A HERO Budgens worker who fought off a knife-wielding child with a shopping basket is furious his attacker walked free from court.
The dramatic assault caught on his CCTV has led the frustrated worker to call for stronger punishments for children and say the “courts are to blame” for letting them off the hook.
The 14-year-old “monster” can be seen entering the shop before pulling out a large kitchen knife and swinging for the shopworker at the Budgens in Boxgrove, Goring.
He was handed a two-year youth rehabilitation order which meant he had to wear an electronic tag and his parents or guardians must pay a £22 victim surcharge.
This comes after The Argus revealed 30 notorious children known to police, dubbed the “West Coast Nominals” have been listed in a poster amid fears of youngsters causing trouble.
The child can be seen with a kitchen knife in the Budgens store in Boxgrove, Goring, on March 7
The staff member, who wished not to be named, said: “The police did their part, they sent him to court. I only blame the court system. They need to change the laws for under 18s.
“If you carry a knife like that, you are not a kid anymore. You have come here to kill or hurt me.
“When I was a kid, we made mistakes. I was naughty but I never hurt anyone.
“Children mess around, that is normal. What is not normal is the courts. They won’t stop you if you are under 18.
“I’m telling the government, what are you waiting for?
“The kids, they enjoy damage, stealing and hurting because they know nobody will stop them.
“He has a tag but what will happen if he attacks? Nothing will change.
“They will wait for him to kill someone, then they will do something.
“When you move country hoping for a better life, you don’t expect that.”
Sussex Police said it is aware of the incident on March 7.
Budgens in Boxgrove, Goring, where the knife incident happened
A spokesman said: “A 14-year-old boy was charged and convicted with threatening a person with a bladed article.
“He appeared before Worthing Youth Court on April 14. He was sentenced for threatening a person with a bladed article.
“A two-year youth rehabilitation order was imposed. This includes supervision, along with an extended activity requirement of 91 days. A three-month curfew was imposed with an electronic monitoring tag. A £22 victim surcharge was imposed on the boy’s parent/guardian.”
Current sentencing laws dictate that any child aged 16 or 17 will face a minimum of four month custodial sentence for their second offence in what is known as a detention and training order.
This can be given by a Youth Magistrate or Crown Court for people aged between 12 to 17 and aims to help stop young people offending through training and education.
The worker can be seen defending himself with a shopping basket
The legislation gives courts a discretion not to impose the sentence where there are particular circumstances relating to the offender or the offence which would make it “unjust”.
Factors that make it “unjust” to impose the mandatory sentence include: good progress made in relation to the previous conviction, length of time since earlier conviction, delay in bringing proceedings, sentence would be manifestly excessive or inappropriate, overall totality of the sentence.
Police did not state if the 14-year-old- had previous convictions.
For adults, the mandatory minimum sentence for threatening a person with a bladed article is six months.
There can be circumstances about the offence or the offender that make it “unjust” to impose the statutory minimum sentence.
The boy cannot be identified due to reporting restrictions set out by Section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.
The act places an automatic restriction on reporting information that identifies or is likely to identify any person under the age of 18 who is concerned in youth court proceedings as a victim, witness or defendant.
What have we reported so far?
A poster created by a British Transport Police officer for Southern Rail staff. Pictured are 30 children known by authorities – dubbed the ‘West Coast Nominals’. George Tilley, left, 15, and Archie Tilley, right, 16, are crossed out with their sentences of 12 years written underneath
Yesterday we revealed a crimewave plaguing communities along the South Coast.
Children have been ransacking shops near railway stations on the Worthing line, from Goring up to Hove.
The problem has got so bad, that British Transport Police (BTP) made a poster of 30 notorious children that was hung up in Southern Rail offices.
It has mugshots of 30 boys and girls, including Archie and George Tilley who shattered the skull of Alan Willson, leaving the 47-year-old with permanent brain damage after beating him with logs last year in Longcroft Park, Worthing.
The purpose of the poster was to “aid safeguarding and crime prevention efforts” following continued harassment from children.
The ICO gave data protection advice and recommendations to BTP and closed the case with no further action.
Tomorrow: Read how “rampant and crazy” shoplifting and now assaults are leaving staff terrified at a Co-op.