Monday 27th January 2020
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A Pre Sentence Report is prepared to help the court decide on the most suitable way of dealing with a young person who is convicted of an offence or a very serious offence.

A pre sentence report is only prepared if the young person is pleading guilty to all the offences.
A case will be heard by the Crown Court if:

  1. a young person is charged with a serious specified offence with an adult co-defendant.
  2. the Magistrates have said that the offence(s) is too serious to be dealt with in their court.

Guilty pleas and pre sentencing reports?
If you intend to plead guilty, an officer from the Youth Offending Service will make arrangements to interview you. They will contact you by letter usually, but sometimes by telephone.

If you plead guilty, the report must be ready in time for your first appearance in the Crown Court. The officer of the Youth Offending Service will probably want to visit you at home, and will also ask you to come into the office. If you are in custody, the officer will visit you there.

He/she will normally want to talk to the youngster parents especially if they live with them, and to their social worker if they have one.

What should you do if you change your plea?
If you do not know whether to plead guilty or not guilty you should talk to your solicitor immediately. If you want to change your plea you should also talk to your solicitor straight away.

What will a Pre Sentence Report say about you?
Before passing sentence the Judge needs to understand why you committed the offence and how you feel about it now. The person writing your report will want to get to know you, talk about your offence and how it happened, and to find out any other information which the Judge needs to know.

If you have previously received a Police Reprimand or a Final Warning or you have been sentenced by a court before the Judge will know about this, and the person writing your report will discuss this with you.

If you are still at school or have a home tutor your report will also tell the Judge about this and how you have been getting on. However, we will not contact your employer or college without your permission.

Why is a Pre Sentence Report important?
Your Pre Sentence Report will help the Judge to decide on the most suitable sentence for you. The person writing your Pre Sentence Report will explain all the different sentences to you. Therefore it is important for you to keep your appointments with the person writing your report.

Who will see the report?

  • you
  • your parents if they have been interviewed
  • your social worker if you have one
  • your solicitor 
  • your barrister the Crown Prosecution barrister
  • the Judge
  • the clerk who works in the court
  • probation staff
  • youth offending service officers.

If you feel that anything in the report is unfair or untrue tell the person who wrote it and tell your barrister. Your barrister will be able to tell the Judge how you feel and why.

Your report will not be read out loud in court, but the Judge may ask questions or comments on it.

If you are sentenced to a Community Punishment Order, a Detention and Training Order or a long custodial sentence (known as a section 90 or 91), a copy of your report will be sent to the Probation Service or the secure establishment.

Very occasionally, the Judge may decide to ask the Magistrates in the Youth Court to sentence you after all. If this happens the Magistrates will also see your report.

What happens next?
Unless an appointment has been given to you at court, you will be contacted by a Youth Offending Service officer who will arrange a date, time and place for you to be interviewed. You will probably be interviewed several times. If you are in custody, the officer will visit you there.

If you change your address or anything else happens which may affect your ability to keep your appointments, please contact the Youth Offending officer writing your report straight away. The address of our office is on this leaflet.

Your Youth Offending officer will normally want to talk to your parents at home, your teacher and to your Social Worker if you have one. However, we will not contact your employer or your college without your permission.




 Contact information

Youth offending service
Ground Floor, The Albany 4, Cardiff Road, Luton, LU1 1PP
Tel: 01582 547900 or out of hours emergency 0870 2385465

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