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Children (Offences)

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children under the age of 14 years were (a) convicted in the Crown court, (b) acquitted after Crown court trial and (c) found to be unfit to plead in the Crown court in relation to charges of (i) murder, (ii) manslaughter, (iii) rape, (iv) serious drug offences and (v) other crimes in each of the last five years; and how many of those children were in care in each year. (92750)

Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform for the number of children under the age of 14 years who were convicted or acquitted in the Crown court between 2000 and 2004 can be found in the following table. No children under 14 years of age were found to be unfit to plead.

Data on the number of these children who were in care are not held centrally.

Data for 2005 will be available in mid-November.

Number of children under 14 years convicted or acquitted at the Crown court, for various offences in England and Wales, 2000 to 20041, 2

Defendants

Murder

Manslaughter

Rape

Drug offences

Other crimes

Total

Convicted

2000

0

1

1

1

145

148

2001

2

0

5

0

150

157

2002

0

0

1

1

153

155

2003

0

0

1

0

76

77

2004

0

1

3

3

75

82

Acquittals

2000

0

0

7

0

89

96

2001

0

0

4

0

66

70

2002

0

0

88

1

75

84

2003

0

0

7

0

57

64

2004

0

0

7

0

50

57

1 These data are provided on the principal offence basis. 2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by court and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. Source: RDS Office for Criminal Justice Reform.