Case study: criminal justice & domestic violence

Authors: Mel Cadman & Kathryn Cameron

Ian's social worker

Background

6 months have passed since Ian was sentenced in connection with the assault charge by a 1 year Probation order and 140 hours community service order. The Sheriff warned him to keep away from Shavita or face the certainty of a period of imprisonment and also reminded him that probation offered him an opportunity to address his alcohol abuse.

The 3 offences related to the car accident resulted in sentences which have caused Ian serious difficulty. He was fined £1000 and banned for 12 months in relation to the drunk driving offence. While the 'endangering life' charge was ultimately abandoned, he pled guilty to dangerous driving, leading to a further fine of £1000. In relation to the destruction of council property, a compensation order of £1000 was imposed. Shortly afterwards, Ian was sacked by his brother-in-law from his post in the accountancy firm and he has now been dependent on state benefits for the past 4 months.

Ian's financial position has become very precarious. He feels unable to continue with the level of payments he formerly made to Shavita and his 2 children; indeed, he stopped making any payments to them or towards the mortgage on the house, despite his solicitor advising him this could have a detrimental impact on the outcome of the pending case about breaching the order. Reluctant to advise the court of the likelihood of his being sacked, he was unable to argue a good case for time to pay his fines and was ordered to pay them immediately; these are now well overdue. He has fallen way behind with the rent on his small, but relatively expensive, waterside flat and has been advised that court action to secure an eviction is pending.

Stage One

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Explore the detailed provisions of a probation order and, in particular, identify:

Stage Two

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Stage Three

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Stage Four

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Stage Five

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