Fine is food for thought

PUBLISHED: 11:26 19 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010

A TEENAGER shouted in protest, how am I supposed to eat? after being fined for assaulting a police officer. The police officer approached the 16-year-old boy, from Ely, after seeing him in an argument with his girlfriend. The boy, who was drunk at the

A TEENAGER shouted in protest, "how am I supposed to eat?" after being fined for assaulting a police officer.

The police officer approached the 16-year-old boy, from Ely, after seeing him in an argument with his girlfriend.

The boy, who was drunk at the time and cannot be named for legal reasons, lashed out and caught the officer in the face.

He received a conditional discharge one month earlier for another assault, and has since been referred to the Connexions Service, which helps young people into education and employment.

When he appeared in Ely Magistrates' Court on Thursday he told magistrates he has only a vague memory of the incident and assured them it wouldn't happen again.

But after hearing that he would have to pay a £50 fine and £50 costs, the boy, who is claiming £40 a week Income Support, yelled at magistrates: "It's alright for you lot, how am I supposed eat.

"Can't I just do some work for the community or something?"

Presiding magistrate, Marisa Johnson, said: "You seem to have enough money to get yourself drunk and perhaps your priority should be to spend money on food instead of alcohol. You may also have to find some work."

She added: "You have to get hold of your behaviour, take responsibility for your actions and pay for the wrong that you have done.

"You now have the opportunity to make something of yourself, but if you continue to behave like this you will soon find yourself on a road to nowhere."

The boy will receive six months' support from the Youth Offending Team.

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