A person remanded into local authority accommodation without security conditions in the interim care of a member of the Youth Offending Team was, on the facts, in custody such that where that person absconded the common law offence of escape from lawful custody was committed.Appeal by way of case stated against the appellant's ('H') conviction on 23 August 2002 of the common law offence of escape from lawful custody. On 23 August 2002, H was remanded to local authority accommodation without a security requirement under s.23 Children and Young Persons Act 1969. Following that remand, H was released into the care of a member of the Youth Offending Team ('YOT'). H was briefly left unsupervised and told not to move whilst the member of the team gained access to an office. H absconded and was later convicted of escape from lawful custody on the basis that the order of remand had been custodial in nature as it had followed a refusal of bail and the YOT had power to detain him under s.23(3) Children and Young Persons Act 1969. On the present appeal H argued: (i) that in reliance on E v DPP (2002) EWHC 433, for a person to be in custody, his immediate freedom of movement was required to be under the direct control of another; (ii) that having been remanded into local authority accommodation without security requirements he had not been in custody; and (iii) that he therefore could not have escaped from lawful custody.HELD: (1) It was clear from E v DPP (supra) that remand into local authority accommodation with security requirements was custodial in nature and R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex p A (2000) 2 AC 276 supported that proposition. (2) Equally, an order where security requirements were not imposed was capable of being custodial in its application as there were wide powers to impose conditions under s.23 of the Act. (3) Whether a person was in custody in the sense described in E v DPP, was a question of fact dependent on the circumstances. (4) It was appropriate to concentrate on the moment H had absconded and at that time H was in the control of a member of the YOT who had power to detain him and who had told him not to move. (5) In those circumstances there was ample evidence that H's immediate freedom was under the direct control of the member of the YOT and H knew he was under that control. (6) H was therefore in lawful custody from which he had escaped.Appeal dismissed.
 EWHC 878 (Admin)