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Heroin teenager gets last chance

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MAGISTRATE Russell Finch gave a teenage heroin user a stark warning when he appeared in court.

MAGISTRATE Russell Finch gave a teenage heroin user a stark warning when he appeared in court. Joshua Jones, 17, was sentenced to nine months' youth detention, suspended for two years, after he admitted burglary, criminal damage, riding a motorcycle while disqualified and without insurance and driving without due care and attention.

Mr Finch said he would not walk free from his court again.

'Your name will then be back in court when I end up handling the inquest in my position as coroner.'

Jones and an accomplice, whom he refused to name, stole a cigarette machine from the foyer of the Idlerocks Hotel in the early hours.

The machine had just been restocked and contained cash and 210 packets of cigarettes worth '1,155.

On another day, following reports that cigarettes were being sold cheaply on a St Martin's estate, police attended and found Jones, who had '17 cash on him. He was arrested on suspicion of burglary, which he denied.

But he was identified from CCTV camera footage from the hotel.

He later admitted forcing open the cigarette machine with a chisel and setting fire to it.

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On another occasion, Jones was walking along South Esplanade with a group of friends when he snapped the aerial off a car.

Two witnesses called the police. He was arrested, but denied the offence.

About a month later, he was riding a motorcycle along Glategny Esplanade, swerving from side to side.

Police officers recognised Jones, whom they knew was banned from driving, and followed him. While overtaking a car, Jones ran into it and fell from the machine. He tried to remount and when the occupants of the car tried to restrain him, he struggled violently. He managed to escape and ran off, but was arrested at North Beach car park.

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Jones, of 10, Le Hurel Estate, St Martin's, admitted stealing the cigarette machine.

Advocate Chris Green said the theft had been particularly unsophisticated and that drugs had played a part in each offence.

'This has been the catalyst in all these matters,' he said.

Mr Finch noted that a probation report had recorded that prison held no fears for Jones and that a custodial sentence was likely to have a harmful effect on him.

He said that the probation report had been very constructive. He reluctantly agreed to follow its recommendations.

Mr Finch said that as the hotel had been unlocked and the foyer was a public area, he would not look upon it as burglary.

He sentenced Jones to six months' youth detention, suspended for two years. A compensation order for half the value of the machine was granted to G. Orange and Co.

A further month's youth detention, to be served consecutively, was imposed for the criminal damage offence and Jones was ordered to pay '32.68 compensation.

One month's youth detention was imposed for riding while disqualified and his licence was suspended for 18 months. The defendant was uninsured, for which another month's youth detention was ordered, and a further one-year licence suspension, to run concurrently, was imposed.

No order was made on a summons of driving without due care and attention but a further six months' licence suspension was imposed.

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