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Redbridge teenager armed with crowbar in Mercury Mall admits guilt at court

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:23 29 December 2017

A general view of a McDonald's

A general view of a McDonald's

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A teenager who pulled out a crowbar in a popular shopping centre on his way to school told the court that the incident began because a boy was “staring” at him.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in a public place at Barkingside Magistrates Court.

He told the court that the incident on December 11 began after he noticed “a boy staring at him” from inside McDonald’s whilst walking through the shopping centre just before 9am.

After challenging the boy to “come outside” into the mall, he pushed the boy and the victim attempted to punch him in retaliation.

In response, the teenager, who lives in Redbridge, took the crowbar from his trousers and held it behind his leg.

At this point, security guards at the shopping centre, in Mercury Gardens, Romford, stepped in to seize the crowbar and call the police.

Officers attended just after 9.15am and arrested the teenager, who told them that he took it out of his trousers “for self defence.”

In an interview at the station, he said that he had taken it from his garage that morning and had planned to take the crowbar to school, in order to pass it on to a friend’s father.

At court yesterday, chair lay magistrate Mrs Mann forced the teenager to turn around and apologise to his mother who had accompanied him to court.

She said: “You clearly didn’t think about your actions.

“The consequences of your stupidity has led to you receiving a referral order.”

The youth was given a six-month referral order and told to pay the £85 court costs and £20 victim surcharge.

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