Child Cruelty and Neglect Solicitors

An accusation of child cruelty or child neglect is a serious allegation and is distressing for everyone involved. It is a complex area of law and it is vital that you seek expert legal advice. Our specialist Child Cruelty Law Solicitors can represent and advise you on your legal rights.

Free Initial Telephone Discussion

For a free initial telephone discussion, please call us on 020 7404 3004 or email info@ikpsolicitors.com. You can also complete our online enquiry form https://www.ikandp.co.uk/about-us.

 

We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This includes weekends and bank holidays. We can help clients based anywhere in England or Wales.

 

If you require urgent assistance, please contact us on our emergency number on 07738 802993.

 

What is child cruelty?

The offence of child cruelty is defined in the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 as amended in May 2015 by the Serious Crimes Act 2015. Under the 2015 Act, a person commits an offence of child cruelty if they are aged sixteen or over and have responsibility for any child or young person under that age and they:

  • Assault

  • Ill-treat (whether physically or otherwise)

  • Neglect

  • Abandon

  • Expose a child

  • Causes or procures the child to be assaulted, ill-treated (whether physically or otherwise), neglected, abandoned, or exposed in a manner likely to cause the child unnecessary suffering or injury to health (whether the suffering or injury is of a physical or a psychological nature.

 

The ill treatment can include non-physical treatment, such as bullying, isolation or humiliation, particularly if it is likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to the health of the child. Examples of child cruelty or neglect include accusations that a child is not being cared for. For example, if a child is unkempt or not receiving enough to eat.

The offence covers different types of behaviour that can together or separately amount to the offence of child cruelty. The four generally accepted categories of child cruelty are:

  • Assault and ill-treatment

  • Failure to protect

  • Neglect

  • Abandonment

An investigation into child neglect or child abuse will involve the police and social services and can also involve teachers and doctors.

What is child neglect?

Child neglect is defined under Section 1(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.A person is deemed to have neglected a child or young person in a manner likely to cause injury to the child’s health if they are a:

  • Parent

  • Guardian

  • Person legally liable to maintain a child

And they fail to provide adequate food, clothing, medical aid or lodging for the child or they do not take steps to procure the items for the child.

 

Death of an infant

The offence of child neglect may also be committed under the 1933 Act if an infant (a child under the age of three) dies in the following circumstances:

  • The cause of death was suffocation and the suffocation was not caused by disease or the presence of a foreign body in the throat or air passages of the infant and

  • The infant was in bed with a person aged sixteen or over and

  • The person was under the influence of drink or a prohibited drug either when the person went to bed or at any later time before the suffocation of the child occurred

What is the penalty for child cruelty and neglect offences?

Allegations of child cruelty and child neglect are extremely serious. If convicted the punishments can be significant.  The maximum sentence for a child cruelty and/or child neglect offence is 10 years imprisonment.

When considering sentencing, the court will assess the seriousness of the harm to the child and the culpability of the person charged with the offence. The court will consider a person to be more culpable in certain circumstances, such as:

  • Prolonged and/or multiple incidents of serious cruelty, including serious neglect

  • Gratuitous degradation of a victim

  • Sadistic behaviour

  • Use of very significant force

When considering sentencing, the court will assess the seriousness of the harm to the child and the culpability of the person charged with the offence. The court will consider a person more culpable in certain circumstances, such as:

  • Prolonged and/or multiple incidents of serious cruelty

  • Serious neglect

  • Gratuitous degradation of the child

  • Sadistic behaviour

  • Use of very significant force

The court will also look at positive or mitigating points as well as any negative or aggravating factors during sentencing.  Mitigating factors include whether the Defendant expressed remorse or whether they cooperated with the investigation. Aggravating factors include whether the Defendant:

  • Has previous convictions

  • Covered up the offence

  • Committed the offence under the influence of drugs or alcohol

 

How can our Criminal Defence Solicitors help?

Our specialist team of Criminal Law Solicitors understand the need for urgent expert help if you are accused of child cruelty or child neglect. We act with expertise, professionalism and confidentiality.

How can I pay for my legal representation?

If you do not have the means to pay for your legal representation you may qualify for legal aid. Imran Khan and Partners are accredited by the Legal Aid Agency. We can apply for legal aid on your behalf and guide you through the application process.

 

We are also able to offer funding on a private basis. Contact us to discuss your funding options. 

 

How to get in contact

 

Contact us now on 020 7404 3004. Our specialist criminal defence solicitors can offer you a free initial consultation. Alternatively, email us at info@ikpsolicitors.com or complete our free online enquiry form at https://www.ikandp.co.uk/contact-us.

 

We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 

We can assist wherever you are based and have offices in central London.

 

We are also able to assist with police interviews at the police station. If you require urgent assistance, please contact us on our emergency number  07738 802993.

 

If you contact us on behalf of someone who is already in prison, please simply provide the name of the person, the prison number and any available detail. We will organise a legal visit with that person, whether face to face or by Video link.