High court finds age assessment of a child by youth court ‘unlawful’
R (on the application of M) v Hammersmith Magistrates' Court (2017), Divisional Court, Unreported A youth court, who had deemed the claimant to be 18 for the purposes of criminal proceedings, had not made proper enquiries into the claimant's age as is required by section 99 Children and Young Persons Act 1933. A visual asessment was not sufficient or appropriate.
Child and adolescent brain development and its impact on propensity to criminal behaviour
The treatment of young adults in the criminal justice system: Seventh Report of Session 2016-17: House of Commons Justice Committee This report about young adults in the criminal justice system is a helpful reminder to the judiciary, lawyers and other youth justice professionals that adolescent brain development and children's immaturity has a direct impact on criminal behaviour and has implications for how they should be treated in the criminal justice system.
Young age strong mitigating factor in sentencing
R v Finnerty (Daniel Mark)  EWCA Crim 1513 In this case the Court of Appeal quashed an extended sentence given to a 16-year old. He had previously undiagnosed ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia. In the court’s judgment, it considered that the appellant’s young age was of particular importance when it came to sentencing and that generally a child should be dealt with less harshly than an adult offender.
Manslaughter through an unlawful and dangerous act
Court of Appeal's consideration of the objective test within unlawful act manslaughter.
Turning 18 between conviction and sentence
R v Dennis Obasi  EWCA Crim 581 The Court of Appeal confirmed that the relevant age for the purpose of sentencing is the age at the date of conviction. Where a young person is 17 at the date of conviction and 18 at the time of sentence the ‘relevant age’ for the purpose of sentencing is 17.
Social immaturity relevant to culpability
R v Marcus Petrie  EWCA Crim 2912 Successful appeal against sentence and Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) imposed on a 19 year old who had pleaded guilty to causing a 13 year old child to engage in sexual activity and sexual activity with a child. The sentence was reduced on the grounds that the starting point for the original sentence had been too high because the appellant’s social immaturity affected his culpability and there were concerns about his vulnerability.