Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    My younger brother has been accused of damaging a garden water feature which has incurred costs of nearly £200.
    He denies this.
    He is aged nine, I know he is below the Age of Criminal Responsibility, but will my grandparents (who we live with) be liable for the charges?
    Basically, if the women contacts the police who will be charged ofr the damaged?
    I don't think it was my little brother to be honest.

    The women has said if the amount of £188 is not paid within 7 days, she will contact the police.

    Kind Regards
    TerryW
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    :bumped:
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Is there any proof that it was your little brother? Photo's, CCTV, Witness?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Tell her to contact the police, nothing will happen to him, he's too young. She just seems power hungry, hate people like that...
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Not an expert, but if she has no evidence then I think the police can't do anything.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Am worried it could be passed over to my Grandparents and they have to foot the bill.
    She says there are witnesses, but am not sure. There is no other evidence.
    Things on her letter and "invoice" don't add up...

    A friend has mentioned "torts law". Can this be used here.

    Thanks for the replies so far
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    So far it looks like it's her word against his. The 'witnesses' could be a problem but sound dubious, and if things 'don't add up' make sure you keep reference of them just incase she does go to the police, but at the momemnt it doesn't really look much of a case.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    In the UK parents aren't directly liable for damage caused by their children.
    Your younger brother can't be guilty of a criminal offence.

    Your parents only be made liable via a legal action called "negligence". So the circumstances would need to be such that your grandparents did not exercise reasonable control over the child (i.e. they were negligent). Whether this is the case depends entirely on the circumstances, but I don't think it would be too hard to argue that a 9year old should generally be supervised.

    Regardless, it would obviously be necessary for the woman to show on a balance of probabilities that your younger brother damaged the fountain. If you don't think it was him, and if she doesn't have any evidence, by far your best route would be to deny that he had anything to do with it. Obviously don't do this if an outsider would conclude that he did - think to yourself, if you had to stand opposite this woman in front of a judge in a court tomorrow (you wouldn't because its a small claim, but anyway), would you be able to convince him that the women's accusations are not well founded? It sounds like the woman is using bully tactics to be honest.

    If you are confident that he didn't do it, I would advise you to write a letter (keep a copy) to her saying something along the lines of "We are sorry to hear that your fountain was damaged. However, X had absolutely nothing to do with it. We hope that you are able to find the culprit".
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    n.b. "negligence" is the tort law that your friend was talking about.

    If she has witnesses, ask who and what they witnessed.

    I'd leave the discrepancies between the bill and the invoice for now - if you did need to spend an hour at a small claims court, her letter and the invoice not adding up would work well in your favour.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks people.

    So far, I have spoken to the lady who sent the letter, she said something along the lines of my little brother and his friend were fighting in her front garden and the garden feature was damaged which resulted in an electrician being called out to sort the wires (electrical water pump).

    She said she definatly has one witness, her Dad. She said the her neighbours in front seen it too, but didnt follow this up when I questioned her again.

    She said she hasn't contacted anyone yet, but then said she had contacted her solicitor and that "she knows Jacks (my little brother) gaurdians can be charged for what he did". I know she is wrong and probably lying.

    As far as I can see, she has no legal grounds to press charges against my little brother or my grandparents, however the other boy who she says is involved may be have to pay-if what she says is true.

    My Nan, has not decided if she is willing to pay the now £94 (if it is split equally between Jack and the other boy accused).

    Would it be beneficial to go and speak to a Police Officer at a Police Station?
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by terryw)
    Would it be beneficial to go and speak to a Police Officer at a Police Station?
    Not sure if the police would be much help really (though they may be obliged to investigate if they suspect criminal damage - accidents don't count). There's no criminal offence that anyone could be charged with here. This is a matter for private law, and she would have to go through the fast track procedure of the civil division of the country court - this doesn't involve the police.

    You could try speaking to someone at the CAB - google "Citizens' Advice Bureau"

    Her Dad isn't a reliable witness for obvious reasons. And like most people who make random comments about the law in the ignorant assumption that it always supports them, she is wrong - there's no direct liability for the acts of one's children in English law (though you can effectively impose it by the back-door if you can show that the parents were negligent and didn't look after their kids properly).
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: March 19, 2009

University open days

  • University of Lincoln
    Mini Open Day at the Brayford Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 19 Dec '18
  • University of East Anglia
    UEA Mini Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 4 Jan '19
  • Bournemouth University
    Undergraduate Mini Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 9 Jan '19
Poll
Were you ever put in isolation at school?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.