Oxford

Armed, car-tipping, forklift truck thief avoids custody

The car Image copyright INS
Image caption The boy admitted aggravated vehicle taking and possessing a firearm

A 15-year-old boy has avoided custody for tipping over a car with a fork-lift truck, while armed with an air rifle.

The teenager stole the farm vehicle and was spotted "driving erratically" around Hazel Gardens in Sonning Common on 13 September last year.

He had previously admitted aggravated vehicle taking, possessing an unloaded firearm and careless driving.

Magistrate Anne Pappenheim said the offences were "extremely serious" but custody was not appropriate.

The teenager was given a 12-month rehabilitation order.

At his previous appearance at Oxford Magistrates' Court he said: "It probably wasn't the best thing to have done."

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Media captionA member of the public filmed the boy on the fork-lift

A police helicopter was scrambled when the teenager stole the vehicle from Oliver Agriculture in Cane End, near Reading, and drove it two-and-a-half miles to Sonning Common.

There he wrote off a Fiat Punto by tipping it on to its side, a prosecutor said.

Chair of the magistrates Ms Pappenheim said: "These are extremely serious offences and the court was right on the last occasion to ask for a report at custody level.

"But because of the enormous amount of cross agency support [the defendant] is now receiving, and that it's now almost a year since these offences were committed, we do not feel that custody is the appropriate sentence."

The teenager, from Henley-on-Thames, cannot be named for legal reasons.

Image copyright Vagner Vidal/INS News Agency Ltd
Image caption The Fiat Punto was written off

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