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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70516
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My 17 year old son has been the victim of an assault and robbery,

Resolved Question:

My 17 year old son has been the victim of an assault and robbery, the police insisted on interviewing him without an adult / parent present. As his parent do I have the right to be present when he is being interviewed or questioned or making a statement ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you a witness?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no i am not a witness.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.
If he is 17 then he is just a child witness. He only has to be under 18 to be a child witness.
Therefore he is automatically eligible for special measures at court.
The reqiurements of S9 do not actually demand that a child witness is accompanied by an adult or even that it is witnessed at all by any other means that the usual route of being signed off by an officer.
As a matter of good practice though they would normally allow any witness to be accompanied if they chose and any child to have a parent present if that were their wish.
There may be good sound reasons for their decision. I haven't heard their account for this. They will have to jusitfy it if there are actions arising.
You can always complain to the force about this which might change their mind.
If that fails though, they cannot be forced to let you accompany him. There would seem no reason not to beause you are not a witness.
Can I clariy anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

a recent court ruling ( cousins - chang) found that a 17 year old is not an adult and therefore should be treated as a juvenile not an adult and an adult should be present when questioned. This was a case bought against the Home secretary last year relating to code C. New legislation is pending.

This related to being questioned under arrest , and my son is of course the victim not the criminal. But in your opinion does this not set precedent in all circumstances relating to 17 year olds and the Police ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
That judgment relates to defendants not witneses and, in fact, does not go so far as to make a 17 year old a juvenille. It cannot do so as there is an Act of Parliament to the contrary.
It does not set a precedent of any kind for that reason until Parliament choses to amend the law.
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