Magistrates give Flintshire teen burglar one last chance

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A PENSIONER was woken late at night by a torch being shone into her face.

The 87-year-old woman, who lives alone in Connahs Quay, struggled to get out of bed and get her walking stick.

She bravely went to see what had happened and found her home had been burgled and the television set had been stolen.

It turned out three teenagers had been responsible for the raid at her home.

The only one who was caught was a boy – 16 at the time – who was traced when his fingerprints were found on a window which he held open for the others.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had also assaulted two project workers at a hostel where he was living temporarily.

He held keys in his fist and threatened to use them as a weapon, said Sandra Subacchi, prosecuting.

The burglary, and the two assaults which he admitted, put him in breach of a previous rehabilitation order for an incident when he had gone berserk with a knife in Flint town centre.

On that occasion, when drunk, he ran out in front of a pensioner who was driving his car, kicked the vehicle and was shouting and being abusive.

He had broken a window at The George and Dragon public house and returned to the scene with a large knife.

A number of people restrained him but one suffered a deep cut to the hand.

The youth, now aged 17, admitted burglary and two assaults and being in breach of the rehabilitation order for an affray, possessing a knife and criminal damage.

He was told that if he had been an adult he would be facing a substantial custodial sentence.

But magistrates gave him one last chance and placed him on a new youth rehabilitation order for 18 months under which he will be tagged for three months to stay indoors at night.

They also made an order banning him from drinking alcohol, described as his downfall.

He was also ordered to carry out 180 days of activities under the instruction of the youth justice board and must pay £300 compensation to the pensioner and £100 each to the project workers he assaulted.

Magistrates described it as his very last chance and said it would give him an opportunity to make a fresh start back with his family outside the North Wales area.

Fiona Larking, defending, said the offences were committed when the defendant had been thrown out of the family home.

He had been living with friends, drinking too much and had come under peer pressure to commit the offences.

The incident in flint with the knife occurred when he had been drinking after he had found his niece dead.

The youth had been doing well with foster parents but because of the cost he lost the placement and was placed in a hostel where he was influenced by others.

He had not realised what was happening when others got him involved in the burglary and he was so drunk he could remember nothing of the incident in the hostel.

He was ashamed and very remorseful, she said.

See full story in the Leader

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