Teenager locked up after taking knife to children's play area in Wigan

Norley Hall adventure playground
Norley Hall adventure playground

A tearaway teenager found at a Wigan children’s play area armed with a knife has been locked up.

The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Wigan Youth Court to plead guilty to a string of crimes, including repeated vandal damage to shops at Robin Park.

But the most serious offence to which he confessed was going armed with a blade to Norley Hall adventure playground where many families meet and then wrecking council-owned CCTV cameras set up to police the area.

Sentencing him to eight months’ detention with training, the bench told him: “The offence, or the combination of the offence and one or more offences associated with it, was so serious that only a sentence of detention can be justified because the offence of possessing a knife involved the defendant waving a large knife in a children’s play area and causing damage to CCTV.

“The burglary matters took place at night. The defendant has shown a disregard for the property of others and court orders, aggravated by a record of offending, offended on bail and whilst subject to a detention training order licence.

“The defendant has failed to respond previously to community-based options and an intensive supervision and surveillance programme is not appropriate. The defendant has been a persistent offender between the ages of 12 and 15.”

The teen had admitted to the knife and CCTV offences and also to smashing the £250 wing mirrors of a van belonging to Deans Trust School and to failing to surrender to the court while on police bail.

He had initially denied damaging the door to Smyths toy store and smashing a window at the neighbouring Costa cafe and then returning five days later to break the same window at the latter again.

But on appearing in court he changed his pleas to guilty.

No separate punishments were issued by the bench for the criminal damage although the knife was ordered to be permanently confiscated and destroyed by the police.