Six months have passed since Ian was sentenced in connection with the assault charge by a one 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 three 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 four 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 two 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.
Describe what a CSO means, what 'service' might the offender carry out; how this would be decided and clarified; who would supervise this and how any failure to cooperate with the order would be dealt with by the responsible official.
Explore the potential consequences of fine default and establish the process through which Ian might seek to meet the requirements of the fine in some other way. What role, if any, might the social work department play in assisting Ian in this respect?
In relation to Shavita, explore what entitlements she (and the children) have to both financial support and accommodation. What recourse has she (and the children) in the event that financial support (and provided accommodation) is no longer honoured by Ian?