Thursday 14 December 2017

Riots: Looter (11) had previous criminal record court told

Margaret Davis

An 11-year-old boy was sentenced for arson and criminal damage five days before getting caught up in the recent riots, a court heard today.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stole a bin from Debenhams in Romford, Essex, on August 8 after the windows of the store were smashed by looters.

He was given an 18-month youth rehabilitation order at Havering Magistrates' Court in Essex today after admitting burglary.

The court heard that just five days before the offence, he was given a referral order for arson, criminal damage and carrying a pointed instrument in an unrelated incident.

The 11-year-old, from Romford in Essex, is the youngest rioter in the capital to face prosecution, according to Scotland Yard.

He took the waste bin, which was worth £50, after a group of males smashed windows at the store, causing £6,000-worth of damage.

Passing sentence, District Judge John Woollard said: "You seem to think that nobody can stop the way you behave."

The boy was placed under an 18-month youth rehabilitation order, and told that his local authority will dictate where he lives for the next six months.

He was already under a referral order, put in place on August 3, for an incident on July 18 when he cut the seats of a bus with a craft knife and tried to set fire to the exposed foam.

When the driver would not let him off, the 11-year-old threw a stone at the exit door of the route 174 bus, and then kicked a hole in the shattered glass so that he could jump out while the bus was still moving.

The district judge said the boy, who sat in court next to his mother, had been involved in a "major disorder" just days after appearing before magistrates.

He said: "My view is that the offence is a very serious one. If you were a little older, you would be ending up in prison, you would be looked after there rather than elsewhere.

"You need to understand very clearly that you can't get away with committing offences of this nature."

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