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5 Month Sentence for Youth

Tuesday, 27th May 2003.

A YOUTH who made a bid to steal a car to go joyriding while under the influence of cannabis has been locked up for five months.

Liam Darby, 18, was caught in a car compound at Abington after a police helicopter was scrambled following reports a number of youths had been seen running from the premises on September 15 last year, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

Four cars had been broken into and tampered with. A fifth, a Ford Orion, was found crashed nearby and a portable building on the compound site had been burgled.

A 16-year-old Littleport boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was found hiding in bushes in the vicinity. He faces sentence in connection with the incident but failed to turn up to court. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

Darby, of Dunseywood Close, Haverhill, refused to name any of his cohorts but told police he had smoked a lot of cannabis and had been "on a mission" to find himself a car after his own had broken down.

He admitted four charges of attempting to take vehicles without consent. He pleaded not guilty to burglary and aggravated vehicle taking and these were left to lie on the file.

Greg Perrins, for Darby, said a pre-sentence report on the teenager, who has previous convictions for similar offences, painted "a depressing picture". He had been assessed in the past following a head injury and was particularly vulnerable to the influence of his peers as well as drugs and alcohol.

Darby was sentenced to five months in a young offenders' institution four months concurrent for each offence and an extra month for failing to turn up to court on a previous occasion.



Haverhill Weekly News

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