Sat, 05 Nov 2016
A TEENAGE burglar who raided Newbury Rugby Club has avoided a custodial sentence.
The break-in caused losses worth hundreds of pounds to the club.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, also raided St Bartholomew’s School and burgled two homes.
But charges of twice beating and robbing a boy with learning difficulties were withdrawn at Reading Magistrates’ Court, when his alleged victim proved unable to give evidence against him because of his condition.
Ben May, prosecuting, on Thursday, October 20, said the rugby club in Monks Lane was raided in the early hours of May 29.
The boy, with several accomplices, smashed through a glass door, the court heard.
Mr May added: “CCTV footage showed that entry was gained into the bar area by forcing the shutters, cash was taken from the till and a charity box was emptied.”
Hundreds of pounds worth of cash and alcohol were stolen, magistrates were told.
But, said Mr May: “Unfortunately it is not known how much money was in the charity box.”
When he was subsequently interviewed by police, the boy replied “no comment” to all questions, the court heard.
On another occasion the boy entered St Bartholomew’s School, Andover Road, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage and stealing two digital cameras which were never recovered, said Mr May.
Again, the 15-year-old gave a “no comment” interview to police.
The boy also burgled two flats in Highfield Avenue, Newbury, the court heard, and, despite leaving his fingerprints on a window, again replied “no comment” to all police questions.
Mr May said the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, had twice robbed another boy with learning difficulties, taking £10 and £20 notes from his pocket before punching and kicking his victim to the ground.
The boy admitted being at the school for an unlawful purpose on May 23, burgling the rugby club and burgling the two homes on July 13.
But he denied two counts of robbery, one in Newbury town centre on April 9 and another in Northcroft Park, Newbury, on April 17.
The charges were withdrawn when the alleged victim became distressed giving evidence and was unable to recall details of the incidents.
The 15-year-old also has a caution for causing criminal damage to a car.
Steve Molloy, defending, conceded that his client had “gone off the rails and committed a catalogue of offences”.
But he said the crime spree had been triggered by emotional turmoil after a family member had been jailed.
Mr Molloy added: “His head was all over the place. He took it very badly. He was lashing out at what he sees as a massive injustice.”
After retiring to consider their sentence, magistrates told the boy they had considered sending him into custody.
Instead, they made him subject to a 10-month referral order with supervision requirement.
In addition, the boy was ordered to pay £60 towards the hundreds of pounds lost by Newbury Rugby Club in the raid, costs of £85 plus a statutory victim surcharge of £20.
Magistrates acknowledged, however, that the sums would be paid by the boy’s mother.