Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
Under this Act, as amended by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, a hospital order (with or without a restriction order) is a "relevant order" (s5(8)) and so the rehabilitation period ends on "[t]he day provided for by or under the order as the last day on which the order is to have effect" (s5(2)). The Act goes on to say: "Where no provision is made by or under a ... relevant order for the last day on which the order is to have effect, the rehabilitation period for the order is to be the period of 24 months beginning with the date of conviction."
The previous position was that the rehabilitation period was the period of five years from the date of conviction or a period beginning with that date and ending two years after the date on which the hospital order ceases or ceased to have effect, whichever is the longer.
- Guidance on spent convictions etc. Ministry of Justice, 'Updated guidance on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974' (4/3/14) — Is a restricted hospital order spent when the patient is conditionally discharged or when he is absolutely discharged? The Ministry of Justice does not have an official position on the matter, but refers to this guidance document which states that under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 the rehabilitation period of a hospital order, with or without a restriction order, is the "period of the order" (email correspondence, 11/7/19).