A TEENAGER who pleaded guilty to robbery after assaulting a younger boy and making him ‘crawl on all-fours’ has narrowly escaped being sent to a detention centre.
The 16-year-old, from Ellington, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was described as ‘disgusting’ by a magistrate after South East Northumberland Youth Court heard how he stole two boys’ mobile phones and humiliated them in front of others.
The youth was told he was ‘that close’ to being locked up, but was instead given a 12-month supervision order for the offence.
Magistrates were told that the youth approached a 14-year-old boy, 13-year-old girl and another boy of a similar age on Queen Street, Amble, while drunk at around 7.45pm on January 20.
He pushed the boys up against the wall and stole their mobile phones before telling them they could have them back if they crawled on all-fours, which they did.
One boy ran off while the 14-year-old was then shoved into an alleyway and punched in the face by the defendant, leaving him with a broken nose.
The court heard that the girl described feeling ‘scared and frightened of what he was going to do’.
Nigel Hedley, defending, said that the lad had previously been before the court for an offence of violence which involved a screwdriver, as well as intimidating a witness.
But he said that the youth was submitting to peer pressure and ‘acting to the crowd’ and said he thinks his drink had been spiked that night.
He said: “When this happened his father had dropped him off at lunchtime, had seen him at teatime and he was sober and not in any trouble and was hanging about with friends.
“Then the assault is carried out, he is arrested but he was not interviewed because the police said he was severely drunk and possibly under the influence.
“The defendant’s father doesn’t know how he could drink as much, quite clearly if he was sober it wouldn’t have happened.
“The youth thinks his drink was spiked and that is the reason why he conducted himself in the way that he did.”
Mr Hedley told the court that the lad was playing up for his friends but had been subject to an intensive supervision order and had complied with that.
He added that going to a detention centre would have a ‘detrimental effect’ on him.
Chairman of the bench Steve Wright said: “I am actually disgusted, appalled, you name it, that is how I genuinely feel about this.
“This is horrific and there is no defence or excuse. I am sorry but you are 16 years old, you shouldn’t even be drinking period, full stop. This is what is causes you to do. It is not hard to say no, it is a very small word.
“If these are your so-called mates making you do this you need to dump them. They are not mates, they are taking the Mick out of you and you are rising to it.
“You did these things in front of a 13-year-old lass and you made a 14-year-old boy and his friend crawl on the floor, it’s disgusting.
“You have been that close to going to a detention centre. That boy that you lamped didn’t deserve it.
“This is your very last chance believe me, you cannot go on like this. There doesn’t want to be a next time, if there is there is only one place you are going.”
The teenager was also given an intensive supervision and surveillance order for 180 days and a curfew from 7pm to 7am for four months. He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to the injured boy.