Kangs Solicitors are regularly instructed to defend clients under the age of eighteen at Youth Courts around the UK with regard to varying offences, including ‘Grave Crimes’.

Cagin Husnu of Kangs Solicitors considers certain aspects of such crimes.

Who Is A Youth? | Kangs Youth Court Advisory Solicitors

  • A defendant falls to be regarded as a Youth when under the age of eighteen years.
  • A Youth Court has no jurisdiction where the defendant has attained the age of eighteen before making a first appearance before a court.
  • No new charges can be laid in the Youth Court after the defendant attains the age of eighteen years, including alternative charges based on the facts and charges already before the court.

What is a Grave Crime? | Kangs Youth Court Team.

In essence Grave crimes are offences which are:

  • sexual or violent in nature carrying a sentence for adult offenders of at least fourteen years imprisonment or
  • certain firearms offences which carry mandatory minimum sentences

Whether or not a crime is classified as a Grave crime determines which Court is to have jurisdiction.

Which Court Has Jurisdiction | Kangs Youth Court Solicitors

The general principle is that cases which involve defendants under the age of eighteen  should be tried and sentenced in the Youth Court – this was affirmed in the case of R (H, A, and O) v Southampton Youth Court [2004] EWHC 2912 and is still the presumption today.

At the initial hearing before the Youth Court, representations to the Judge will be made as to jurisdiction and if the Judge decides that the offence(s) alleged are sufficiently grave the Judge will commit the case to the Crown Court to be heard before a Judge and Jury.

If the Judge feels that the case can be heard in the Youth Court then the Judge will direct that it will be heard in that court.

However, in the event that the defendant is convicted, the Judge may still commit the matter to the Crown Court for sentence should he feel that his sentencing powers are inadequate.

Youth Sentencing Powers | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

  • The Youth Court can only impose a total sentence of twenty four months Detention and Training Order following a conviction.
  • If the Judge feels that the conviction requires a longer term of detention then the matter will be committed to the Crown Court for sentence where a Crown Court Judge may pass a such sentence as he deems fit under s.91 of the Powers of Criminal Court (Sentencing) Act 2000 (namely, the same term that he would impose upon an adult).

How Can We Help? | Kangs National Youth Court Solicitors

If you find yourself in a position whereby you or your child requires legal assistance, be it at the police station or Court, then please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following:

Sukhdip Randhawa
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396| 07989 521 210 (24 hour emergency number)

Helen Holder
020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 988807989 521 210