This sad story has been circulated by the Justice for Children Trust:
Children continue to commit serious offences such as murder, rape and robbery. Experience has linked the commission of offences with poverty, orphan hood and idleness. Justice for Children continues to assist children who come into contact with the law with legal representation and it is clear that without focusing on the root causes, the circumstances which children face will continue driving them into committing offences.
In one case, a 15 year old was arrested by Police on a charge of murder after striking a 20 year old man with a brick on the stomach and the head resulting in his death. He was remanded in custody at Guruve Magistrates Court since May 2012.
The juvenile was called by the deceased at his house to question him on the allegations that the juvenile had called him a thief. This had not pleased the deceased who started assaulting the juvenile several times on the head and back. The juvenile pleaded with the deceased to let him go which he refused and continued the assault.
The juvenile finally freed himself and started running away with the deceased in pursuit. The juvenile then picked a brick and hit the deceased on the stomach hoping it would deter him but he continued with the pursuit. The juvenile then picked another brick and hit the deceased on the head, which resulted in his death. The matter was reported to the police and the juvenile was arrested and detained.
The Department of Social Services notified the organization of the juvenile. With the assistance of Guruve Probation Officer and Officer in Charge, the organization interviewed the child at Guruve Prison and was able to meet the grandparents. Both the prison official and the police were keen to assist so that the child is out of prison. The organization made an application for bail pending trial with the High Court and the juvenile was released in the custody of his uncle. This is one case which shows that children are finding themselves behind bars due to circumstances they find themselves in.
The manner in which this offence was committed does not show any form of premeditation. The child was being assaulted and wanted to save himself from the assault. The juvenile is an orphan who had been staying with his grandfather.
The juvenile had stopped going to school after grade 7 because his grandfather could not afford to pay school fees for him. When a child stops going to school, it opens gates to so many adventures. This idleness causes children to be more susceptible to offences hence it is important for children to be in school to avoid commission of offences. This calls for the Government to revive the Social Services which would see orphans being assisted so as to avoid or reduce the vulnerability.
Children by nature do not have the propensity to commit offences, let us focus on what causes children to commit the offence.