Schoolboy, 15, sentenced for burglary, arson and assaulting police

John Bloomer is alleged to have assaulted a member of staff at the Tesco store in Kesgrave Picture: ARCHANT

The boy broke into Tesco Express, in Kesgrave, and stole cough mixture from behind the pharmacy counter

A schoolboy has appeared in court for breaking into a supermarket, coffee shop and leisure centre, setting fire to a skip and assaulting three police officers.

The 15-year-old appeared before a youth court on Thursday to be sentenced for three counts of burglary, three counts of assaulting an emergency worker and one count of arson.

The teenager, who cannot identified because of his age, admitted the offences at an earlier hearing last month.

David Bryant, prosecuting, said the boy was arrested near Suffolk police headquarters after running out into the path of a passing patrol car at about 10.15pm on November 6.

Mr Bryant said the boy became aggressive, kicking one officer in the leg and punching him three times to the face, before spitting chewing gum at another officer and headbutting a third in custody.

He told magistrates the boy was later apologetic and made no excuse for his actions.

On February 28, at about 4.20am, the boy broke into Martlesham Leisure, causing £1,600 of damage, before stealing a bottle of vodka from behind the bar.

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Less than two weeks later, at about 10pm on March 9, he broke into nearby Costa Coffee, trying to force open a safe and filing cabinet, before succeeding in forcing open an empty till drawer and leaving empty handed. 

Hours later, at 12.30am, the boy forced open a fire door at Tesco, in Kesgrave, and stole six bottles of cough mixture from the pharmacy counter.

He was also responsible for setting fire to a skip behind a retail unit in Gloster Road on October 20.

Mr Bryant said the boy had been given a nine-month referral order at youth court on May 6 for other offences. 

David Allan, mitigating, said there was no disputing the facts of the case – although the boy maintained he had not deliberately spat gum at one of the police officers. 

Mr Allan said the offences formed part of a wider picture, for which the boy was previously dealt with by way of the referral order, and which included assaulting another officer and damaging a window at police headquarters, along with 21 other offences taken into consideration.

He said the offences took place against a "difficult and troubling" background, and as a result of several factors, including peer groups, alcohol and cannabis.

"He got himself into a series of situations that do him absolutely no credit," Mr Allan told the bench.

"His behaviour was disgraceful – and I think he will be the first to acknowledge that."  

Mr Allan said the boy had begun to thrive since spending more time at school and had ambitions to join the armed forces.

The boy told the court: "I know that my actions were wrong and I wish it had never happened."

Magistrates adopted the recommendation of a pre-sentence report and extended the boy's referral order to the maximum 12 months.