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My 10 year old cousin has been charged with burgulary!! What will happen to her ??

(11 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Sun 11-Oct-09 19:49:55

Hi, I'm really worried about my 10 year old cousen. She hasn't had a great life at all, it's all very sad really. She used to be such a loving caring intellegent little girl, now she can't read or write, and has basically gone off the rails.
She recently broke in to her school, smashed the window and stole stationary, books etc. I don't have a clue what possessed her. She is due to be sentenced on the 20th.
I just don't know what will happen to her?
She lives with her Mum who is disabled and on very strong pain killers, she's often not aware of what's going on around her. Her Nan also lives with them and she has the job of caring for my cousen and my aunty. She isn't in great health herself. sad
What ever happens apparently they will both be going on a parenting course.
I think this might be too little too late, but better than nothing.
I'd appreciate it if there was anyone who could let me know what might happen to my cousen as I'm really worried about her. sad

colditz Sun 11-Oct-09 19:53:06

I would imagine social service and CaAMHS will become involved - this is a bizarre thing for a little girl to do.

I would be HORRIFIED if this as properly treated as a crime, rather than merely a symptom of a disturbed child.

mummyloveslucy Sun 11-Oct-09 19:59:07

Well she has been charged with burgularry in court. I think she's been in trouble before for steeling from shops. (apparently compleatly random items) I would think it was an obvious cry for attention.

mummyloveslucy Sun 11-Oct-09 20:38:08

Will she be put into a young offenders prison? Do they give community service to children? I think this would be good for her. She should be made to work until she's paid for the window she broke and the stationary. I feel this would be an appropriate punnishment.
I'm worried she might go into care.

Bellsa Sun 11-Oct-09 20:48:24

There will be a report from the young offenders team, who will report on every aspect of the background. Then she will appear in Court for the sentence. A family member should go with her; ideally someone she is resident with (mum if she is well enough or nan). Could you go? You would need permission to be in the Court, but the more information you could give and the more support she is seen as having the better it will be for her. Can you get her dressed smartly (school uniform would be fine). The parent/guardian will be asked to say something, and so will she. If she can say sorry and explain her motivation then that will help. I assume that this is her first offence? If so then the court only has 2 options-a referral order or a young offenders institution. From what you have said about the burglary-school, no violence, unsophisticated, no large value items-I would be very surprised if custody was the sentence. So it would be a referral order. That is a community order designed to help her, so could include courses, looking at her school and domestic life and generally working to prevent offending. The more support she is seen to have from the family the better, so though it seems a bit late for parenting courses to you they will be helpful.
Good luck.

mummyloveslucy Sun 11-Oct-09 21:02:52

Thanks Bellsa. smile We live 6 hours drive away from them and I only see her about once a year. In a way, I wish they lived closer as I'd like to be more involved in her life. I do have my daughter to think about though. She's 4.5 and my cousen is quite hard work to be honest.

Bellsa Sun 11-Oct-09 21:05:28

Hope things work out for her and she gets the help she needs. I have known some kids who have really turned their lives around after something like this, so let's hope this is a turning point for her too.

mummyloveslucy Sun 11-Oct-09 21:11:24

Thanks, I really hope so. She is a lovely girl who is just crying out for attention.

beesonmummyshead Sun 11-Oct-09 21:28:36

I echo what Bellsa has said, although you said that your cousin has been in trouble befre. If she has been in court before then this time the court is likely to have adjourned for a report to be prepared by the youth offending team. This report will go through her whole life history, problems and pattern of behaviour as well as trying to understand why she offends.

They will then recommend a sentence to the court which will help address her criminogenic behaviour, such as a supervision order, where she will have to meet regularly with her supervising officer ( a bit like probation) and discuss how she is getting on. The youth offending team will also set up activities for her, like trips to the zoo, or sports lessons, anything she is interested in, to try and motivate her - they sound fun, but she will be in BIG trouble if she doesn't go - they are not voluntary trips and activities. They are aimed to help her realise there are other ways to entertain yourself, and ,meet new people and friends.

She is too young to do community service (unpaid work) i think she needs to be 17 (possibly 16).

Unless she has a massssssive record, and a history of refusing to comply with court orders, she is HIGHLY unlikely to go to a detention centre.

hope this helps.

NanaNina Sun 11-Oct-09 22:54:42

mummyloveslucy - I think you have been given incorrect info here - someone has said the court only has 2 options - a referral order or young offenders institution. I am a little rusty on youth offending but can be 100% certain that a 10 year old child is not going to be given a custodial sentence - this is not lawful. A young person has to be 16 or 17 (not sure which ) before they can be given a custodial sentence. Most likely thing as someone has said is a Supervision Order which is meant to provide support as well as supervision as this is clearly what this child needs. However SSD will need tolook at all the facts and consider whether in fact the child is safe at home, as there is clearly something very wrong, but please don't worry that she will go anywhere near prison as this is not the case.

Even children who commit murder at that age go to Secure Accommodation which is not a prison but is like a children's home but the doors are locked and they are given an enormous amount of psychological help etc.

Hope this child gets the help she clearly needs.

mummyloveslucy Mon 12-Oct-09 13:44:52

Thanks everyone. smile That is a relief. She will enjoy going to the clubs etc as she dosn't have any hobbies at the moment other than playing football with some other children in a neerby field.
It sounds as if they will help her to get back on track. smile

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