Romford looter, aged 11 in court again!
PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 September 2011 | UPDATED: 11:22 16 September 2011
An 11-year-old Romford boy who became infamous as the youngest person to appear in court for looting during the recent riots has appeared in court again.
He made headlines after stealing a £50 bin from Debenhams, in the Market Place and was given an 18-month rehabilitation order.
He had appeared in the same court five days before on other charges, including arson.
But less than a week later on September 6, the youngster was again arrested at Asda in The Liberty, Romford.
The boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, appeared at Havering Magistrates’ Court the next day, charged with common assault and theft (shoplifting).
He admitted theft but denied assault and was bailed to appear at Redbridge Magistrates’ Court on November 22.
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said: “Though he’s 11 years old he’s still capable of committing these crimes so the idea that any punishment is too harsh blows that out of the water.
“We need harsher penalties. You’ve got to make people fear the punishment so they don’t commit the crime. He needs a short, sharp shock to prevent him committing more serious crimes at an older age.
“What are his parents doing to allow their child to behave in such a way?
“He needs to be taken away from his parents for six months.”
Chris Lee MBE, development manager at Havering Motorvations, which works with excluded young people, disagreed, saying: “Harsher penalties on a young child just make them more extreme. For an 11-year-old, corrective punishment may not be the answer.
“Restorative punishment shows them a different way – such as strengthening programmes with the child and parent.
“The child has to have a feeling of belonging at a grass roots family level.
“That’s where the boundaries are set and if that’s broken down it’s easier to see why young people are being dysfunctional in their communities.
“We need to get them involved in their communities so they don’t destroy them.”
The rioter was sentenced for looting at Havering Magistrates’ Court on August 31, with Judge John Woollard saying: “You seem to think that nobody can stop the way you behave.
“You need to understand very clearly that you can’t get away with committing offences of this nature.”
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