UK Law: Youth Justice: Policy, Law and Practice
Answer ALL questions 1.500 words
1. Which criminological theories are in your opinion, most appropriate when assessing reasons for their criminality?
2. If the youth justice philosophies of justice and welfare were applied in this case, they might produce different outcomes. Explain why?
3. Both boys are taken to the police station for questioning. What are their rights under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984?
4. What is likely to happen regarding the issue of bail and remand in relation to these two boys?
5. Both boys plead guilty at the Youth Court. Which sentences do you think are most appropriate for these two offenders? Justify your recommendations.
6. Outline the risk factors for each defendant and the likelihood of re-offending behaviour.
7. What justifications are there (if any) for fixing the age of criminal responsibility at ten years old?
Dan (aged 16) and Ola (aged 11) have been arrested for a street robbery on a man aged 74. The Crown Prosecution Service papers state that the victim, Mr. Smith, was walking along Stratford High Street having just done some shopping. He stopped to look in his wallet for his bus pass when the defendants ran and pushed him, causing him to fall against a shop window. His wallet dropped to the floor during the attack, whereupon Dan grabbed it and both boys ran away. An onlooker called the police and they were later apprehended. Mr Smith suffered a twisted ankle, a sprained wrist and bruising to his face. The wallet, containing £240 cash, bank cards and his bus pass was recovered.
Your contact with other professionals reveals the background of the defendants to be as follows:-
Dan was excluded from secondary school when he was 14 for disruptive behaviour. He attended a local Pupil Referral Unit sporadically but truanted on a regular basis. He left with no qualifications and is currently looking for work. His ambition is to work in a sports retail shop. His father is a habitual criminal and his mother has suffered from severe depression for many years and has attempted suicide on three occasions. She drinks heavily and finds looking after Dan’s six year old brother Kevin, very difficult. Kevin has been in and out of care for this reason.
There seems to have been few boundaries set in the household and Dan appears to come and go as he pleases and stays out very late on most evenings.
He has a caution and caution plus for two offences of shoplifting committed in 2013 and received a three-month referral order for possession of cannabis. He completed this order at his local Youth Offending Service successfully.
Ola is in his first year at secondary school and reports from teachers say that he is doing well. He lives with his mother, a doctor, and his father, a teacher, and his three year old sister. He has never been in trouble with the police before and there have been no anti-social or behavioural problems before this incident. On the day of the offence, Ola stopped to talk to Dan, (who lives next door), on the way to school and Dan persuaded Ola not to go to school but to ‘sag off and have some fun’. The boys had been to the local McDonuts for a breakfast, (using Ola’s lunch money), before the robbery on Mr Smith took place.
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