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First ever curfew order for teenager

PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

A PERSISTANT youth offender committed crimes because he was threatened by a man with a shotgun, magistrates in Ipswich heard.

The teenager pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while disqualified, handling a stolen motorbike and causing a nuisance at an Ipswich school.

A PERSISTANT youth offender committed crimes because he was threatened by a man with a shotgun, magistrates in Ipswich heard.

The teenager pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while disqualified, handling a stolen motorbike and causing a nuisance at an Ipswich school.

Magistrates sentenced the 15-year-old to a six month long Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP) – the first sentence of its kind in the county.

Graham Skippen, defending the youth, said: "What's happened is rather significant in his situation because he lives in an environment where there is a lot of criminal activity among young people.

"There is also a person, of whom he is very much afraid, who has put a sawn-off shotgun to his chin."

Mr Skippen said the man threatened youths in the Nacton area to take cars on "petrol runs" and fill them up with fuel before driving away from garages without paying.

He added that some youths in Nacton had developed a culture of believing "you were not a man unless you had been to prison."

He said his client had followed this path but changed his behaviour after speaking to somebody who had served a custodial sentence.

"He was told the reality of prison life and became petrified of prison and his behaviour has completely changed," said Mr Skippen.

Earlier, Philip Jones, crown prosecutor, told magistrates that the youth had been disqualified from driving for six-months as a totter on December 5.

He said: "He has pleaded guilty to two charges of driving while disqualified. On both occasions he was followed and stopped by police officers.

"On each occasion he agreed he was disqualified and had no insurance."

The youth was caught driving a Volvo on February 2 and a Ford Fiesta on January 4.

He also pleaded guilty to causing a nuisance at an Ipswich school on July 2 and handling a stolen motorbike on April 8.

In sentencing, Tony Baker, chairman of the bench, said: "We consider the offences to be so serious that the supervision order is required. We make the order for six months."

The programme included a three-month curfew from 9pm to 7am.

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