QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE HENRIQUES
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF C||(CLAIMANT)|
|GRIMSBY & CLEETHORPES MAGISTRATES COURT||(DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
appeared on behalf of the CLAIMANT
THE DEFENDANT DID NOT ATTEND AND WAS NOT REPRESENTED
Crown Copyright ©
"On what we have heard today we believe that no determination was made on the issue of venue for the Section 20 charge on the 26th November and therefore the Section 20 charge should be sent to the Crown Court for determination with the Section 18."
"(1) Where a person under the age of 18 appears or is brought before a magistrates' court on an information charging him with an indictable offence other than homicide, he shall be tried summarily unless-
(a) the offence is such as is mentioned in subsection (1) or (2) of section 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 (under which young persons convicted on indictment of certain grave crimes may be sentenced to be detained for long periods) and the court considers that if he is found guilty of the offence it ought to be possible to sentence him in pursuance of subsection (3) of that section...
"(1A) Where a magistrates' court -
(a) commits a person under the age of 18 for trial for an offence of homicide; or(b) in a case falling within subsection (1)(a) above, commits such a person for trial for an offence, the court may also commit him for trial for any other indictable offence with which he is charged at the same time if the charges for both offences could be joined in the same indictment."
"(5) Where a person under the age of 18 appears or is brought before a magistrates' court on an information charging him with an indictable offence other than homicide, and the court -
(a) has begun to try the information summarily on the footing that the case does not fall within paragraph (a) or (b) of section 24(1) above and must therefore be tried summarily, as required by the said section 24(1); or(b) has begun to inquire into the case as examining justices on the footing that the case does so fall,
subsection (6) or (7) below, as the case may be, shall have effect.
(6) If, in a case falling within subsection (5)(a) above, it appears to the court at any time before the conclusion of the evidence for the prosecution that the case is after all one which under the said section 24(1) ought not to be tried summarily, the court may discontinue the summary trial and proceed to inquire into the information as examining justices and, on doing so, shall adjourn the hearing.
(7) If, in a case falling within subsection (5)(b) above, it appears to the court at any time during the inquiry that the case is after all one which under the said section 24(1) ought to be tried summarily, the court may proceed to try the information summarily."
"(1) Subsection (3) below applies where a person aged under 18 is convicted on indictment of -
(a) an offence punishable in the case of a person aged 21 or over with imprisonment for 14 years or more, not being an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law; or(b) an offence under section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (indecent assault on a woman); or(c) an offence under section 15 of that Act (indecent assault on a man)...
(3) If the court is of the opinion that none of the other methods in which the case may legally be dealt with is suitable, the court may sentence the offender to be detained for such period, not exceeding the maximum term of imprisonment with which the offence is punishable in the case of a person aged 21 or over, as may be specified in the sentence."
"80. In my view, the statutory scheme is clear. The provisions of the 1980 Act concerning adults and juveniles run in parallel. In each case there is a procedure whereby the Magistrates' Court determines whether or not to accept summary jurisdiction. Section 20 sets out the procedure in respect of adults, section 24 sets out the procedure in respect of persons under the age of 18. In each case, the statute provides for a single decision on the mode of trial. It does not permit serial reconsideration of the same question, whether or not new material emerges.
81. One then moves on to section 25. Subsections (1) to (4) deal with adults, and subsections (5) to (7) deal with persons under 18. Subsections (2) and (3) permit the Magistrates' Court to change its mind as to mode of trial for adults during the course of the summary trial or committal proceedings. Subsections (5) to (7) permit the Magistrates' Court to change its mind as to mode of trial for persons under the age of 18 during the course of the summary trial or committal proceedings.
82. The statute is quite explicit as to the circumstances in which justices can change a decision as to mode of trial. It is not permissible to read into the Act some vague power to change the mode of trial in other circumstances.
83. This conclusion, which I reach as a matter of statutory construction, is supported by the line of authority referred to in part 4 of this judgment. Only ex parte F contains dicta which tend in the other direction. Those dicta have been disapproved on a number of subsequent occasions."
"On the 22 March 2004 I advised the Magistrates that they were empowered to consider the position afresh in relation to the section 20 charge as the original decision made in November had been taken without a relevant statutory provision which had a bearing on the situation being taken into account, ie section 24(1A) of the 1980 Act."
"In essence the defendant will be saying that at the hearing held on 26 November 2003 a relevant statutory provision, ie Section 24(1A) Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 was not drawn to the Court's attention. The decision on that day was, therefore, reached in error and subsequently a full hearing was held on the 22 March 2004 when all of the statutory provisions were fully and lawfully considered."