Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Youth Courts 'Run for the Accused'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Youth Courts 'Run for the Accused'

Article excerpt

Byline: HUMFREY HUNTER

A LONDON magistrate today attacked British youth courts for being "run for the convenience of the accused".

Jonathan Myerson, currently suspended after writing an article in the Evening Standard exposing what he calls the "cancer at the heart of the system", said the courts' failings have "tragic" consequences for young offenders.

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, suspended Mr Myerson, magistrate at Balham Youth Court in south London, for eight years after he claimed youth courts were failing victims and young offenders.

Asked what he would do to correct the system, Mr Myerson said: "As we see from the crime figures today, it is so hard to get a suspect in the first instance. But the real tragedy for these children is that they are never forced to face up to what they have done.

"They plead not guilty even though there isn't a glimmer of a defence and there is an overwhelming prosecution case. Lawyers then make pettyfogging excuses for them, trying to prove there's fault in the police gathering of evidence. …

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