‘Boredom’ driven crimes no longer a laughing matter for 14-year-old girl

Garrick Way in Ipswich Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Garrick Way in Ipswich Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant

A 14-year-old girl who tormented sheltered housing residents has been banned from the area.

Castle Court in Ipswich Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Castle Court in Ipswich Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant

The girl, who can not be named, appeared at Ipswich youth court on Thursday to admit a string of offences on an estate.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said the incidents in question began on December 17, when Castle Court resident Simon Tuddenham heard stones thrown at his front window.

“He looked outside and saw the girl, who ran to an alleyway, but returned several times and caused £50 of damage,” added Mr Ablett.

In a statement, the victim said repeated anti-social behaviour had caused considerable distress, adding that he felt targeted by the girl and more vulnerable at night.

On December 18, the girl was issued with a 24-hour dispersal notice but was arrested for going back the next afternoon and found with 0.8 grammes of cannabis.

Following more complaints, she received another dispersal notice on December 20, but again failed to comply, returning to be abusive towards residents within 24 hours.

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CCTV footage showed her carve an expletive and an initial into the wall and window of the Garrick Way Co-op on the same day.

Seven days passed before she was back to throw a plant pot at the window of another property – damaging an air vent worth £25.

The girl received a six-month referral order at the same court for knife possession last July – a penalty solicitor Lyndon Davies asked magistrates to extend, rather than replace with a more strict rehabilitation order.

He said the girl had been in a difficult situation at home and “got mixed up with” a new friend.

“I have a great deal of sympathy for those in the area,” he added.

“I don’t underestimate the effect this had on people, but I don’t think they were targeted by the offences, which arose more from boredom and mischief, and none of which are imprisonable, apart from at the lowest end of the scale for possession of cannabis.”

According to the youth offending team, the girl responded well to terms of the referral order before her attitude “deteriorated”.

The girl told magistrates: “I feel really bad for what I’ve done. I’m not going to do it any more. It was just a laugh, but it isn’t now.”

Magistrates revoked the referral order and imposed a 12-month supervised youth rehabilitation order, including an exclusion from Garrick Way and a three-month electronic home curfew. She must pay a total of £75 in compensation for the criminal damage caused.