A former premier league footballer, Shayne Bradley, recently pleaded guilty to stalking a former girlfriend.
It was said he followed her, watched her house, sent mails and made abusive phone calls. He hid in hedges near her home and set up a fake dating profile to make contact. The conduct was over a four-month period, but he also breached bail conditions that were imposed. He was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months imprisonment and was also made subject to a five-year restraining order preventing contact with the victim.
Stalking Protection Orders
Stalking protection orders were introduced in 2020 to provide support for victims. An application is made to court for an order, usually in place for two years. An interim order can also be obtained whilst a full order is considered. Breach of the order is punishable with up to five years imprisonment.
The order can be made if it appears a person has carried out acts associated with stalking where that person poses a risk to another, and the order is necessary to protect that third party from that risk. Such orders would usually prevent contact with the named party with a potential exclusion zone. In that regard, they are similar to bail conditions that the police and the courts can impose.
The difference between the order and bail conditions is that a breach of the order is a criminal offence. A breach of bail conditions leads to a reconsideration of the grant of bail and isn’t a criminal offence.
However, a BBC investigation found that only two orders have been granted in Wales compared to 3,000 stalking offences being reported to the police. In Sussex, the Police and Crime Commissioner said thirty orders had been imposed with more in the pipeline. The PCC is said to be a victim of stalking and is the lead for stalking in England and Wales, which may explain the disparity. She is urging other forces to make use of the power.
In Bradley’s case, more stringent bail conditions were imposed following breaches of bail. If bail was breached while he was still under investigation, the only option available to the police was to charge him with the original offences or to re-bail him. If a stalking protection order had been in place, a breach could have resulted in further criminal charges.
It may be that the use of these orders will increase due to calls being made for training for police officers on the orders. As the orders last for a minimum of two years, it is a severe restriction for an individual.
It is for this reason that expert advice is vital.
How can we help?
If you need specialist advice in relation to any criminal investigation or prosecution, from the initial investigation through to court proceedings, please get in touch. Call John Howey on 020 7388 1658 or email email@example.com. Let us help.
Image credit: “Lonely walk at night” by visually_conscious is licensed under CC BY 2.0Read More
Bail in an extradition case is decided in a similar way to bail in criminal cases in this country. The law is contained in the Bail Act and the Criminal Procedure Rules. However, the rules are very different to many other countries. The short answer to the question ‘can I get bail’ is yes, you can. Whether you do get bail or not will depend on a lot of things.
The District Judge is likely to be worried that if you are granted bail you might not turn up at Court. So the first thing the Judge will want to know is if you are already convicted, or if you are ‘accused’. If you are wanted to stand trial for an offence, you are ‘accused’ . An accused person has a much better chance of being granted bail than if you have been found guilty and have a sentence to serve. If you are convicted, you will be wanted to serve a sentence. The longer the sentence is, the less chance you will have of being granted bail. Even if you have not been convicted, the more serious the offence, the less likely you are to be given bail.
5 other considerations to grant a bail in extradition
Apart from the offence, the sorts of things that the District Judge will think about when deciding whether to grant you bail will include;
- How long you have been in this country
- The circumstances in which you came to this country. For example did you come to this country the day after you were arrested in your own country? Or were you never actually arrested and knew nothing about it?
- Your situation in this country; are you working? Do you have family and in particular children who depend on you? Have you got an address you have lived at for a long time? can you be given a curfew there, so the authorities know where you are at certain times of the day?
- Have you committed offences in this country, or have you shown that you can abide by the law since you got here? Having convictions in this country, or lots of convictions in your home country, can also be a problem. The District Judge might think that you will commit more offences here. It is even more difficult if you are already on bail in this country.
- Can you hand in your passport and your ID documents, so you cannot leave the country?
Can someone pay a security?
But the most important thing is whether someone can pay a security for you. This is a sum of money, the more the better, that is paid to the court. As long as the person attends court when they are supposed to, and if they are to be extradited they turn up where they are supposed to be, the money will be given back. If the person does not turn up, some or in most cases all of it will be kept by the court.
Please contact us on 0207 388 1658, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss your extradition matter with us further, or to find out whether your would be eligible for legal aid for extradition matters. You can read more about the basics of extradition here. We have a dedicated team of lawyers specialising in extradition who are here to help you.
John Howey, Senior SolicitorRead More