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Teenager charged with manslaughter 1835

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Teenager charged with manslaughter 1835

Postby HannahH » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:17 pm

Hi. Sadly, I have discovered that one of my ancestors was charged with manslaughter when he was aged 13. He, and the two other boys charged with him, were acquitted. Their case was heard at Newcastle/Northumberland Assizes and I have been troubled with the thought that they may have been imprisoned awaiting trial. Forgive my ignorance, but would this have been the case? The case wasn't heard for five months after the girl died in an accident. I have found newspaper reports for the inquest and the trial, which was thrown out of court. I can't find records for imprisonment, however.
It has been one of those days when I wished I had never started researching! The boy and his family must have been through so much. I also feel dreadful for the girl who died and her family.
Many thanks for any helpful pointers.
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Re: Teenager charged with manslaughter 1835

Postby junkers » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:40 pm

As the case came from the Coroner's Court it would be at that stage that they would have been brought to court, sometimes by an order from the Coroner to the police and as you say the case was thrown out then they would not have been imprisoned. As he was aged 13 at the time he would have been treated as a child, the term 'teenager' is a modern term.
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Re: Teenager charged with manslaughter 1835

Postby coopernicola » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:02 am

I may have not remembered correctly (A-level criminal law in the distant past!) but I thought until the 20th century children aged 13 (I seem to remember over 9 being the cut off) were considered 'adults' in law. That is they understood the difference between right & wrong and could therefore be charged with adult crimes.
If indeed the above case was an accident, and there was not intent to harm the victim, then this would mean he was not guilty.
Can't say whether he would have been held before the trial though.
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