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Alleged assault of Margate schoolgirl: Criminal procedure question...

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This alleged assault has been reported online through local media in the Margate area


This story touched a nerve in me hence my post.

The police arrested three girls in connection with the incident aged 12, 13 & 15 respectively. To the best of my knowledge, none charged as yet,  and investigations continue.

Is bail an option for prosecutors in cases like this ?

Supposing the matter goes to trial and the alleged assailants are convicted. What sentencing options are at the judge's disposal ? Obviously background reports & pleas in mitigation will be in all likelihood considered - correct ?

I am from Scotland and I am unfamiliar with criminal process in England. Curious to see how this incident pans out.


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Bail hardly gets used anymore since HMG in its infinite wisdom decided to reform its use in 2016.  Most people nowadays get RUI'd (released under investigation) meaning that the investigation continues until it gets resolved one way or another.  

I don't want to comment specifically on this case but I can imagine a wide range of outcomes some of which don't involve court. Depending on the nature of the assault and the history of the suspects restorative justice or a simple or conditional caution might be in order.  The CJS tries to keep people out of the court system as much as possible  so I'd be surprised if any serious sentences are passed.

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I've not looked at the OP's linked article so don't know what offences are alleged, but as @skydiver rightly points out, going to trial is often the final option these days.

For the OP's general interest, E&W have sentencing guidelines that use "sliding scale" based on the levels of harm and culpability

Here for the Crown Court:


and here for the Mags:



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