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Should breaching a good behaviour order activate a suspended sentence? [With poll]

By johnboy 28 February 2013 33

Justice Refshauge has shared his wisdom in the Matter of The Queen and Timothy Gray.

Timothy is the beneficiary of a cascading series of breached good behaviour orders and ever further suspended sentences.

The sentence has what to some will be a surprising line of thinking:

The breach of a Good Behaviour Order made when a sentence of imprisonment is suspended will generally require the court to consider seriously activating the sentence that has been suspended. In this jurisdiction, however, as I noted in Saga v Reid [2010] ACTSC 59 at [99], there is no presumption in favour of activation.

Is that something you’d like the Legislative Assembly to look at clearing up?

Timothy has been fined $1,250, had the length of his order continued, and will do 150 hours of community service on top of his other obligations.

Breaching a good behaviour order

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Should breaching a good behaviour order activate a suspended sentence? [With poll]
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Special G 8:42 am 02 Mar 13

It’s about consequences for their actions. If people choose to take the action which gets them in front of a Magistrates then the consequences are set out for them. My thoughts are that these people haven’t had enough boundaries set in their lives and are therefore unable to regulate those boundaries themselves.

Good behaviour means just that – don’t commit any further crimes or you will go to jail.

Most of the community gets by just fine without regularly coming in front of the Court.

slashdot 10:48 am 01 Mar 13

As a layperson I thought that is what a good behaviour bond meant, that if you did anything in breach of it you would go to gaol for the suspended sentence.

What is the point of a good behaviour bond if it is never enforced? Why even bother having a trial if there is no punishment?

Lookout Smithers 12:18 am 01 Mar 13

bundah said :

Lookout Smithers said :

bundah said :

I as most would agree that judges should have discretionary powers.The problem that we’ve had in the ACT,for many years,is quite simply that the calibre of judges has been the issue,particularly in regard to sentencing practices.Sadly this type of scenario will rear its ugly head for some time to come until the current crop of limp wristed misguided fools retire.One can only hope that they choose wisely when appointing judiciary in the future!

Yeah hopefully they get top notch picks from NSW like Justice Yeldham or federal court legends like Judge Enfield. You joker you, sentencing practices comes after judgement. Yet this is your only issue? You make me giggle with your see-through tears.

Now now Marcus Einfeld had quite a distinguished career and was a national living treasure until he made the biggest mistake of his life and destroyed his credibility over such a silly trivial matter ie. lying about a speeding ticket.He was highly respected until then.

I still respect him now. He gets the benefit of making a grave error as a human. The fact that he went to jail is a reflection of the quality of the judiciary in the majority.

m00nee 9:27 pm 28 Feb 13

p996911turbo said :

I can not explain that decision and I would not presume to. At no point am I defending any particular decision. I’m only defending the judicial process.

My original point was that we should not automatically activate suspended sentences on the breach of a good behaviour bond. Instead, a judge should decide it. And I stand by that.

And this is where your opinion differs from the 98%. The judicial system has shown time and time again that they are incapable of providing a fitting punishment to crimes committed. Why threaten gaol time if a person commits another crime, then just extend the good behaviour order when they do.

I firmly believe that if a criminal has been lucky enough to have been given a good behaviour order instead of gaol time, they should forfeit any further leniency if they commit another crime where the punishment involves gaol time.

LSWCHP 9:20 pm 28 Feb 13

p996911turbo said :

My original point was that we should not automatically activate suspended sentences on the breach of a good behaviour bond. Instead, a judge should decide it. And I stand by that.

Fair enough.

bundah 9:15 pm 28 Feb 13

Lookout Smithers said :

bundah said :

I as most would agree that judges should have discretionary powers.The problem that we’ve had in the ACT,for many years,is quite simply that the calibre of judges has been the issue,particularly in regard to sentencing practices.Sadly this type of scenario will rear its ugly head for some time to come until the current crop of limp wristed misguided fools retire.One can only hope that they choose wisely when appointing judiciary in the future!

Yeah hopefully they get top notch picks from NSW like Justice Yeldham or federal court legends like Judge Enfield. You joker you, sentencing practices comes after judgement. Yet this is your only issue? You make me giggle with your see-through tears.

Now now Marcus Einfeld had quite a distinguished career and was a national living treasure until he made the biggest mistake of his life and destroyed his credibility over such a silly trivial matter ie. lying about a speeding ticket.He was highly respected until then.

p996911turbo 8:31 pm 28 Feb 13

m00nee said :

p996911turbo, perhaps you could explain why a person, who after being given a suspended sentence with a good behaviour order, is then sentenced to 3 months goal (served as periodic detention) for criminal activities that occurred 6 months after sentencing. Now if you read Justice Refshauge;s summation (quoted below) you wonder why we are all saying what the F***,

“I have recognised the seriousness of these offences by sentencing you to imprisonment, but you do not have to serve any of that imprisonment provided that you are of good behaviour, which means that you obey the obligations that I am going to put on you, and you do not commit any further offences that are punishable by imprisonment. If you keep out of that trouble for the next two years then you should be free of the obligations and you can reintegrate yourself into the community.”

I can not explain that decision and I would not presume to. At no point am I defending any particular decision. I’m only defending the judicial process.

My original point was that we should not automatically activate suspended sentences on the breach of a good behaviour bond. Instead, a judge should decide it. And I stand by that.

LSWCHP 8:31 pm 28 Feb 13

peitab said :

p996911turbo said :

Every single time one of these articles comes up on RiotACT it’s just full of vitriol towards the legal system and the offenders. Come on, let’s recognise the fact that we’re not able to see the whole picture and maybe have a bit more faith that the system is actually working.

It seems what you’re saying p996911turbo is that people should back off and let the courts do their job. I see it differently – that we have a responsibility to discuss and consider our judicial system to ensure it’s doing the job we need and want it to be doing. I’m not saying the system isn’t working, but that we shouldn’t have blind faith that it is.

Yes. Very precisely that.

Those in powerful positions are always uncomfortable with the scrutiny and criticism of the great unwashed. They’d much rather do their thing, and then retire to the drawing room for port and cigars.

It appears to me that recidivist criminals face little or no consequences in the ACT, and on that basis I have no faith in the judiciary. On the other hand, it also appears to me that you can end up in front of the beak in the ACT and then spend two or more years waiting for hizonner to make a decision about your guilt or otherwise, and this is another reason for my lack of faith in the local judiciary.

It’s just the courts I’m talking about here. The local cops do a pretty good job but the courts let them down.

p996911turbo 8:25 pm 28 Feb 13

peitab said :

It seems what you’re saying p996911turbo is that people should back off and let the courts do their job. I see it differently – that we have a responsibility to discuss and consider our judicial system to ensure it’s doing the job we need and want it to be doing. I’m not saying the system isn’t working, but that we shouldn’t have blind faith that it is.

Good point, we definitely shouldn’t blindly accept the decisions.

My point is that the comments we get on these stories don’t represent both sides of the complex story. It’s all well and good that a bunch of people disagree with some of the actions of the courts, but to form a mini-consensus of the people who can be bothered to comment on a RiotACT post, doesn’t mean that view is necessarily right. And it certainly doesn’t necessarily mean that the judiciary is packed with a bunch of idiots.

m00nee 8:07 pm 28 Feb 13

p996911turbo said :

I don’t think breaching a good behavior bond should automatically activate a suspended sentence. I think we should have a judge decide that on a case by case basis.

Whether this particular individual deserved to have his sentence activated or not isn’t something that we can judge without seeing all the facts. That’s what the court process is for.

p996911turbo, perhaps you could explain why a person, who after being given a suspended sentence with a good behaviour order, is then sentenced to 3 months goal (served as periodic detention) for criminal activities that occurred 6 months after sentencing. Now if you read Justice Refshauge;s summation (quoted below) you wonder why we are all saying what the F***,

“I have recognised the seriousness of these offences by sentencing you to imprisonment, but you do not have to serve any of that imprisonment provided that you are of good behaviour, which means that you obey the obligations that I am going to put on you, and you do not commit any further offences that are punishable by imprisonment. If you keep out of that trouble for the next two years then you should be free of the obligations and you can reintegrate yourself into the community.”

Lookout Smithers 7:52 pm 28 Feb 13

bundah said :

I as most would agree that judges should have discretionary powers.The problem that we’ve had in the ACT,for many years,is quite simply that the calibre of judges has been the issue,particularly in regard to sentencing practices.Sadly this type of scenario will rear its ugly head for some time to come until the current crop of limp wristed misguided fools retire.One can only hope that they choose wisely when appointing judiciary in the future!

Yeah hopefully they get top notch picks from NSW like Justice Yeldham or federal court legends like Judge Enfield. You joker you, sentencing practices comes after judgement. Yet this is your only issue? You make me giggle with your see-through tears.

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