Kenneth Clarke: Teenagers Could Face Jail For Knife Offences
Up to 400 16 and 17-year-olds could be jailed every year for threatening people with knives under Kenneth Clarke's plans to extend mandatory custodial sentences, figures show.
The surprise moves come just a day after the Justice Secretary told MPs that judges should have discretion over sentencing, adding that mandatory sentences were not the British way and led to a game in which judges would look for any excuse not to hand down the set terms.
Estimates by Ministry of Justice officials showed between 200 and 400 teenagers aged 16 and 17 could be convicted of using a knife or offensive weapon to threaten and endanger every year.
Mr Clarke also plans to bring in mandatory life sentences for anyone convicted of a second very serious sexual or violent crime.