AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy convicted of burglary ‘fell in with the wrong crowd’ while on a caravanning holiday with his parents, a court has heard.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to stealing goods worth £750 from a mobile home at the Boar’s Head caravan park in June.
His mother wept as magistrates in Burton handed her son a 10-month referral order and fines totalling £250.
His family were holidaying with relatives at a nearby park when he met two older youths who ‘pressured’ him into the offence.
They travelled to the Draycott-in-the-Clay site and entered the caravan through an unlocked window, taking items including a television, binoculars and whisky.
Addressing magistrates, the defendant said he tried to leave the scene when he realised his accomplices’ intentions.
The Nottinghamshire resident said: “I started seeing items coming out of the window and wanted to walk away but they wouldn’t let me.
“When they were finished, we went our separate ways and I walked back to the site my family were staying at.
“I know the person who had his things taken would have been very sad, as I would’ve been if it would have happened to me.”
His mother told the court her family’s lives have been ‘turned upside down’ since the offence.
She said: “That’s why I’ve grounded him. He got involved with the wrong company.”
Adrian Pearce, defending, told the court why his client answered ‘no comment’ to all questions when interviewed by police.
He said: “He’s an 11-year-old boy and, as such, was legally advised exercise his right to silence and not respond to the police’s questions.
“He’s never been arrested or had any dealings with the police and, indeed, neither has any of his family.
“His mother was very upset when I spoke to them this morning and had to leave the interview room.”
According to Mr Pearce, the defendant was only ‘keeping watch’ while the items, which also included an iPod and a Nintendo 3DS games console, were taken.
However, his fingerprints were found on the window through which the offenders gained entry.
Presiding magistrate Peter Maden said he expected the boy’s parents to pay the fines but for him to ‘work off his debt’ by doing jobs for them.
He said: “You will be asked to sign a contract with a view to stopping your offending in its tracks.
“If you don’t sign it or fail to adhere to its conditions, you’ll be brought straight back to court and several other sentences could be brought into play.”
The boy did not receive any of the stolen items or any money from their sale.
The court could not provide any information on whether the other offenders had been caught.