Mother hands son into police

PUBLISHED: 11:10 12 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:57 18 June 2010

MAGISTRATES have praised a Sidmouth mother who handed her teenage son into the police after she read an appeal in the Herald. Appearing at Exeter Youth Court on Wednesday, the 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted handling stolen g

MAGISTRATES have praised a Sidmouth mother who handed her teenage son into the police after she read an appeal in the Herald.

Appearing at Exeter Youth Court on Wednesday, the 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted handling stolen goods.

The court was told the items, which included a laptop, MP3 player, a set of keys and a green parka jacket, had been taken from a house in Sidmouth in February.

David Burgess prosecuting said on the night in question, the teen arrived home between 1 and 2am, around an hour after the goods were taken, wearing a green parka and carrying a laptop.

"He went into the shared bedroom with his brother and asked if he knew anyone who would want to buy a laptop," Mr Burgess said.

"Subsequently his brother made some enquiries about selling it before he was made aware of a press release in the Sidmouth Herald asking for information."

Magistrates heard the teen's brother informed his mother, who then contacted the police.

Jeremy Harris, defending, said the youth on that particular night had been drinking at a party and was "intoxicated".

"He was walking home with a group of friends when one of the parties had the bright idea of entering an unsecure premises," Mr Harris said.

"[The defendant] didn't enter the premises himself but was aware of what was going on and did accept property knowing it had been stolen."

The youth, when he was given the chance to speak, apologised to the court and said he didn't "want to end up in court again".

Speaking to the magistrates, his mother said: "I did the right thing and I think [he] understands I wouldn't stand for any dishonesty in the house and I never will.

"The shock of doing this to him has been quite a good punishment on its own but he does need a referral order to keep him on the straight and narrow."

Chief Magistrate, Sheila Margrett, said the mother "definitely did the right thing" and thanked her for her honesty.

The panel imposed a four month referral order on the teenager- meaning he must attend a youth offender panel to address the causes of his offending behaviour.

Ms Margrett added: "You are a young adult who has got your whole future ahead of you. It's up to you now." She also warned him not to drink alcohol as he was "underage".


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