YouTube schoolgirl receives custodial sentence for assault

YouTube schoolgirl receives custodial sentence for assault

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The video below – showing a 14-year-old girl assaulting a 14-year-old-boy in an apparent disagreement about drugs – has been doing the rounds on social media, and in the press, and has received somewhere in the region of 2.5 million YouTube hits. Well, on 21 May 2015 the YouTube star appeared in court in relation to the assault.

What happened?

As the video shows, the girl assaults the boy, throwing punches at him and threatening to get someone to “juke” (meaning stab) him. The row appears to be concerning the boy’s activities as a drug dealer in the local area (listen out for the references to “draw”, referring to cannabis).

She says:

“Fix up, sort yourself out and when anyone on this estate comes for a draw, you’re not giving them dust…”

“…If you’re shotting, you’re shotting properly…Otherwise I’m getting my young g’s to come and juke you.”

She admitted assault by beating which put her in breach of a Youth Rehabilitation Order imposed on 8 March 2015 for grievous bodily harm and witness intimidation.

Her barrister said in mitigation: “[She] is a person who has shown real intelligence and insight. She is able to reflect and she knows that she becomes wound up and is unable to restrain herself…She regrets her actions and was not aware of the victim’s vulnerability. She has asked me to apologise on her behalf.”

We are unaware of the “vulnerability” to which she is referring.

Sentence

The youth court imposed a Detention and Training Order of 12 months.

We understand that the YRO was revoked and the girl was re-sentenced for those offences, receiving an 8-month DTO for the GBH/witness intimidation. Additionally, she was given a 4-month DTO, consecutive, for the assault by beating. That results in a total term of 12 months (there being a 6-month period of “detention” and a 6-month period of “training” upon release from custody).

Comment

A DTO is only available for a child under 15 if the court is of the view that the child is a persistent offender. This typically means that they have been in trouble numerous times before, however there are examples of where no previous convictions have been recorded. As for the girl in this case, we are aware she has previous convictions for GBH and witness intimidation; she may have other convictions. It would seem that the finding that she is a persistent offender is safe.

A DTO may only be made in terms of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 18 or 24 months.

In respect of the YRO breach, the court could have imposed a fine upto £2,500, amended the order (adding requirements etc.) or re-sentenced. We don’t know the facts of the GBH/witness intimidation but coupled with the assault by beating, a custodial sentence would appear to be appropriate.

One final comment – the Mirror, though providing what appears to be a good summary of the facts, gets a few of its terms mixed up. In its news report, it states that the girl was given a sentence of detention in a young offender institution – this sentence is only available for those aged 18-20. Additionally, it stated that the girl’s barrister proposed an “intensive community order” as a non-custodial sentence. Community orders are not available for those under 18 (and an “intensive community order” does not exist). What was being referred to was a Youth Rehabilitation Order with Intensive Supervision and Surveillance – a more stringent version of the “basic” YRO that was imposed on the girl in March.

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