Crimewave boy, 12, locked up after plea to court

A 12-year-old boy who has committed more than 30 crimes was temporarily remanded in secure accommodation today after youth workers told a court he could not be "contained".

Magistrates in Witham, Essex, ordered the youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, to be remanded in secure local authority accommodation until they had decided on a punishment for his latest crimes.

Prosecutor Simon Newell told the youth court that the boy - who was celebrating his birthday today - had an "appalling record".

He said the youngster committed his latest offences earlier this month when he assaulted two care workers - causing minor injuries - and drove off in an Audi TT car.

Mr Newell said the boy was chased by police but drove on the wrong side of the road and mounted a pavement before being caught.

Magistrates adjourned sentencing until March 16 and said reports on the youngster's background should be prepared.

They decided that the boy could not stay in the care home where he had been living after a representative from a local authority youth offending team raised concerns.

"We don't feel we can contain (him) in the community," she told the court. "He is highly likely to commit another offence which could place the public in harm."

The boy, who admitted assault and aggravated vehicle-taking, sat with his mother and a care worker at the back of the court.

He was dressed in a blue tracksuit, white trainers and a combat-style green jacket. He spoke only to confirm personal details.

Mr Newell gave brief details of the boy's criminal history, saying the youngster had violent crimes on his record.

"It is not a good record," said Mr Newell. "It is an appalling record... 32 offences."

He added: "Pretty much every sentence available to the court at the time he was sentenced has been given."

Magistrates refused an application from a local newspaper to lift reporting restrictions so that the boy could be identified in media reports.

Chairman Lloyd Chapman said the boy was vulnerable and it was not in the public interest for him to be identified by the media.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas