioners representing children and those who have recently turned 18 will need to familiarise themselves with it.