A TEENAGE yob who believed himself "invincible" sobbed in court as magistrates finally ended his nasty campaign of theft, disruption, drug abuse and violence.
The 17-year-old, responsible for a long list of alcohol-fuelled violent crimes, was taken off the streets for six months – but the court has refused to allow the Lynn News to tell you his name.
Courts have the power to 'name and shame' persistent violent youth offenders but Lynn magistrates dismissed this paper's application after being warned about the young criminal's difficult family life.
Solicitor Ruth Johnson told the court the boy had experienced a very difficult childhood, with both parents being chronic heroin addicts.
In his early years he witnessed violence, drug abuse and criminal damage at home, she added.
And she also described how he was caught-up in a new drug craze which gave users initial feelings of "invincibility and euphoria" but led to depression, anxiety and paranoia.
Among the boy's grim catalogue of crimes listed in court this week were:
* Stealing lager from Tesco
* Headbutting a victim at Lynn bus station
* Smashing van windows
* Being drunk and disorderly
* Assaulting a man in North Lynn
* Late night unprovoked attack on two brothers
* Breaching an interim criminal anti-social behaviour order.
Miss Johnson said the youth had been arrested again on Saturday evening and spent two nights in custody. He had been "extremely anxious and distressed".
She said he had not previously co-operated with the youth offending team and had failed to attend appointments, although he was willing to turn this around. "In the past he has battled against them because he's had the attitude that he's invincible."
Miss Johnson said he had missed an appointment with the team on February 11 because he had been suffering the after-effects of a substance called mephedrone, a legal plant fertiliser being misused by some young people in Lynn.
She said mephedrone, a fine white powder designed to be diluted with water, was being snorted like cocaine causing "unbelievable short and long-term effects".
Miss Johnson said while it caused initial feelings of invincibility and euphoria, the "come down" was very unpleasant, with people experiencing depression, anxiety and paranoia.
The court heard the substance could cause internal bleeding, damage to the inner membrane of the nose and could also affect blood flow around the body.
He failed to attend the appointment with the youth team because he was experiencing problems with the circulation in his lower body and had been too embarrassed to phone in because he had previously denied misusing the substance.
After describing the boy's difficult home life, she told the court: "It's amazing he remains as balanced as he probably is. He is as remorseful as he can be."
The teenager told the court he had not been working or claiming benefits and had until recently been "sofa surfing" with no fixed address. When asked where he got the money for drink and drugs, he said from friends, who most likely got it from their parents.
The magistrates handed him a six-month detention and training order for assault and told him he must serve four months concurrent for assault, four months concurrent for the North Lynn attack and four months concurrent for breaching his interim criminal anti-social behaviour order.
The youth, who was led away in tears, was also made subject to a two-year criminal anti-social behaviour order preventing him from:
* Threatening, abusing, harassing or intimidating any person in Lynn
* Inciting anyone to do the above
* Possessing or consuming any alcohol in any public place in Lynn
* Entering the recreation ground in Loke Road, North Lynn, at any time
* Being in groups of three or more in any public place in North Lynn
* Entering Tesco in St Faiths Drive, Gaywood, congregating with others or loitering near the supermarket
Drug linked to many side effects.
MEPHEDRONE, described as a "legal party drug", has been cuaisng concern up and down the country. The drug has been linked to a number of teenage deaths and its street names include bubble, Michael, drone and m-cat.
Users can experience heart palpitations, muscle tension, vomiting, loss of vision and turning blue.
Side effects can include insomnia and also hallucinations.
February 19, 2010