Re B (A Minor): FD 15 Dec 1989

Ewbank J considered the case of a ward of court, aged 17.5 years who had been arrested by the police on suspicion of burglary and said: ‘After he was arrested he was interviewed by the police who did not know that he was a ward of court. They became aware that he was a ward of court at his trial, and the police accordingly brought the matter to the attention of the wardship court on the basis of the Practice Direction of 18 July 1988 . .
It is suggested that the wording of . . paragraph [(b)] implies that, if there is no urgency about the interviews, leave ought to be sought; and if prior leave has not been obtained, subsequent approval should be sought. I am told that these matters are going to be the subject of an application to the President in due course . .
The statutory provision in relation to interviews with children in police detention are contained in s 57 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This provides that where a child or young person is in police detention various steps must be taken. These provisions apply to children under 17 and do not apply to children over 17. The ward was 17.5, and accordingly under the statutory provision it was not necessary to inform anyone of the arrest or detention of the child.
In the circumstances, in a case of a child over 17 who is a ward of court, in my judgment, it is accordingly not necessary for prior leave to be sought or for subsequent approval to be sought of any steps taken by the police in respect of the arrest or detention of the child. I accordingly make no order on the application in this case.’


Ewbank J


[1990] FCR 469


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRe A Ward of Court FD 4-May-2017
Ward has no extra privilege from Police Interview
The court considered the need to apply to court in respect of the care of a ward of the court when the Security services needed to investigate possible terrorist involvement of her and of her contacts. Application was made for a declaration as to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Children, Police

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.588220