Clause 16 - Effect of postponement

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:30 pm ar 22 Tachwedd 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:30, 22 Tachwedd 2001

I thank the hon. Gentleman for reminding us of the allegations that the hon. Member for Spelthorne made about his mother. I do not know which is a worse offence—selling one's granny down the river or shopping one's mother. However, the hon. Member for Spelthorne may clarify what he said about that as the Committee proceeds. It may be interesting to hear the details.

When we discussed clause 7, I recall that hon. Members were doubtful whether the Bill makes it sufficiently clear that it does not prevent the defendant from being sentenced first during a case in which a confiscation proceeding would be postponed. I know that a similar question arises from other clauses of the Bill. I draw hon. Members' attention to the reconsideration clauses 21 and 22, which permit a confiscation order to be made after sentence. As has been pointed out, clause 16(6)(b) says that

``section 7 must be ignored'' if the court proceeds to sentence the defendant under subsection 16(1). The Government believe that that meets some hon. Members' concerns. However, as we have been reminded, the Government are willing to consider whether the Bill makes sufficiently clear the relationship between clause 7 and other relevant clauses, or whether further clarification is desirable. We stand by that commitment and we will tell the Committee our views in due course. We may decide, following further advice, that an amendment is not desirable. Therefore I ask the hon. Member for Cities of London and Westminster to withdraw the amendment for the present, although I confirm that we are willing to examine whether the drafting is adequate.