Honiton teenager threw bricks at cars and burgled school in lengthy crime spree
PUBLISHED: 16:49 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 16 March 2018
A Honiton teenager who threw bricks at parked cars and stole more than £900 worth of goods in a prolonged crime spree has been sentenced to custody.
The youth, who can not be named for legal reasons, committed 29 offences between August 2017 and February 2018 – including 17 thefts from shops.
Items stolen included £568 worth of sports clothing from JD Sports in Plymouth and two coats worth £85 and £89.99 from two Exeter outlets.
The teenager, who told magistrates he was ‘disgusted’ by his actions, was given a four month detention and training order when he appeared at Exeter Magistrates’ Court this morning (Thursday).
The court heard the youth carried out the offences across several areas in Devon.
The prosecutor told magistrates the youth was spotted driving one of two delivery mopeds taken from Domino’s Pizza in Exeter on September 24 last year.
He was first seen in Lympstone, which was reported to police, and the teenager was eventually arrested in Cranbrook after being seen by an off-duty police officer.
The court heard the teen was also one of three culprits who broke into Marland School, in Torrington, at around 4am, on October 7, last year.
The prosecutor said: “A neighbour of the school saw two figures with torches moving around the grounds of the school. CCTV footage shows three people involved.”
Keys were taken from the school premises manager’s cabin before the teenagers ‘forced entry’ through the front doors of the school. A drill worth £249 was also taken.
A safe, which did not contain anything, was taken from an office at the school and later found in some nearby bushes. The keys were also left in the road.
The court heard the offenders escaped police by jumping into a car – police found paperwork relating to the vehicle at the scene.
The prosecutor told the court that on following evening (October 8, 2017), bricks were thrown through three cars’ windows in Cullompton just after midnight.
On the same evening, £600 worth of damage was caused to Cullompton Cricket Club’s windows – the club’s CCTV footage showed the offences being carried out by the teenager and an accomplice.
The youth was then seen stealing a fire extinguisher from McDonalds Extra Services in Cullompton and taking it back to the same vehicle linked to the burglary.
In mitigation, Peter Seigne said he had concerns about the teenager being sent to prison.
He said: “I genuinely cannot see any good coming from it concerning his development.
“He has upset a lot of people and probably deserves to spend some time in prison, but it should be a last resort.”
Mr Seigne told magistrates the teenager was ‘genuinely terrified’ about being sent to prison and ‘desperate’ not to lose the support of his foster parents.
He added: “There are opportunities for him and opportunities he should be offered.
“If he chooses not to take them, he is under no illusions what will happen next.”
Passing sentence, chair magistrate Isabella Kenny said: “We feel these 29 offences are so serious that only custody will be enough.
“These were a spree of offences and you were a persistent offender. There were victims of all of your crimes.
“We hope you will be able to re-establish your relationship with your foster carers and you will learn from this sentence.”
The youth was ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and handed a 12-month driving ban.
The Herald submitted an application to the court to name the youth, but this was refused by magistrates.
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