Magistrate warns troubled youth to stay in school or risk jail time

15-year-old boy handed suspended prison sentence after admitting to carrying out four thefts.

A 15-year-old teenager who admitted to four thefts and to grievously injuring a British tourist was today given a dressing down by a magistrate, and warned that if he does not go to school and reform, he will be jailed.

The St Paul’s Bay youth, who cannot be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty to carrying out four thefts and an attempted theft during an eight-month span. He also pleaded guilty to grievously injuring his victim, and to handling stolen property.

He was handed a two-year jail term suspended for four years.

In his judgement, Magistrate Francesco Depasquale warned the youth that if he remains on the path to criminality, keeps bad company or fails to attend school, he will be back in court where he could be possibly jailed for four years.

The youth admitted to punching and grievously injuring a British tourist before robbing her of her handbag on 17 March. He also admitted to breaking into a hotel room and robbing a Dutch couple.

Moreover, the youth pleaded guilty to stealing wine and beer from the bocci club in Triq Dawret il-Gzejjer, St Paul’s Bay. Sources said that during police interrogation, the teenager also admitted to participating in a foiled robbery in St Paul’s Bay.

In handing down the judgement, Magistrate Francesco Depasquele warned the youth that he if he steps out of line, he would be back in court.

“I do not want you to simply nod in approval. I want you to turn your life around and reform. Any problems and you will have to face me again,” the magistrate said.

While reprimanding him, the magistrate sentenced the accused to a two-year jail term for four years. The youth was also ordered to attend school, and warned that if he fails to do so, he will be back in court.

Police Inspector James Grech prosecuted while lawyer Joseph Mizzi was legal aid.