Out-of-control cannabis addict, 15, sent to prison

MAGISTRATES sentenced a 15-year-old to six months in a detention centre - and then rejected the Journal’s third request to identify him because his crimes are “not serious enough”.

Prompted by his victims’ cries for justice, the Journal has made three applications to lift reporting restrictions which ban us from identifying the Grantham teenager.

Magistrates sitting at the Grantham court have declared that his welfare and that of his family outweighs the interests of the public.

Magistrate chairman Jennifer Hague said on Tuesday: “We don’t feel anything we have heard today has met the criteria (in lifting the reporting restrictions).

“We will only, we feel, be naming and shaming.”

The defendant was before magistrates charged with:

l Driving a motor vehicle which had been taken without the owner’s consent

l Taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent

l Criminal damage

l Riding a stolen pedal cycle

l Burglary dwelling and theft

l Breaching a youth rehabilitation order

The defendant pleaded not guilty to riding a stolen pedal cycle.

Bill Fraser, defending, told the court the defendant has a constant battle with his learning difficulties and low self-esteem, and is “easily led”. He added: “He doesn’t choose his friends very well.”

The court heard how the defendant is working with Addaction to break his cannabis addiction.

Magistrates said they were going to sentence the tearaway to a 12-month detentional training order, but reduced it because he had already served six weeks in detention for a charge which was later dropped.

Following the Journal’s application to identify him, Mr Fraser told magistrates: “Naming and shaming is not the way forward. It’s very rare that you should lift reporting restrictions and it shouldn’t be used as an additional punishment.

“His record is not the worst we have seen of a youth before the courts.”

He added that the Journal’s application is “misconceived”.

The hearing in relation to riding a stolen pedal cycle was adjourned until November 29.