Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2006] All ER (D) 266 (Apr)
Court: Queen's Bench Division (Divisional Court)

Scott Baker LJ and Openshaw J

Representation Stephen Smyth (instructed by MJY Pringle, Portsmouth) for the claimant.
  Kate Lumsden (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service, Portsmouth) for the prosecution as interested party.
Judgment Dates: 28 April 2006


Magistrates - Jurisdiction - Youth court - Power of youth court to commit young persons to Crown Court - Offences with which youth charged grave offences - Young offender unlikely to be sentenced to two years' imprisonment or more - Youth court declining jurisdiction - Whether youth court reaching conclusion erroneous in law - (Sentencing) Act 2000, 91.

The Case

The youth court had been wrong to decline jurisdiction in respect of an immature 14-year-old charged with offences contrary to ss6 and 7 of the . Although the offences appeared to be very serious, on the facts, the imposition of a sentence in excess of two years, which would have justified committal to the Crown Court under s91, would have been so disproportionate as to amount to an error of law.

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