Why the judge decided rehabilitation was better than locking teenager up

The sentencing took place at Leeds Crown Court.
The sentencing took place at Leeds Crown Court.

If the attacks had been carried out by a man aged over 21, the judge said the appropriate sentence would have been four or five years in prison.

But the options available in this case, due to the boy’s age, were either a youth rehabilitation order or a detention and training order.

The first, served in the community, could be for up to a maximum of three years and could include elements such as supervision and a curfew.

The second, served in a young offenders’ institution such as Wetherby, would be for a maximum of two years and involve less time spent on one-to-one rehabilitation.

These type of orders must be for four, six, eight, 10, 12, 18 or 24 months exactly and half the time is served on licence.

This case was further complicated because the boy had been on an Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme since being convicted in September for battery.

Judge Neil Clark said: “I am obliged to give you credit for the time you’ve already spent on the intensive support programme. I am also obliged to give you credit for the good progress made.”

He said this would mean reducing any detention order by more than three months.

In settling on a three-year rehabilitation order, the judge said: “It’s for a longer degree of time, therefore the degree of monitoring is greater.”

He said it would offer greater protection to the public.