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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71135
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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In June My daughter aged 14 and another girl were stopped by

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In June My daughter aged 14 and another girl were stopped by police in a local park as two boys had accused them of stealing a phone and hitting them, the police searched no phone was found on them, they took there addresses. A few weeks later they rang my home and asked if my daughter could go to barking station and give a statement my wife took her and she did this right away. She was told her rights,
She said that they were sitting near the boys coats and bags and then the boys said we had stole there phone the girls said no and the other girl grabbed a boys bag and was swinging it at them to stop them getting near us. The police then said her statement tallied with boys concerned and that we would probably hear no more. As for the other girl involved they may need to arrest her as they had not got been able to get in touch with her. Next we hear is on the 20th Dec a letter came from Barkingside magistrates court to say that she had to appear on the 21st January 2015 charged with (1)theft and (2) assault. As a family we are very worried about the possible outcome she nor us as a family has never been in any trouble with the police before and if by chance she is found guilty what type of sentence it would be and will she have a criminal record. Please can you enlighten us.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I presume she did use the solicitor that she was offered in interview?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No solicitor was present as she was only asked to give a statement as to the events that took place
That was an interview under caution I'm afraid and she very definitely needed one.
I suppose she has admitted being with the other girl when she was swinging the bag? Did she do anything to discourage that ? Or was she encouraging it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She was trying to stop the other girl and get the bag away from her the girl eventually threw the bag away.before the police stopped them. At no point was she asked if she wanted a solicitor
Thank you.
It is difficult to say why they have pursued this. One explanation may be that the allegation is that she was doing more than she accepts. Another may be that they are putting this on the basis of joint enterprise because the truth is that swinging a bag at another person is very likely to be an assault.
If she said in interview that she was trying to stop the other girl then she might be able to rely upon the law of withdrawal. It depends what she has said on that point. Generally speaking views are more adversely affected by the law of joint enterprise than adults.
In terms of a conviction, it would mean that she would have a criminal record. If she has no previous then probably she would be given a referral order to the youth offending team if she pleads guilty. If she is convicted after a trial then probably some form of action plan order but either way it would be intervention by the youth offending team.
I suppose that if the police did witness at least part of this than they could rely upon their evidence but it does depend what they saw.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
To clarify in your opinion if she goes before magistrates and tells them she knew nothing about a phone being stolen and tried to stop the other girl hitting the boys with the bag...and this is not believed then they will find her guilty and she probably would be referred to the youth offending team. Do you know what the youth offending team is?
Yes, if she is disbelieved they will convict her.
The youth offending team are a branch of probation that deals with youths. In truth, I don't have much respect for them really but it is better than custody obviously.
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