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Young people as victims and witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support young victims and witnesses and treat them with dignity.

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Youth crime

The Crown Prosecution Service acts in partnership with other agencies such as the police, the youth justice board, children's services, courts and youth offending teams. Each area of the CPS has a youth justice specialist who oversees the prosecution of youth crime in their area.

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CPS response to Serious Case Review of Paul Smith


Lincolnshire Crown Prosecution Service has accepted the recommendations of the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board which reviewed the case of Paul Smith, convicted of the murder of Rosie May Storrie, to see if any lessons needed to be learned.

Lincolnshire Chief Crown Prosecutor Colin Chapman said: "The Serious Case Review looked at the involvement of agencies in the life of Paul Smith, including both Lincolnshire Police and Lincolnshire CPS, and whether any previous alleged incidents contained any warning signs.

"In considering previous allegations about Paul Smith's behaviour, the report looked at a decision by the CPS not to prosecute him for kidnap in June 2002. It identified deficiencies in the decision making process concerning our internal supervision of such serious cases and our working relationship with the police at the time.

"Even if the CPS decided that Paul Smith should have been prosecuted for this incident, it is impossible to say that it would have prevented the death of Rosie May. The decision was taken in light of the information available at the time and was treated as an isolated incident."

The Area reviewed its systems following Paul Smith's conviction for murder and the then Chief Crown Prosecutor put new procedures into place. There is now a policy, said Mr Chapman, where a second senior lawyer is consulted about serious cases when a decision not to prosecute, or to discontinue a case, is being considered on public interest grounds.

As well as this, Mr Chapman said the introduction of Statutory Charging Scheme in Lincolnshire has completely changed the working relationship of police officers and prosecutors in the county. He said: "Crown Prosecutors work closely with police investigators before charge and are responsible for the decision to charge.

"Under this scheme there exists a formal and immediate process by which CPS and police supervisors are able to resolve and escalate - if necessary to myself and the Chief Constable - any disagreements that occur at the point of charge. These new procedures are recognised in the report.

"So far as the CPS is concerned, I accept the conclusions of the report and its recommendations. Lessons have been drawn from, and acted upon, as a result of this review."

  1. Paul Smith was 18 when he was convicted on 28 October 2004 at Nottingham Crown Court of the murder of 10-year-old Rosie May Storrie.
  2. Following his conviction, the Lincolnshire Area Child Protection Committee (now the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board) carried out a review of the involvement of agencies in the life of Paul Smith and his family to see whether there were any lessons to be learned.
  3. The then Lincolnshire Chief Crown Prosecutor, Alison Kerr, was a member of the Serious Case Review Panel. When she retired, her place was taken by Colin Chapman who was the new Chief Crown Prosecutor.
  4. CPS Lincolnshire received a file concerning an allegation of kidnap against Paul Smith in June 2002, together with an allegation of dangerous driving for a separate, unrelated, road traffic accident on the same date.
  5. The file was reviewed by a senior CPS lawyer who decided it was not in the public interest to prosecute Paul Smith for kidnap. The CPS did prosecute Paul Smith for one charge of dangerous driving. He was given a six month referral order by Grantham Youth Court and ordered to pay compensation to the victim of the accident.
  6. For further information contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8180.