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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice
(1) how many and what proportion of offenders released on bail in 2007 were (a) originally charged with and (b) subsequently sentenced for (i) offences of violence against the person and (ii) sexual offences;
(2) how many and what proportion of (a) defendants released on bail and (b) defendants charged with violence against the person or sexual offences and then released on bail (i) failed to attend sentencing hearings and (ii) broke their bail conditions in other ways in 2007.
The annual publication 'Criminal Statistics' contains estimates of the number of defendants in certain offence groups who were bailed by the courts. The estimated number of defendants who were granted bail at magistrates courts in England and Wales during 2007 in connection with 'Violence against the Person' and 'Sexual offences' was 43,200 and 4,800 respectively, corresponding to 9 and 1 per cent. of the total number of persons who were bailed at magistrates courts for all offences (Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, table 4.10). These figures include those also held in custody for some but not the whole period of the proceedings. The number of offenders subsequently sentenced for these offence types are not available.
The estimated number of defendants who were granted bail at all magistrates courts and who subsequently failed to appear as directed to any hearing, not just a sentencing hearing, in England and Wales during 2007 was 3,400 for 'Violence against the person' (8 per cent. of the number of persons bailed for this offence type). For 'Sexual offences' the figure was 300 (6 per cent. of the number of persons bailed for this offence type). For all offences, the figure was 51,500 (11 per cent. of persons bailed) (Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, table 4.10). These figures include those also held in custody for some but not the whole period of the proceedings. These remands data are not comparable with other court proceedings data.
The Ministry of Justice holds no data on how many defendants breached their bail conditions. Breach of bail conditions is not an offence and therefore carries no penalty. Any person who breaches a bail condition is liable to immediate arrest and it is the responsibility of the court to re-consider bail as a whole and decide whether to grant bail again on the same or different conditions or to remand into custody.