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The circumstances in which a youth will be sent to the Crown Court for trial will be rare, even where the case appears to be of a complex nature, as recently confirmed in the case of BH v. Norwich Youth Court & CPS (2023).

Youths facing even the most serious offences cannot elect Crown Court trial, before a Judge and Jury, from the Youth Court and in this highlighted case, the District Judge retained jurisdiction in the Youth Court for the trial of a defendant who was a youth at the time that the three alleged charges of rape were committed.

Youths can be sentenced in the Youth Court for a period of up to twenty-four months Youth Detention.

Suki Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors explains the significance for young defendants facing allegations for the most serious offences.

Kangs Solicitors is ‘Top Ranked’ by the leading law directories, Chambers UK and The Legal 500 for criminal defence work on behalf of clients facing prosecution for alleged criminal offences of every nature, including cases before the Youth Court.

For an initial no obligation discussion, please contact our team at any of the offices detailed

0207 936 6396

0121 449 9888

0161 817 5020

07989 521210




24 Hours number

The Case in Focus | Kangs Sexual Offences Defence Solicitors

During an initial Hearing at the Youth Court, the District Judge, as a result of an error, which was subsequently overlooked by a higher court, failed to ask the nature of the youth’s Plea, as he should have done, and moved straight to considering whether the Youth Court or the Crown Court was the correct venue for trial.

The Prosecution maintained that the case should be heard at the Crown Court, based upon Sentencing Council Guidelines governing the Category of the alleged offences Court and the Defence agreed adding that the evidence was of a complex nature involving third-party disclosure and complex scientific and electronic evidence.

The District Judge disagreed with the submissions from both parties and ruled that the Youth Court was the appropriate venue and if required in due course the case could be committed to the Crown Court for sentencing.

At the subsequent Judicial Review, brought to challenge the District Judge’s Ruling, the High Court acknowledged his error but upheld his decision, having considered previous decided Cases, commenting: ‘We consider that the approach taken by the judge was entirely appropriate.’

The High Court also commented that, as the result of changes in the law, the Youth Court is entitled, following conviction at Trial, to commit the case to the Crown Court for sentence. Accordingly, at the time of allocation for Trial, it is no longer making a ‘once and for all decision’.

In most cases, the ‘real prospect’ of a custodial sentence of more than two years will only become apparent when the court has determined the full circumstances of the offence.

The High Court Judgment also stated:

‘In most cases it is likely to be impossible to decide whether there is a real ‘‘prospect’’ that a sentence in excess of two years detention will be imposed without knowing more about the facts of the case and the circumstances of the child or young person.  In those circumstances the Youth Court should retain jurisdiction and commit for sentence if it is of the view, having heard more about the facts and the circumstances of the child or young person, that its sentencing powers are insufficient’.

The above clearly now confirms the position that the Youth Court should:

  • retain jurisdiction even for the most serious offences,
  • conduct the trial, and
  • following the trial consider a committal for sentence, being in a far better position having assessed the offence and the offender during the trial

The Youth Court is not required to consider a young person’s desire to be tried in a Crown  Court by Judge and Jury.

How Can We Assist? | Kangs Serious Crime Defence Solicitors

The Team at Kangs Solicitors is highly experienced handling matters of every nature involving Youth Crime and has an enviable reputation for defending clients of all ages and for securing the most favourable outcome available for each client.

Who Can I Contact for Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors

Our national recognised defence team is here to assist you and is available 24/7 on: 07989 521210.

We welcome enquiries by telephone or email: info@kangssolicitors.co.uk.

We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Alternatively, we provide initial consultation by telephone or video conferencing.


Sukhi Kangs 0417 BW scaled e1690222441546

Sukhdip Randhawa

Email Sukhdip

0121 449 9888

020 7936 6396

0161 817 5020

Helen Kangs 0491 BW

Helen Holder

Email Helen

0121 449 9888

020 7936 6396

Amandeep Murria

Amandeep Murria

Email Amandeep

0121 449 9888

020 7936 6396

0161 817 5020

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