Thursday, September 24, 2015

Civilian court as enforcement mechanism for sanction imposed by military court

An odd story appears in the Accrington Observer. It seems that Curtis Greenfield, a British soldier, was convicted of desertion in military court and ordered to perform 180 hours of community service. When he failed to perform all the required service, he was prosecuted in Crown Court, where was "given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £150 criminal courts charge." From the article:
Judge Beverley Lunt said Greenfield had ‘no criminal lifestyle’ and ‘no criminal record’. 
Sentencing, she said: “You have done 72.5 hours. It’s not great but at least you’ve done it. 
“There’s an awful lot going on in your life and it’s all got to be sorted out. 
“You are not a criminal, you are not a danger to the locality of Accrington, I don’t need to do something to keep you out of trouble. 
“You have not resorted to any sort of crime. This is a very peculiar set of circumstances.”
Can readers in the UK shed some light on this? How often are military offenses punished with community service orders enforceable by the civilian courts? 

1 comment:

  1. Service Community Orders are only imposed alongside dismissal or dismissal with disgrace (Court Martial Sentencing Guidelines p.27). As the Defendant is no longer serving the local probation service oversees the order and breaches are dealt with by the civilian Crown Court. Although SCOs are used for AWOLs the starting point for desertion with no intent to avoid active service is 18mo detention.


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