Teen motor menace behind bars

A TEEN yob who attacked a man with a knuckleduster and led police on a high-speed car chase along busy town centre streets is today behind bars.

A TEEN yob who attacked a man with a knuckleduster and led police on a high-speed car chase along busy town centre streets is today behind bars.

The tearaway 17-year-old was sent to a young offenders' institute for ten months after admitting a “poor catalogue” of offences when he appeared before magistrates at Ipswich Youth Court.

During yesterday's hearing, the teen from Ipswich, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to the street attack on February 10, which was carried out with another man.

The youth, who claimed he committed the assault as an act of revenge, used a knuckleduster to punch his victim in the face and continued to beat him after knocking him to the ground, leaving him with injuries, including two black eyes.

The defendant left the scene but was later arrested for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon. He was given police bail after being charged.

However, on March 26 the teen was spotted by police driving a Peugeot 106, believed to be stolen, along Bramford Road.

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When officers began to pursue him, he made various diversions through town and accelerated away. Officers turned on their lights and sirens but the 17-year-old failed to stop.

David Taylor, prosecuting, told the court that the youth swerved to avoid other cars and at one point reversed into a police car while trying to get away.

So erratic was his driving that police were forced to call off the pursuit to protect the safety of the public. The car was later found abandoned in Europa Way.

During his court appearance, the youth admitted a string of other crimes which were committed at different times, including failing to stop, being a passenger in a vehicle which he knew was stolen and two counts of aggravated vehicle taking.

John Hughes, mitigating, admitted: “It is a very poor catalogue of offences that have taken place.

“He knows he can continue on in the way he has been and come to court and spend time in custody, or he can make some sense in his life.

“He is willing to change his set of friends and has got support from both his parents.”

The youth's father said his son had “gone off the rails” but had shown a willingness to change.

The teen added: “I have been going the wrong way and have been hanging around the wrong people.

“I have realised a life of crime is not the way. I'm looking forward to changing my future.”

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MAGISTRATE Michael Osborne told the teen: “This was a serious assault. It was two people against one. You hit the victim on the head while he was on his knees.

“You will spend six months in custody for the assault and six months for possessing an offensive weapon, and these will run concurrently.

“For the dangerous driving, you will serve four months in custody. It was a prolonged pursuit which caused a danger to other road users.”

He was also given four months in custody for two counts of aggravated vehicle taking, which will run concurrently with the dangerous driving punishment, meaning he will serve a total of ten months.

The court also heard he was in breach of a three-month action plan order, which he received in February for the attempted theft of a car.

He also admitted two counts of having no insurance, two counts of driving a vehicle otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and a further charge of failing to stop. There were no separate penalties for these offences.

His licence was endorsed and he was banned from driving for two years.

A Suffolk Police spokeswoman said: “He is a persistent offender so we acknowledge this support from the court.

“We hope this punishment will act as a deterrent to other young offenders who persist in anti-social behaviour and criminality and show them that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.”