Man challenged burglar, aged 13

PUBLISHED: 11:20 15 March 2007 | UPDATED: 12:18 04 May 2010

MAGISTRATES have congratulated a Soham man who helped catch a 13-year-old drug user who burgled a pensioner s home in the town, and stole £900 in cash. Gordon Manning challenged the youngster outside the property in Frank Bridges Close, and then called th

MAGISTRATES have congratulated a Soham man who helped catch a 13-year-old drug user who burgled a pensioner's home in the town, and stole £900 in cash.

Gordon Manning challenged the youngster outside the property in Frank Bridges Close, and then called the police.

"It was because of his courage and vigilance that the youth was apprehended," prosecutor Matthew Bradbury told Ely youth court on Thursday.

"He was not prepared to tolerate the burglary and challenged him. He was walking along an alleyway on his way to the community centre and heard a noise."

Mr Manning told the youngster: "I want a word with you," a wallet was dropped, and the boy ran off.

When found by officers in Market Street, the 13-year-old had £900 in £20 notes inside his sock.

The teenager told officers he kicked the door to 66-year-old Antony Sanders' home after discovering the security chain was on, and searched the property. The boy admitted committing the burglary on January 30.

His mother told the court she wanted her son to be drugs-tested. "He should not be smoking and using drugs," she said. "A lot of his problems come from drug misuse. He steals from me."

Solicitor Jeremy Kendall said the boy had no previous convictions for burglary, and asked the court not to send him into custody.

The offence had been the result of his need for money, and him having time on his hands, he added.

Announcing the decision to give the boy a nine-month intensive supervision and support programme, and a three-month curfew order keeping him indoors between 7pm and 7am, chairman Maggie Holling told him: "You came very close to being taken away from home this morning. This is your last chance."

She added: "We very much want to commend Mr Manning for his public spiritedness."

# Another youth is charged with stealing another £900 during the same burglary and is due to appear in the youth court next month.

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