If a young person has pleaded not guilty to an offence
Then often bail will be granted unconditionally with the provision that if the young person fails to attend court as required, a warrant will be issued for their arrest.
In some cases the prosecutor, as advised by the police may consider that the young person is likely to abscond, reoffend, interfere with witnesses or in some other way pose a threat to the public safety. In this event the court will ask the Youth Offending Service (YOS) to provide an assessment for bail.
If the YOS considers that these risks can be managed by a bail supervision and support programme, this will be proposed to the court. This may include Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS). If the young person fails to comply with the bail conditions they will be returned to court for further action.
If bail is not granted
The court may remand the young person in to youth detention accommodation during this time they may be placed in a young offenders’ institution (young people’s prison) a secure training centre, or a secure children’s home depending on the needs of the young person and/or the risks they present.
A pre-trial review
While remanded into youth detention accommodation the young person is a child looked after by the local authority. In this case, the defence and the prosecution will probably ask for the case to be adjourned for a pre-trial review. This is simply a meeting between the two parties so that they can decide who they want to appear as witnesses at a trial.
Usually they do not need the young person to attend court for these, but sometimes they do. So a young person should make sure that they know whether or not they are required for the next occasion.
At the actual pre-trial review, the clerk of the court will set a date for the trial. The defence solicitor will then send a letter to the young person and their parents telling them when they have to come back to court.
On the day of the trial
The defence witnesses will be kept separate from the prosecution witnesses, and those who have been in court to give their evidence will not be allowed to talk to the people who have not yet done this. This is so that the next witnesses cannot be warned about what is asked in the court, as this would prejudice their evidence.
When the magistrates have heard all the evidence they will leave the court to discuss and decide whether the young person is guilty or not. If they are found guilty, then the process described above for people who have previous convictions will be followed.
The aims of a reparation order are to enable the young person to make amends for their offence and to understand the effects of crime on their victim.
It will involve work not exceeding a total of 24 hours, within a three month period from the making of the order.
A member of the youth offending team will arrange to meet you in order to explain the details of the programme.
You may be asked to:
- attend some group sessions to hear the effect that crime can have on victims and the community
- write a letter to apologise
- meet the victim, if he or she wishes, so that you can apologise in person
- carry out some practical work for the victim or the community
- you must keep all the appointments given to you by the youth offending team officer
- tell your officer if you change address
- allow your officer to see you at home when required
- do the things that are set for you in your reparation plan programme
If you do not keep to the rules
Your officer will ask you for an explanation. They will decide if your reason is acceptable and if you fail to keep more than two appointments without an acceptable reason, you will be taken back to court.
If you do not co-operate with the reparation order, you will be returned to the court.
The court may:
- tell you to complete the order and fine you up to £1,000
- impose an attendance centre order
- discharge the order and sentence you in a different way for the original offence
If your reparation order was made in the Crown Court, you may be committed back to the Crown Court for a re-sentence. A reparation order is a sentence of the court, which will be supervised by a member of the youth offending team.