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“Opening the windows and breathing in petrol”

The recent furore over petrol-shortages (which have come about because people think there might be a petrol-shortage, and have thus manufactured the situation they were fearful of)  reminded me of a piece of work I did way back in the mists of time, when “Schedule One offender” was a phrase often deployed within care proceedings.

Peculiarly, this phrase was generally distorted by the mothers within care proceedings to be “that Schedule Offender One”  making certain aspects of conversations take on a Liverpudlian, Brookside twang (despite being on the other side of the country).

The piece of work I had to do was to slog through all of the legislation and draw up a list of exactly what offences WERE accurately labelled as Schedule One offences, and which were not.

One of the particular quirks (as it arose in a case where the parents following the final hearing, shut the contact supervisor in a cupboard and legged it with their child being on the run for about a fortnight, and plea-bargained that down at criminal trial to “attempted abduction”) was that for many offences, an attempt was not a Schedule one offence, only the successful execution of it.

But I do recall, quite vividly that at that time, you could become a Schedule One offender by selling petrol to a child under sixteen.

(and frankly, I don’t need much of an excuse to (a) be topical and (b) throw in a Jam lyric)

I also remember that allowing children under 14 to do street performances, and that allowing a child under 12 to do any dangerous activity would be Schedule one offences.   It was many, many, years ago, but I also recall that regardless of whether a child was within ten miles of you, it was a Schedule One offence to set a fire in a telephone box….


About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

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