Plea for teenage burglar who spat at police to 'turn his life around'

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The teenager, who cannot be named, was given a 12-month referral order - Credit: Getty Images

Police have said they hope a schoolboy who caused "widespread damage and distress" by raiding a Tesco, setting fire to a skip and assaulting three officers can "turn his life around".

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, was arrested near Suffolk police headquarters after running into the path of a passing patrol car at about 10.15pm on November 6.

He then 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.

In addition, the boy broke into Martlesham Leisure at 4.20am on February 28 last year - where he caused £1,600 of damage, before stealing a bottle of vodka from behind the bar.

Less than two weeks later, at about 10pm on March 9, he broke into nearby Costa Coffee.

There, he tried to force open a safe and filing cabinet, before succeeding in forcing open an empty till drawer and leaving empty handed. 

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

The 15-year-old's offences included breaking into Tesco in Kesgrave

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.

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

The 15-year-old appeared before a youth court on Thursday, July 8 to be sentenced for three counts of burglary, three counts of assaulting an emergency worker and one count of arson.

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

The boy had already been given a nine-month referral order at youth court on May 6 for other offences. 

This was extended to a maximum of 12 months at Thursday's hearing.

Duncan Etchells, from Suffolk police's Operation Converter team, said: "This individual caused widespread damage and distress to a number of people in the community so to see him referred to the youth offending panel will hopefully help start to see a change in his behaviour.

"I hope that he will reflect on the upset he has caused and now start to turn his life around and start to realise a life of crime does not pay.”

Appearing in court, the boy said: "I know my actions were wrong and I wish it had never happened."

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