13-year-old pleads guilty to a 'stick-up'

PUBLISHED: 17:30 15 October 2011

(click on image for larger view) North Somerset Courthouse open evening to mark 650 years of magistracy. St Georges. Exterior Views.

(click on image for larger view) North Somerset Courthouse open evening to mark 650 years of magistracy. St Georges. Exterior Views.

Archant

A 13-year-old boy who had taken two over-doses while in foster care, pleaded guilty to two charges of intimidating two women by pointing a fake gun at them.

The young boy had pointed a green toy handgun, which made an electrical noise, at a member of staff in Morrisons, in Queen Street, Clevedon on June 23 and then at Pam Davies at The Barn Youth Centre, in Great Western Road, Clevedon.

Ian Parker, defending, told North Somerset Courthouse, the youth had had a difficult year, which impacted on his family relationships, and led him to become taken into care.

He said: “He was badly beaten up by one of the residents and had to be hospitalised. He then returned to his mother’s home before he left for boarding school.

“This offence happened moths ago and following a significant intervention he has not offended for three months, which is quite a long time for a boy of his age, going down a slippery slope.”

Jane Cooper, for the prosecution, said the first victim, Sally Marsland saw the youth stand in the doorway, in front of a large group of young boys, point the gun at her and say ‘this is a stick-up.’

Ms Cooper said: “Ms Davies has also provided the court with a letter saying the incident has affected her family life. She said, ‘even though we have family there, we do not visit.’”

The court heard the boy could not get into the youth centre and started kicking the door and pointed the gun at them.

Ms Cooper said: “Ms Davies thought ‘he was going to shoot his way into the building.’ And she said, ‘I felt petrified to the spot, and I had never seen a real gun before. He then raised the gun and pointed it at me.’”

Mr Parker said: “It was a toy, made of plastic, and the action was not premeditated. He has thrown himself into his school life, and he wrote a letter of apology to each victim, which was his own choice and from the heart.”

The young-boy was given a youth rehabilitation order for 18 months in addition to an order of education requirement at his school for 18 months. There was no order of costs as the magistrates gave priority to compensation for the victims. The mother of the boy was ordered to pay £100 each to the two victims.

Magistrate Jean Lord said: “We do not want to disturb your education because at this point you are benefitting from it and that is the best chance you have of getting out of this cycle.”

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