Hitchin moped joyrider, 14, sentenced for theft spree

Stevenage Magistrates' Court, where the hearing took place. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Stevenage Magistrates' Court, where the hearing took place. Picture: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

A 14-year-old joyrider who stole mopeds across Hitchin during a spate of offending will be under close surveillance during a year-long youth rehabilitation order.

The boy from Hitchin – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – must take part in 90 days of extended intensive supervision and surveillance, with an electronically-monitored 7pm-to-7am curfew.

The teenager was sentenced at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court, where at earlier hearings he had pleaded guilty to 13 offences – all committed in Hitchin.

He admitted stealing £5.80 worth of petrol and a moped that he rode without insurance or a licence on January 15, £7.28 worth of petrol on January 16, a Piaggio scooter that he rode without insurance and dumped in Lucas Lane on January 19, a Pit Scrambler bike that he rode without a licence or insurance on January 21, and a keyring worth £2.50 from a town centre shop on January 22.

He also admitted punching through a Hitchin pub window pane on January 8 after an argument with staff, and breaching a rehabilitation order by not attending a supervision session on January 16.

In addition to the new rehabilitation order, magistrates chaired by Ingrid Saggers barred the boy from obtaining a driving licence for 24 months, and ordered compensation totalling £300.

At one of the earlier hearings in February, prosecutor James Scott said the boy – who sat crying as he awaited sentence – had apologised during a police interview on January 22, saying “he was sorry and won’t do it again”.

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The court heard that repairs to one of the bikes stolen by the boy could cost as much as £7,000.

After the boy entered guilty pleas at that hearing, chairman of the bench Rosemary Bolton told him: “The level of offending is horrendous – and we’ve talked before, haven’t we?

“I don’t care how much you like the bikes. Don’t go on them.

“No-one actually wants you to do it. It’s no-one else’s fault.

“All these people losing their bikes – they’re not rich people. It’s not like they can afford it.”

She added that the adjournment before sentence would provide a chance “to see if you can comply and do what you’re told”.

The boy denies two charges of stealing mopeds, for which he is set to stand trial on April 19. He also denies damaging a show home sign and door, for which he is to go on trial on May 3.