Criminal Behaviour Orders inject scope for creativity in judges’ sentencing
An unrelenting thief has hit the headlines for becoming the first person ever hit with a lifetime ban on going near bike racks.
Plymouth man John Liddicoat has been indefinitely banned from having a bicycle he cannot prove he owns or going within four metres of a bike rack. He is also barred from entering the University of Plymouth — the scene of his crimes — any school, or any college.
Liddicoat faces five years behind bars if he breaches the order. It was made when he was convicted of burglary for taking 20 bottles of wine from his victim’s garage.
The persistent offender — who has a long history of drug addiction — has been jailed for three and a half years. Judge Lawrie commented:
He has a tendency to take anything which is not bolted down.
He told the offender:
You have an appalling record, you are incapable of behaving yourself and you have not learnt your lesson.
Alongside his custodial sentence, the 47 year-old was slammed with a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), little-known in comparison to its predecessor the infamous Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO).
Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, judges can only make a CBO if the offender engaged in behaviour that caused, or was likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress, and secondly that the court thinks making the order will help prevent the offender from engaging in this behaviour.
The order — that can only be made additionally to a sentence or conditional discharge — is very deterrent-focused, and clearly has a very wide application.
Earlier this month, a man from Chester was forbidden from owning “any power tools, jewellery, electrical goods or games equipment without a valid receipt” for three years. Another was banned from contacting emergency services without a genuine reason, another from entering any Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Debenhams, Morrisons, John Lewis, Homebase or Sainsbury’s.
But Liddicoat is thought to be the first person with a lifetime ban on taking other people’s bikes.