Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Boy, 12, one of youngest prisoners

A 12-year-old boy who has committed more than 30 crimes has become one of the UK's youngest prisoners when he was given a 10-month custodial term. Skip related content

Magistrates in Witham, Essex, heard that the youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had a criminal record which included convictions for assault and aggravated vehicle taking.

They said he had breached "many" previous court orders and committed "many" offences while on bail.

The boy, who lives near Chelmsford, appeared in court to be sentenced after admitting his latest crimes - assaults on a woman and a man and aggravated vehicle taking.

Magistrates said he would be eligible for release after serving at least five months in a detention centre.

The youngster, who was dressed in a combat-style green jacket, sat with a care worker in the court dock during the hearing.

Magistrates refused an application by journalists to lift reporting restrictions and allow the youngster to be named in media reports. Reporters argued that the public should know who the boy was to help police prevent him from committing further crimes But magistrates said the youngster was "too young" and "vulnerable" - and ordered that his identity should not be made public.

Prosecutors said the boy had compiled his "appalling" criminal record before turning 12.

They said he had committed his latest crimes near Chelmsford in early February when aged 11.

The court heard that the youngster had lived in London before moving to Essex and appeared before magistrates in Croydon.

Its about time these habitual criminals names are made public so when he is released in 5 months people who may have the sorry misfortune of having to live near this 'person' will be aware of his criminal tendancies

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