Teen wins u-17 custody ruling

A teenager has won his High Court battle for the police to treat 17-year-olds in custody as children, giving them the same protections offered to under-16s, including the right for them to contact their adults.

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Charity is both 'proud and sad' after court win

Today we are proud and sad. Proud for Hughes - that a 17-year-old stood up and said I don't think this is right and took it to court - and proud that so many people's hard work has gone into changing the law.Sad for the terrible loss of the families.

Our pressing concern is how this protection can be implemented to protect 17-year-olds from today.

We have asked the Home Secretary to issue immediate guidance to police forces around the country before she begins her consultation.

We would be happy to assist in the drafting of this. We are of course anxious to make sure another tragedy doesn't happen in the interim.

– Shauneen Lambe, Just for Kids Law


Courts triumph 'tinged with devastation'

The parents of two 17-year-olds, Joe Lawton and Edward Thornber, who killed themselves after getting into trouble with police, were also at the court for the ruling.

Joe's parents, Nick and Jane Lawton, from Disley, Cheshire, say that their son would "still be here today" if he had received their support when he was taken into custody for drink driving.

We are obviously very pleased with the ruling. We knew right from the first moment that if we had been there it could have all been very different.

We are so pleased, but it is also tinged with such sadness and devastation.

– Jane Lawton

Edward's mother Ann Thornber, from Manchester, also holding a photograph of her son, said:

It's just so difficult. Obviously we are delighted that some good has come out of it, but it's not going to bring Joe or Edward back.

If it can stop another family going through the devastation we have been through, there has to be something positive.

The tragedy is that Edward and Joe would still be here today if the law had been changed in 2010 but it never happened and now we are suffering the consequences of that.

High Court victory for teen over custody rules

A teenager has won a High Court victory over the Home Secretary's policy of treating 17-year-olds taken into custody as adults. The approach deprives the teenagers of protections offered to those aged 16 and under.

Two judges have ruled that that the policy is "incompatible" with human rights law.

Those under 16 are entitled to contact their parents or seek advice and assistance from an independent "appropriate" adult.

The ruling was a victory for Hughes Cousins-Chang, from Tulse Hill, south London, now aged 18, a sixth-form college student who was arrested by Metropolitan Police but subsequently found to be innocent.

He was detained for more than 12 hours and strip searched at a police station after being suspected of a robbery.

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