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Youth Justice Law in England and Wales

Providing legal knowledge and expertise about children’s rights in the criminal justice system.

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12 January 2021

AG Reference: A timely warning on the problems caused by delay for child defendants, the ‘cliff edge’ of turning 18 and uncertainty in sentencing

The Attorney General sought leave to appeal as unduly lenient a sentence of a two year Community Order with a 200 hour unpaid work requirement which was passed by a Crown Court following a young person’s (KM) conviction for an offence of aggravated burglary committed when he was 16.  The Court of Appeal granted leave and upheld the appeal, increasing the sentence to one of three and a half years’ detention in a young offender institution.

3 January 2021

Sentencing Guidance: Some clarity on the sequence to be adopted when applying a reduction for a guilty plea and youth when calculating the length of a custodial sentence

The Court of Appeal held that a sentence of three years and ten months for a robbery in which a knife and an imitation firearm were produced was not manifestly excessive. While the appeal was dismissed, it provided the Court of Appeal with the opportunity to clarify the sequence in which the sentencing judge should apply a reduction in sentence to reflect the offender’s youth and immaturity and any guilty plea.

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