Director of Public Prosecutions wins High Court battle for Willesden teen to stand trial
- Credit: Glenn Copus
The Director of Public Prosecutions has won a High Court case for a Willesden teenager to stand trial for impersonating his friend and doing his community service for him.
He was accused of plotting to pervert the course of justice by completing “all or a proportion” of his friend’s 200 hours of unpaid work.
Prosecutors say he stepped in to pose as his older friend after the latter was convicted of driving offences by Tottenham Magistrates in November 2014.
The case against the youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was thrown out in July last year by Willesden Youth Court, which ruled that he had “no case to answer”.
But Alison Saunders appealed to the High Court on a point of principle and won.
Her counsel, Paul Lodato, said that doing someone else’s unpaid work was “a dishonest arrangement to frustrate a sentence passed by a criminal court”.
“The effect of a criminal sentence was fundamentally undermined and cheated by impersonation”, he told the court.
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Sir Brian Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Holroyde, allowed the DPP’s appeal and ordered that the youth must now stand trial.
The judge ruled: “This case concerns continuing and ongoing criminal proceedings intended to enforce the requirement to carry out unpaid work.
“Providing cover for failing to carry out the work frustrates the course of justice.”