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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son (15) was arrested last Friday night, and bailed the

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My son (15) was arrested last Friday night, and bailed the following day. I still have not heard if they intend to charge him or with what, so am considering whether I need a lawyer. As it stands, I am not sure an offence has been committed. Details of incident are:

He and 3 friends walked into the lobby of a nearby hotel in the evening. In the lobby, complimentary coffee and flapjacks were being offered. He and his friends helped themselves to coffee and flapjacks. Police arrived and arrested them all.

Mention has been made by the police of "attempted burglary". Is this valid?

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

Is there any reason you think it might not be valid please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My question is: has an offence actually been committed?


As I understand it, 'burglary' is 'illegally entering a premises for the purposes of theft'.


Firstly, as far as I can see, the premises was not entered illegally, as it is a hotel lobby which anyone is at liberty to walk into. I frequently have business meetings, for example, in hotel lounges where I am not staying, just as a convenient rendezvous.


Secondly, technically no theft took place, as the coffee and flapjacks were being offered on a complimentary basis.


Had he been asked to leave?

Or did he try to enter a part of the building not accessible to members of the public?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He left as soon as he was asked to leave, and was met by police.


He did not enter any area of the hotel other than the large lobby/lounge area.

On the facts you describe that would not amount to a burglary then or an attempted burglary but you do need to bear in mind that there is probably more to this than that.

Things are not perfect but generally speaking the police do not arrest without any basis at all. Allegations are often false, although mostly they do not arise from allegations like this, and more often they are so trivial that the public would not believe money is wasted upon them. They are often very weak cases but usually they have some power to arrest if the facts are taken at their highest as they are at that stage.

If there is an allegation that they tried to steal or tried to remove something or enter a part of a building where they were disallowed from being then that may be the cause. I would imagine that they are saying that the complimentary coffee etc was for guests and they are not guests but I would not charge that as a burglary and I'm not sure it really passes the public interest test for theft either.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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