Teenage bike thief needs drug rehab, court told

A 14-year-old drug user broke down in tears as he was remanded in custody for stealing a bicycle 

A 14-year-old drug user broke down in tears as he was remanded in custody on charges of stealing a top-end designer bicycle.

The accused, whose name cannot be published by order of the court as he is still a minor, was arraigned before magistrate Monica Vella this morning, charged with stealing a WeThePeople bike worth €573.

The bike was stolen on 28 February from Triq l-Inkurunazzjoni in the accused’s hometown of Cospicua. Inspector Josric Mifsud charged the youth with theft aggravated by value.

The accused pleaded guilty to the charge.

Defence lawyer Yanika Bugeja requested the court order a pre-sentencing report be drawn up before handing down judgment on the boy, who she said, had a drug problem. “There are no drug programmes for people so young and drugs are leading to the youth’s behaviour,” she said.

Inspector Mifsud told the court he “agreed 100%” with this course of action. The court upheld the request for a pre-sentencing report.

Bail was not requested, but the court ordered that a pre-assessment report on his progress be made in 15 days time.

The boy burst into tears at the end of the sitting and was comforted by his parents who were present for the hearing. He will be held at the young offenders section of prison.

The court ordered that his case be followed up by a team of professionals, who will treat him while evaluating his progress.

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