Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED June 30, 2003

Thames Youth Court had erred in giving the impression that it had applied the wrong test when considering whether the appellant had the necessary intent to commit burglary with intent to cause criminal damage.Appeal by way of case stated against the decision of Thames Youth Court ('TYC') on 17 February 2003 to convict the appellant ('A') of burglary with intent to cause criminal damage contrary to s.9(1)(a) Theft Act 1968. A was one of four co-defendants charged with criminal damage and burglary with intent to cause it. A submission of no case to answer was acceded to on the criminal damage charge but A was nonetheless convicted in respect of the charge under s.9(1)(a). With regard to intent, TYC stated that they were "satisfied as to recklessness". The Clerk to the Court asked for clarification and the Magistrates stated that the co-defendants "believe[d] in [their] minds" that they would commit criminal damage when they had entered the building and that they had "entered with a degree of recklessness". On the present appeal, A argued that: (i) the finding regarding the belief existing in the co-defendants' minds was insufficient in isolation to comprise a clear finding of intent; (ii) the statements with regard to recklessness gave A the impression that the wrong test was being applied; and (iii) even greater clarity was required in the case of a young person.HELD: (1) TYC's finding as to the belief in the co-defendants' minds would have been sufficient, had it stood alone, to constitute a clear finding of intent. (2) However, the statements regarding recklessness may very well have given A the impression that the wrong test had been applied. (3) In those circumstances, whilst the ordinary course would be to remit the case for reconsideration, given A's age, the fact that there was no evidence that his older co-defendants had not accepted that they had understood the test for intent and a likely delay of up to two years, the case would not be remitted.Appeal allowed.