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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Why is the age at conviction used instead of the age at time

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Why is the age at conviction used instead of the age at time of oftence?
In the case of a sexual offence, a juvenile who commits 'underage sexual activity with a minor' as example, was under 18 at time of the offence but aged 18 or over after being remanded in custody and waiting for trial. Now although the length of sentence could be judged on either age of conviction or at time of offence depending on circumstances, the notification period in which the accused has to be on the sex offenders register is judged solely on the age the accused is at the point of sentencing and conviction. How can there be variation with sentencing where the judge can decided whether it's necessary to sentence based on both age of conviction or at time of offence(so whether to sentence the accused as a minor or an adult), but with the sex offender register there is no leanience on which to be used when deciding the length of term to be served on the register, meaning although the accused was a minor at time of offence they are treated as an adult and forced to serve adult terms on the sex offenders register although realistically they should not have been?!
I don't understand why it happens this way with the sex offender register, why a minor can be treated as an adult purely based on when the sentencing and conviction takes place. If a 17 year old was sentenced before they turned 18 they would get reduced convictions, but if through no fault of their own (and they also may have been equally been held in remanded custody) they turn 18 before they get convicted then they have to face completely different rules and guidelines? Can you please explain why this happens, and is there anything the person whom this happens to do to alter their sex offender register length of notification because of the stupid way in which this works?!
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I'm not sue this is really a legal question. You seem to understand the law and your question is about anomalies which is really one for the government.?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Maybe so, but I was wondering if there is anything that can be done to appeal in some way against the length of time required to be on the sex offenders register? How the adult term is unfair when the offence was committed as a minor. If the time required to be on the register is indeterminate, and usually an appeal can be made after 15 years as an adult, then a minor could appeal after just 7.5 years? Hence my question that if a minor gets treated as an adult at conviction which doubles the time required before being able to come off the register, is there anything that can be done to appeal against being treated as an adult? And to lower the time needed before making an appeal to come off the register?
Also if a Sopo was put in place at time of sentencing, can any appeal be made for that to be amended or removed? If the sopo was made on the day of sentencing is it right that a draft should be presented so it could be challenged before being made? Are there many ways/reasons to get a sopo altered?
I can't comment upon fairness. That is for Parliament.
The sex offenders register is generally pointless. It would have worked if it had been confined to dangerous abusers but the inclusion of everybody has made it like a needle in a haystack for any evidence gatherer.
I think probably the issue is that, for the purposes of the register, the relevant date is the sentence because it is at that time that the ancillary orders are engaged.
Whereas for trial and therefore sentence the relevant time is the date of the offence.
You can always ask to be removed from the register. It isn't going to happen in practice I'm afraid but there is nothing to prevent any person from asking.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I understand that the register date commences on the date of sentencing because that's when the order is made, but to not take into account the accused being a minor for any offences that may have happened, and then being given adult punishment for it at sentencing and them having to serve adult terms is what I find confusing. How can they give adult conditions for the register but for the sentencing treat the accused only as a minor, why is the register not treated in the same way?
When you say you can ask to be removed from the register, how is that possible and whom can you ask? And do you mean even before the dates of appeal, at anytime you can ask? Are there any downsides or negatives of asking? Is there no possibility of getting the dates changed from adult to minor lengths for when you can apply to come of the register as the offence was commuted as a minor?(so from 15 years, to 7.5 years when allowed to apply)
I did ask previously about the SOPO which is related directly to the question but you did not reply?
Because it is an ancillary order and so arises from conviction not offence.
You can ask the Chief Constable to consider removal. He will refuse and then you can judicially review. Iti s very expensive to do that.
A SOPO is a discretionary order of the court and there can be an application for removal or variation but you have to show a change of circumstances.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It arises from then I know, but if the time taken had of been shorter and the sentencing taken place still as a minor only half the term would have been given. Other than the date of sentencing nothing else would have changed yet the term given is then doubled because the technicality of the person having turned 18 whilst waiting. I don't see how this is allowed?
If the SOPO is unfair in that it restricts the normal daily life unjustly, and impacts on education/jobs and other factors like that, is that a circumstance that is valid for consideration? If points on the SOPO are either unnecessary or impair on the ability to continue with normal daily life.
How can a request for a SOPO to be altered/removed be made, and who to? Can that be funded by legal aid, and is it even possible for the legal aid used at the original sentencing to be used again for the application of alteration? (Something I had read elsewhere)
How can Information be obtained about the sex offender register and the SOPO, to have confirmation of exact details like duration or the specific requirements of them? So if there was no documentation given previously stating durations and other important information, how can that information be obtained now for ones own personal records? Is there specific documentation to ask for? And who can be asked?
I think you would need to address these points to the Government. The fairness or not of this particular area of law is for Parliament.
In terms of information, the SOPO would have been provided to him at court. The notification should have been explained to him as well but the officer supervising will explain if not.
I'm happy to continue with this but please remember to leave feedback for my answer.