Birthday mistake sees 17-year-old convicted as adult in Manitoba court

The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - A Manitoba judge is considering whether to order a mistrial after a mistaken birth date led to a youth being convicted as an adult for armed robbery.

Winnipeg radio station CJOB reports the boy, who immigrated from Sudan with his family, was only 17 when he was arrested.

But immigration officials mistakenly registered his birthday as being in March 1990 instead of August.

The man's relatives say they knew about the mistake, but didn't bothered to correct it because the difference was only a few months.

The teen was charged days before his actual birthday after a group of young men with unloaded BB guns approached a couple on the street.

While his family searched for documents to prove he was only 17, the case proceeded as if the accused were an adult and he was convicted.

He faced a mandatory sentence of four years, but immigration corrected his age before the sentencing hearing. A bail hearing has now been set for next week.

Accused under the age of 18 are dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. People charged under the act can't be named.