Children Act 2001

Jurisdiction to deal summarily with indictable offences.


75.—(1) Subject to subsection (3), the Court may deal summarily with a child charged with any indictable offence, other than an offence which is required to be tried by the Central Criminal Court or manslaughter, unless the Court is of opinion that the offence does not constitute a minor offence fit to be tried summarily or, where the child wishes to plead guilty, to be dealt with summarily.

(2) In deciding whether to try or deal with a child summarily for an indictable offence, the Court shall also take account of—

(a) the age and level of maturity of the child concerned, and

(b) any other facts that it considers relevant.

(3) The Court shall not deal summarily with an indictable offence where the child, on being informed by the Court of his or her right to be tried by a jury, does not consent to the case being so dealt with.

(4) In deciding whether or not to consent under subsection (3) a child may obtain—

(a) the assistance of his or her parent or guardian or, if the child is married to an adult, his or her spouse, or

(b) where the parent or guardian or adult spouse of the child does not for any reason attend the relevant proceedings, the assistance of any adult relative of the child or other adult who is accompanying the child at the proceedings.

(5) If at any time the Court ascertains that a child charged with an offence which is required to be tried by the Central Criminal Court or with manslaughter wishes to plead guilty and the Court is satisfied that he or she understands the nature of the offence and the facts alleged, the Court may, if the child signs a plea of guilty, send him or her forward for sentence with that plea to a court to which, but for that plea, the child would have been sent forward for trial.

(6) A child shall not be sent forward for sentence under subsection (5) without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions or (in relation to offences for which proceedings may not be instituted or continued except by, or on behalf or with the consent of, the Attorney General) the Attorney General’s consent.

(7) (a)  Where a child is sent forward for sentence under this section, he or she may withdraw the written plea and plead not guilty to the charge.

(b)  In that event—

(i) the court shall enter a plea of not guilty, which shall have the same effect in all respects as if the child had been sent forward for trial to that court on that charge in accordance with Part 1A (inserted by the Criminal Justice Act, 1999) of the Act of 1967,

(ii) the prosecutor shall cause to be served on the child any documents that under section 4B or 4C (as so inserted) of that Act are required to be served and have not already been served, and

(iii) the period referred to in subsection (1) of the said section 4B shall run from the date on which the not guilty plea is entered.