Joyriders avoid custody

TWO youths who were linked to a group that stole a car from an Ipswich business before taking it on a joyride have been punished by magistrates.The 14-year-old and 16-year-old, both from Ipswich, were tracked down after they left fingerprints on the car when it was abandoned in an Ipswich road.

TWO youths who were linked to a group that stole a car from an Ipswich business before taking it on a joyride have been punished by magistrates.

The 14-year-old and 16-year-old, both from Ipswich, were tracked down after they left fingerprints on the car when it was abandoned in an Ipswich road.

When they appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday the 16-year-old pleaded guilty to stealing the car while the 14-year-old admitted allowing himself to being carried in a vehicle which had been taken without the owner's consent.

The cases of both youths, who cannot be named because of their ages, were dealt with separately by magistrates.

In the case of the 16-year-old, David Taylor, prosecuting, told the court that the teen was responsible, with others, for taking a Suzuki Swift car from the yard of Budget Cars in Deben Road, after a gate was forced.

He told how a group of boys had got hold a key for the car and arranged to go to Budget Cars to take it. He said the 16-year-old waited for his parents to go to bed before sneaking out of his home in the early hours on June 17 to meet up with the other youths.

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“He says his friends broke the gate of the premises open. He got into the car, he manoeuvred the car out and took the car out to the road,” Mr Taylor said.

A short distance away another boy got into the driver's seat and drove the group away before they left the car in Sherrington Road overnight. They returned to it the next day and later dumped it in Everton Crescent, in the Castle Hill area of Ipswich.

The 16-year-old, who has left school and is unemployed, told the court: “I wasn't going to do it at first, then I did it - I don't know why. I'm severely sorry and I'm going to learn from my mistakes.”

In the case of the 14-year-old Mr Taylor said he had admitted that he had been walking along a street when a boy drove up to him in the car. He got in and was driven around in the car before asking to get out.

Chairman of the magistrates Ken Turner imposed a referral order on the 16-year-old which will see him placed under the supervision of Youth Offending Team members for nine months.

“You are an extremely lucky young man because the first thing that goes through our head for a planned theft of a motor vehicle is custody,” he told him.

In the case of the 14-year-old, he asked for a report to be compiled on options to try to set him on a path away from future offending.

How should courts deal with young vehicle thieves? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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