Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED February 3, 2003

Where probation reports recommended a drug treatment and testing order it was a matter for the sentencing judge's discretion as to whether to impose such an order or a sentence of imprisonment.Appeal against sentence with leave of the single judge. On 2 August 2002 at Portsmouth Crown Court before HH Judge David Selwood the defendant ('B') pleaded guilty to burglary. On 23 September 2002 B pleaded guilty to a further three counts of burglary and asked for 53 other offences of burglary or attempted burglary to be taken into account. B was sentenced to a total of four years and six months imprisonment. Between August and September B burgled three different commercial premises taking goods worth ?16,000, a computer and a purse from an employee's handbag. B also burgled a dwelling house stealing 50 DVDs, cigarettes and cash. B had a long criminal record with a variety of custodial sentences, none longer than two years. B stole to feed his heroin habit. The sentencing judge had available a drug treatment and assessment report which regarded B as ready to undertake a programme under a drug treatment and testing order ('DTTO'). The report proposed a 12 month DTTO. B appealed on the ground that the judge ought to have made a DTTO instead of a long term of imprisonment.HELD: (1) In a case concerning the commission of a series of offences where the probation report recommended a DTTO the judge had to exercise his discretion taking into account all the circumstances of the case. (2) The sentencing judge noted that he had to carry out a "balancing act" and decided to impose a substantial sentence rather than a DTTO. (3) Whilst it could be accepted that B's motive was to feed his drug addiction that did not compel the sentence to be a DTTO, that was for the judge's discretion. (4) There was no material to suggest that the judge erred in the exercise of his discretion or in principle. (5) No criticism was made concerning the length of the sentence and it was appropriate that any term was substantial to afford proper opportunity for any treatment available in prison to take effect.Appeal dismissed