“Revolving door” prisoner is back behind bars for seventh time

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An offender who has just been released from prison has once again breached the terms of his post-sentence supervision and been put back behind bars for the seventh time.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, May 24, how Martin Powell, 36, of no fixed abode, admitted failing to attend with a probation officer on May 9 which added up to the seventh similar breach of his post-sentence supervision.

Despite efforts by defence solicitor David Gittins to persuade magistrates to impose a fine to help break the custodial cycle, magistrates sentenced Powell to a further 14 days of custody and urged him to sort out his future.

The court heard how Powell had originally been sentenced to imprisonment for failing to comply with post-supervision requirements dating back to October 27, 2016, under the Sex Offenders Act.

Since then he has repeatedly received 14-day or seven-day sentences for breaches where he has failed to comply with the probation service and has subsequently been going in and out of custody.

Mr Gittins said: “This is sadly the seventh breach of Mr Powell’s post-sentence supervision and he has already received and served 11 weeks in custody or an equivalent to a 22 week jail term for breaches.

“On May 2, he received seven days of custody and the judge used the phrase ‘revolving door’ and it has clearly not worked.”

Powell is homeless and has mental health concerns, according to Mr Gittins, as well as drug issues and he has no family or friends and he has struggled to establish any benefits or work and is trapped in a cycle.

Mr Gittins added: “I’m trying to think of an alternative that will break the cycle.”

The Probation Service stated Powell has failed to comply with them over a long period of time during his post-sentence supervision which has led to the multiple breaches with failed attendances and with Powell repeatedly being returned to custody with 14 and seven day sentences.

Magistrates said they had strongly considered Powell’s case but his lack of compliance with the Probation Service led them to sentence the defendant to a further 14 days of custody.

They urged homeless Powell, formerly of Devon Drive, Brimington, Chesterfield, to get his life and his benefits sorted to stop the “revolving door” system himself.