Joshua Rozenberg is right to rail against the swingeing increase in compulsory victim surcharges. Nevertheless, the scenario of the young offender’s victim being the parent who is then required to pay the victim surcharge has a solution.
Under section 161A(3) of the 2003 Surcharge Order, where the court orders payment of both surcharge and compensation, but the offender is unable to pay both, the court must reduce the surcharge (if necessary to nil). So a court can order £5 compensation to be paid to the victim and reduce the surcharge to nil.
It is a great pity that courts may have to resort to such a method to avoid the ridiculous anomaly that Mr Rozenberg highlights.
William Christopher, retired solicitor, Sherborne