Teen in court for throwing lit fireworks into shopping centre

The incidents happened at Sailmakers shopping centre, in Ipswich, last October Picture: SARAH LUCY

The incidents happened at Sailmakers shopping centre, in Ipswich, last October Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A teenager has appeared in court for lighting fireworks inside an Ipswich shopping centre on two occasions within the space of a week.

Donnell Browne was handed a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to the offences at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old, of Colchester Road, admitted being one of two males seen throwing a firework near a ground floor flight of stairs at Sailmakers on October 24.

He then returned to the Tavern Street shopping centre with two other young males at 4pm on October 31, when another firework was thrown through the automatic doors of the entrance to the building.

When the firework failed to ignite, it was retrieved, relit and thrown back inside by Browne, who was later identified on CCTV footage.

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Browne, who was charged with throwing fireworks in a public place under section 80 of the Explosives Act 1875, also admitted smashing a window of the Dove Street Inn with a boiled sweet, shot from a catapult, at about 1am on November 14.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Browne was again identified on CCTV after stopping his scooter outside the St Helen’s Street pub and firing the object at a first floor window.

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Browne also admitted stealing a £120 bike, which had been secured to a rack by a combination lock in Providence Street, overnight between July 5 and 6 last year.

Once again, Browne was identified on CCTV, attempting to break the lock before another male rode the bike away.

He was also said to have been present when the bike was sold on for £20 outside the YMCA in Wellington Street.

John Hughes, mitigating, said Browne accepted playing a part in the theft by kicking the lock, and took responsibility for a “foolish act” that could have caused injury at Sailmakers.

The court heard how Browne had been raised in the care system since the age of five and was diagnosed with developmental disorder, Asperger’s syndrome.

For stealing the bike and twice throwing a firework into Sailmakers shopping centre, Browne was handed a 12-month conditional discharge.

He was also ordered to pay £100 in compensation for criminal damage to the pub window the following month.

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