Teenager burglar escapes jail
PUBLISHED: 14:39 23 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010
A TEENAGER who broke into a house in the middle of the night stealing a handbag, wallet and a car has escaped a custodial sentence. The Stevenage boy was 15 years old when in August last year he forced open the front door of a home in Waltham Cross in the
A TEENAGER who broke into a house in the middle of the night stealing a handbag, wallet and a car has escaped a custodial sentence.
The Stevenage boy was 15 years old when in August last year he forced open the front door of a home in Waltham Cross in the early hours of the morning.
The home owners were asleep upstairs while he stole a handbag, wallet and their Peugeot car from their drive.
The car was later recovered and the boy was arrested in May this year. He had been using a credit card from the stolen handbag to obtain cash.
In a police interview, he admitted everything. At St Albans Crown Court on Friday he pleaded guilty to burglary at a dwelling house.
The court heard the teenager had previous convictions for burglary and he was also currently serving a community punishment order for possession of a class A drug.
Defending, John Waithe said the boy is a "young man who has great potential but has got in with the wrong crowd".
He added that his parents had recently moved house in the hope he will make new friends who are not a bad influence and that the boy is "full of remorse and ashamed of his behaviour".
Judge Stephen Warner said the offence was serious and merited a custodial sentence.
But given his age, plea and pre-sentence report recommendation, he instead sentenced him to a 12-month community punishment and rehabilitation order. He must do 40 hours unpaid work in the community, on top of the 40 hours he is currently carrying out for a previous offence.
Judge Warner warned him: "You know the distress caused to the victims of burglary when there is an intrusion into their homes in the middle of the night. You are being given a chance today but if you re-offend you will be back in court and will lose your liberty.
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