582. Warning the defendant.

If it is not necessarily minded to follow a pre-sentence report1, the court should warn the defendant when the report is ordered that recommendations in a pre-sentence report are not binding, although a failure to do so will not ground judicial review2.

When a court purposely postpones sentence for a report to ascertain the offender's suitability for a community sentence, it thereby creates in the offender's mind an expectation of an order if the report is favourable: if the report does recommend a community sentence, the court ought to adopt that alternative as a feeling of injustice is otherwise aroused3.