10/10/2012 13:29 BST | Updated 08/11/2012 19:20 GMT

Young Offender Uses 'Breach Of Human Rights' To Get Curfew Changed So He Can Smoke

A curfew that prevented a young offender from going outside to smoke at night has been changed because a judge ruled it breached the boy's human rights.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was forbidden from smoking inside the youth care home where he lived and was not allowed to step foot outside the property after 7pm to smoke in the garden.

The property's garage where he was allowed to smoke was also prohibited by the curfew so he decided to attempt to change the terms of his curfew in a case that cost the tax payer £1,000.


The curfew prevented the youth from smoking at night

Returning to Stockport Magistrates Court, where he was originally sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order for assault and criminal damage, the judge agreed with his lawyer that it was a 'human rights issue' and the curfew was amended.

Liberal Democrat councillor Kevin Hogg said: "He committed a crime and should be punished. The whole system is going stupid. All this so a child can smoke.

"The court should have just told them not to waste its time."

Others however, have highlighted the failings in the original judgement.

Anna Mazzola, a human rights lawyer at Bindnams LLB told the Huffington Post: "There has a been a lot of anti-human rights rhetoric about this.

"In fact, the real issue is how it was that a 16 year old was under conditions which would have required him to breach his licence in order to pop into the back garden for a few minutes.

"It is in no one's interests to set unreasonable licence conditions, particularly for children."