A second and final opportunity to build better relationships

March 13, 2024
Matthew Parris

Having been told by a court that he could expect a prison sentence, Matthew’s client was afforded a second opportunity at completing a Building Better Relationships (BBR) programme. 


The young father committed a second violent offence, against the same partner, during the operational period of a Community Order.  His pre-sentence report commented positively on his engagement with probation services and the BBR programme. 


Matthew persuaded a sentencing judge that it was not in the interests of justice to re-sentence his client for the original ABH offence.  Additionally, the judge was ‘just about’ convinced that a community-based disposal was appropriate.  It would provide the defendant an opportunity to embed what he had been learning from the BBR programme, and address his problems with alcohol. 


The client was given a short custodial sentence, suspended, with several requirements including a second attempt at the BBR programme and completion of an alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement.


The order was accompanied by a clear warning by the judge: a future offence, or breach of the order, would almost inevitably lead to immediate custody on the next occasion. 


Matthew was instructed by Macauley Smith.