Teenagers launch appeals against assault convictions

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THREE teenagers have launched appeals against their convictions for assaulting a fellow pupil.

Having been found guilty by the Youth Court following a two-day trial earlier this year, the attackers – a girl aged 13 at the time of the incident in June 2022, a second girl who was 14 and a boy who was also 14 – attended the Royal Court yesterday for an appeal heard by the Bailiff, Sir Timothy Le Cocq, and three lay members of the Youth Court Panel.

During the trial in February, the court heard from the prosecution that the attack on the 14-year-old was filmed on a mobile phone ‘for the enjoyment of others’ and constituted a ‘group assault’.

Advocate Alana Binnie, representing the youngest defendant, told yesterday’s appeal hearing that she considered some aspects of the trial had been ‘deeply unfair’ and that defence attempts to question the credibility and character of the witness had been ‘completely shut down’.

‘The picture was more detailed and complex,’ she said. ‘The police had an unreasonable focus on [the youngest defendant] being the aggressor. There was no proper investigation and no witness statement from a friend of the victim seen on the video.’

A video was played in court showing the youngest defendant and the victim in a confrontation. This was followed by a second video showing the two girls grappling on the ground, with audible screaming and shouting.

Advocate Sarah Dale, representing the male defendant, said: ‘The inconsistencies in [the victim’s] evidence were ignored time and time again by the court in reaching their decision [to convict the trio].’

When they appeared in the Youth Court for sentencing on 31 March, the three teenagers were given restraining orders and warned to stay out of trouble, with the two female attackers also being given probation orders.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Bailiff said that the panel would reserve judgment until a later date.

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