21 Jul 2003

More young Samoans ending up in court

10:22 am on 21 July 2003

Samoa's Ministry of Justice says the recent arrest of a 12 year old girl who allegedly tried to smuggle marijuana into American Samoa has highlighted the growing number of young children appearing before the courts.

According to Probation Service data 35 child offenders were prosecuted between January and July.

Most appeared on charges involving posession of marijuana.

Ten were charged with the offence, seven of whom were jailed.

The youngest was 16 years old

Seven were charged with theft and burglary including a 16 year old girl and an 11 year old boy who was also awaiting sentence for indecent assault.

Seven others, including a 14 year old were charged with throwing stones and wilful damage.