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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My 12 year old daughter took a mobile phone from a girl at

Customer Question

My 12 year old daughter took a mobile phone from a girl at school, this girl then got a new phone. The new phone was stolen. My daughter saw how upset the girl was so handed the first phone back to her between lessons. Then my daughter was called in with the police as the phone that she had handed in had the girls second phones sim card in. My daughter swears that she had nothing to do with the second phone. The girls friends do not like my daughter and they were with the girl when my daughter gave it her back. This could possibly be when the second phones sim card was put in the first phone.

My daughter admitted to the police that she had taken the first phone off the girls desk but knows nothing of the second phone.

The police have just been around to say that if my daughter confesses to the second thft, nothing will be done, but if she does not then they will arrest her tomorrow and that CPS will charge her and take her to court.

We feel backed into a corner.......please advise your thoughts on what we should do
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My daughter swears that she did not take the second phone, but we feel we have no option but to confess. What would be likely to happen if she claims innocence? Would she have a criminal record, would it go to court?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Please advise what would happen to her if she does not confess (as it feels like we have no option but to confess) will she be arrested, charged, go to court? have a criminal record?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the information.

I'm not sure the police are being entirely full and frank with you.

It seems to me that if she admits the first theft then she has admitted the offence and so can be given a youth warning. You don't have to admit the full facts of the prosecution case to get a youth warning as long as you admit the offence.

If she admits both thefts then I'm not convinced nothing would happen anyway. They would try to give her a youth warning. I suppose that if they have genuinely said that no action will be taken at all then you could argue that trying to give a warning amounts to an abuse of process but you can never be confident of success.

If she is charged then she can always plead guilty to the first theft and contest the other one. She would probably get a referral order at court to the YOTs team but that would basically mean that she would have a criminal record.

If she genuinely hasn't done this then she should maintain that.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Are you saying that this would be treated as two charges rather than one?


That if she did confess to both then she would probably be charged anyway? Or a youth warning?



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
If there are two allegations of theft then it should be charged separately.

I think it is very unlikely that they will take no action at all if she confesses.

Of course, they may take no action. She is 12 and I don't know why anybody thinks the conduct of a 12 year old amounting to an offence that nobody could describe as grave is a police matter. CPS might well decide its not in the public interest to prosecute 12 year olds but if thats to be the decision then they don't need her to admit anything.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In your experience, do you think that cps would go ahead and prosecute for this?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
There is a risk that they could.

To be wholly honest, despite what you read in the papers, there's really not that much serious crime in the UK. You would not believe the mindless trivia that people think they can report to the police as they never would if they had to pay for them to investigate.

It is to be hoped that somebody sensible would review this and take the view that its not in the public interest but I wouldn't bet anything valuable upon it Im afraid.