HHJ Sarah Munro KC, sitting at the Old Bailey, yesterday lifted an order made under s45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, which had prevented the media from identifying the defendant Marques Walker in the case of the murder of 14-year-old Jermaine Cools in 2021. Cools was the youngest victim of knife crime in London in 2021.
In January 2022, Marques Walker admitted to the murder of Jermaine Cools, however, the media was restricted from identifying him pursuant to an order made under s45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.
The Times, The Sun, The Daily Mail, and the PA news agency, challenged the anonymity order on the grounds that it was in the public interest for the s45 to be revoked.
A reporting restrictions hearing was held before HHJ Munro KC at the Old Bailey on 3 May 2023. Applying the principles in R v KL, the judge held that she had “no hesitation” in revoking the s45 Order. Factors in favour of lifting the restriction included the serious nature and increasing prevalence of knife crime, the need for deterrence, and the promotion of public confidence that the criminal justice system is addressing the issue of knife crime and knife-related homicides.
Walker will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Tuesday 9 May. HHJ Munro KC permitted her sentencing remarks to be filmed and televised. This will be the first time the sentencing of an under-18 will be broadcast.
The story was reported in The Times and the Evening Standard.
5RB’s Gemma McNeil-Walsh acted on behalf of The Times, The Sun, The Daily Mail, and the PA news agency.