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17-year-old Middlesbrough youth already has 18 criminal convictions
A WOMAN pleaded with a judge to get help for her grandson as he was jailed for a year after acting as a lookout in a burglary.
Teesside Crown Court heard that the 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had already racked up 18 criminal convictions and had experienced a “hopeless upbringing”.
The teenager's barrister Duncan Mochrie said his mother had been a heroin addict and he also had special needs.
He said: “He has been born into a dysfunctional family and has never really had a fair crack of the whip.”
The defendant admitted burglary and having a bladed article on July 30 this year, having been found in possession of a knife and a screwdriver.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh described how he had been arrested by police hiding in bushes following a break-in at a home in Maldon Road, Middlesbrough, while the female occupant slept.
A window had been forced, and although nothing was taken the victim told officers it had left her scared and no longer willing to live in the property.
The teenager dabbed away tears in the dock as he waited to be sentenced, while his grandmother spoke to the judge from the public gallery saying he needed help and explaining that no-one had got to the bottom of his mental health issues.
Jailing him for 12 months, The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, agreed that the youth had a miserable life so far and had suffered many problems.
But he said: “The time comes when you cannot use that as a 'get out of jail free' card.”