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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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What is the likelihood of jail assault on a child under the age of 14? My sist

Customer Question

What is the likelihood of jail for common assault on a child under the age of 14? My sister has pleaded guilty to this charge on the following basis of plea:
- She entered playing fields with intention of speaking to a teenager who she had been told deliberately hurt her 8 year old son
- he was in a tree and pointed out to her
- she asked him to come down, he was at her head height (she is 4ft 11)
- He began to make his way down and she pulled at the neck of his t shirt and pulled him down
- She asked who his parents were but he didnt want to speak and he tried to run away but she grabbed the collar of his t shirt with both hands
- She held on to his collar and her hands may have made contact with his throat
- She pushed the complainant towards the fence and he then ran away
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 months ago.
Hello who made the complaint and has she been charged?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The 13 year old made the complaint. She had been charged, entered a guilty plea with the basis of plea being the above, this was accepted by the prosecution and she is due for sentencing in 4 weeks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 months ago.
Your sister is an adult I presume?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes, she is 34, she approached the boy as her 8 year old son informed her the 13 year old had deliberately hurt him, as stated in her basis of plea
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 months ago.
Does she have any previous convictions? I'm slightly surprised they didn't caution her.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She has a caution from approx 3/4 years ago for what i believe to be a public order offence, she got drunk and refused access to one of her children to ex partner and argued in the street with him and the police subsequently arrested her. She did not attend court though and this was just after her eldest child had died unexpectedly and she was going through a very difficult period in her life. She is very protective of her children which is why she confronted the older child who hurt her son. She is worried about going to jail and a custodial sentence was not dismissed at the court hearing where she pleaded guilty so i am looking to obtain a professional opinion as im aware the maximum sentence for common assault is 6 months in jail
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 months ago.
If that basis of plea is accepted then she won’t get custody. An assault upon a child is always going to be a significant aggravating feature of the offence of common assault but it isn’t so serious as to render a custodial sentence likely. Obviously I haven’t had full vision of the case. I don’t know whether they are alleging strangulation? If so, that is an aggravating feature. A person with one relevant caution though would not normally get custody for an offence of common assault. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I believe the child did at first allege strangulation as he alleged that my sister picked him up by his neck and threw him over a fence if about 6ft. He also stated that he then threw my sister to the floor. The child is 8 inches taller than my sister (approx 3 stone heavier) so fairly unlikely that it happened and this account was taken out of his statement and the basis of plea detailed above was accepted by the prosecution, my sister did have to take out of her version that the child threw her to the floor and the child also took that out if his version as well. The version of events given by the prosecution in court is extremely similar to the basis of plea, more or less identical.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 months ago.
Yes, and that will be why the basis was accepted. It doesn't materially affect the sentence.

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