'˜Childish' teen raids those caring for him

An immature Wigan teen who stole a TV and raided the office of the care service where he was living has been spared jail.
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' CourtWigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

Wigan magistrates heard Joshua Wilkinson broke into the flat in Bolton and took the TV before smashing it up.

Justices heard Wilkinson had previously been involved in an argument with the resident of the flat and that the day after he stole around £40 in cash and prescription drugs from the office at the semi-independent living facility following an argument with an official there about his allowance.

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The 18-year-old, of Burns Close, Worsley Mesnes, was also punished for an incident last year at another facility in Leigh where he argued with two female employees and then took a baseball bat to their car windscreens, for which he had previously been given a conditional discharge.

Prosecuting, Katie Beattie said an employee at Steps Ahead was filling out paperwork on January 29 when he heard a loud banging coming from the empty flat.

He found the TV had gone and the cupboard had also been badly damaged.

The same employee was then asked on January 30 to go to the shop with another resident and they returned around 10 minutes later to find the contents of the filing cabinet strewn across the floor.

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A petty cash tin containing money and a passport had gone along with some medication. The office door had also been wrecked with the hinges and frame kicked out of the wall.

Wilkinson refused to reply to questions put by the police in interview but pleaded guilty in court, also admitting a bail offence.

Defending, Peter Leather said his client admitted reacting to the situations in completely the wrong way but was slowly starting to turn his life around.

Mr Leather said: “His words to me were; ‘I was childish’, and that’s it exactly. He was frustrated and angry and didn’t respond in an appropriate fashion. In the first incident there was friction between him and another resident who tried to come back into the accommodation with a group of people who were the worse for drink. Unfortunately on January 29 he entered the flat and removed the TV.

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“Much the same can be said about the second burglary. He believed he was due money, the administrator refused and he saw red and stole money he was not entitled to.

“He understands and accepts he acted irresponsibly. He has had a somewhat disruptive upbringing but now has a number of positive initiatives coming up.

“He has a found a tenancy of his own and has been in touch with a previous employer. He very much wants to grow up, move forward and put criminal offending well and truly behind him.

Magistrates gave Wilkinson a total of 12 weeks in custody, suspended for two years, and ordered him to pay £590.85 in compensation.

He was also ordered to attend a Resolve rehabilitation programme and carry out 40 hours’ unpaid work.