Wakefield child stuns crown-court judge after admitting 31 house burglaries

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A child from the Wakefield area left a judge gobsmacked after the youngster admitted 31 house burglaries.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was brought before Leeds Crown Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to 14 offences, and a staggering 36 more to be taken into consideration.

Judge Ray Singh, who deals with some of West Yorkshire’s hardest criminals, admitted he was shocked at the length of the teenager’s charge sheet.

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He said: “I do not think I have seen a child of you age with that many offences, who has not been to court a great deal. You have just lost the plot. It’s a crime spree that I have not seen from somebody so young.

The teenager has 50 offences to his name, but the judge says he will give him a chance.The teenager has 50 offences to his name, but the judge says he will give him a chance.
The teenager has 50 offences to his name, but the judge says he will give him a chance.

“You have 31 house burglaries – they carry three years’ (jail) apiece. If you multiply that, it’s 90 years. It won’t be that of course, it just shows how serious this is.

“Looking at the number offences, it’s probably double figures (in terms of years in jail).

“I’m always reluctant to lock children up but you might force my hand. But everything I have read about you, you are polite and bright, but something had sadly gone awry.”

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The teenager has admitted three attempted burglaries, three dwelling burglaries, three of theft of vehicles, one non-dwelling burglary, dangerous driving, driving while banned and driving without insurance.

They largely took place in the east of the Wakefield district, and included break-ins and the theft of motorcycles, as well as a Mini Cooper, a Ford Ecosport and a BMW.

Judge Singh opted not to sentence him, but said he would give him five weeks to prove he can comply with a youth referral order.

He told him: “You know what you have done wrong, you can’t just go into people’s houses and steal their items.

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“I want to give you a chance over the next five weeks, I want to test your resolve. If you can prove that you can useful then I will give you a chance. But equally, if you don’t take that chance I will have to lock you up.

“If there’s one blip I will lock you up. It’s very rare somebody get a chance like this.”

The young defendant is due back before Judge Singh on August 14.