Roisin Connor's PSR
Did she have to get sent down?
Roisin Connor has ended up in HMP Larkhall for her role in a company fraud- but what might have happened if the Director General of the National Probation Service had written Roisin's Pre-sentence Report (PSR)? What sentence would Eithne Wallis have recommended to the judge? PSRs are written reports which include a systematic assessment of the nature and the causes of the offender's behaviour, their risk to the public and the action which can be taken to reduce the likelihood of re-offending. They specifically look at the impact of the offence on the victim. As you'll see, the PSR that Eithne has written for Roisin:
- Would be based on interviews, records and meetings to gain a full history of the background to the crime.
- Analyses the offence (conspiracy to defraud - covering up Cassie's £47,000 fraud at the bank where they worked) and the circumstances in which it took place (romantic involvement, little direct financial gain).
- Assesses the offender (her family situation - married with 2 kids; no previous criminal record; no abuse of drink or drugs).
- Assesses the risk of harm to the public and the likelihood of reoffending (both low, especially if Roisin were to be given "a period of Probation Service.
- Supervision in the community, constructively challenging her risk-taking and decision-making in relation to her offence").
A prison sentence is almost inevitable and would certainly meet the 'punishment' element of the court order but would be highly damaging to her young children.
An alternative would be for the court to sentence Roisin to a Community Punishment and Rehabilitation Order. This would restrict her liberty, deal with the behaviour which resulted in this serious crime, and provide some community reparation. It could consist of:
- A 22 session Think First groupwork programme run by the probation service.
- Individual sessions with a probation officer, addressing employment issues and her fraught situation with her personal relationships.
- Up to 100 hours unpaid community service work (eg working at a local charity shop or a community farm).
The court could also consider tagging (home curfew with electronic monitoring). With thanks to David Croall of Greater Manchester Probation Service for researching this PSR.