Jersey teen head-butted McDonald's glass door and stole black belt from martial arts enthusiast

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A TEENAGER has admitted stealing vodka from three shops, smashing a glass door at McDonald’s by head-butting it and stealing a martial arts enthusiast’s recently awarded black belt.

He was sentenced to a 12-month probation order for offences which the Magistrate, Bridget Shaw, described as ‘quite outrageous’.

The Youth Court heard that the 15-year-old, who cannot be named, was on bail for the thefts of vodka and the malicious damage at the fast-food restaurant when he stole the jiu-jitsu black belt of ‘huge sentimental value’ from a gym in St Helier.

Legal adviser Paul Lee said the teenager and an unnamed female took three bottles of vodka, worth £40.74 in total, from the Marks & Spencer food store in St Martin on 7 May.

Six days later the pair stole two more bottles of the spirit, together worth £27.16, from Marks & Spencer in King Street.

And on 18 May they stole another two bottles from the Co-op in Charing Cross. Together they were worth £36.

Mr Lee said the damage to the glass door at McDonald’s in Halkett Street happened on 21 June and was witnessed by a staff member. ‘They saw a young male hit his head against the glass door and saw the glass had shattered in a spider’s web pattern.’

The police later found the teenager in Millennium Town Park. Mr Lee said: ‘His eyes were bloodshot and he was confused. He tried to stand up but was in no fit state to look after himself.’

During interview, the teenager admitted smashing the window and stealing the vodka but claimed not to know the female who had stolen it with him.

Mr Lee said that the youth was out on bail when he stole a jiu-jitsu robe and black belt from a gym in Bath Street on 1 August. He said: ‘The black belt had recently been awarded and was of huge sentimental value.’

The belt and robe were together worth around £250 but have not been recovered.

The court was told that the teenager had a previous conviction for an attempted breaking and entering in August 2020.

Advocate Chris Baglin, defending, accepted that youth custody was an option for the court but suggested a probation order.

He said the teenager had entered guilty pleas to the four offences of theft and one of malicious damage at the earliest opportunity.

He had been drunk at the time of all of them but had not drunk alcohol since the summer. ‘The fact that he is addressing that is, I think, a positive step,’ the advocate said.

The Magistrate told the teenager: ‘These offences are quite outrageous.

‘It wasn’t just stealing one bottle of beer. You stole again and again and again. It was a danger to you and the friends you were drinking it with.’

Because the teenager is not working and is therefore unable to pay for the missing black belt, the judge ordered him to work as part of a ‘restorative justice’ programme.

She also said his progress with the probation order would be checked after three months, warning him: ‘We want to be impressed. Keep away from alcohol and keep out of trouble.’

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