In N. Ireland (I don't know if it is UK wide) those on suspended sentences, can commit other crimes, which are supposedly not related – i.e. not exactly the same crime and it will not automatically follow that their supsended sentence will mean an automatic jail time. E,.g. someone convicted of benefit fraud, can e.g. be drunk and disorderly/steal a car/ burgle a house and be found guilty, but will not automatically be sent to jail owing to the outstanding suspended sentence. To my knowledge, unless the perpertrator commits the exact same offence, the suspended sentence will not kick in.
What therefore is the point in giving a supsended sentence? Any lawyer with his/her salt, will be able to identify a technicality, which will differentiate e.g. between stealing a car and breaking and entering a premises. To me both are doing damage/ or have an intent to steal/ or leave trauma behind.
Why does this idea matter?
It is important that someone who commits a crime, not be tempted to do it again. Giving a sentence, I assumed, was supposed to rehabilitate/deter further criminal activity.
I subscribe to US version of three strikes and you're out.
If someone is on a two year suspended sentence and was fortunate enough to get the repreive of not having to do a jail term, then they should feel relieved, partially exonerated and be determined to keep an extremely clean sheet, for fear of a dreaded jail term.
Again because of the loop holes and technicalities in the legal system, career criminals only have to change their tact and avoid the jail term.
If someone were on a two year supsended sentence, and knew that a jail term loomed if they were to be found guilty of breaking the law in any shape or form, then I am sure there is evidence to support the fact, that that person would think twice before chosing to break the law again. A clean slate for the whole of the two years, may in itself have been long enough to change the attitudes and in a way rehabilitate those who were thinking of continuing to commit crime.
REAL CONSEQUENCES NOT MEANINGLESS THREATS WOULD FOCUS THE MINDS OF MANY AND IN TURN SAVE THE STATE AND THE VICTIMS OF CRIME, A FORTUNE.