The defendant was sentenced to 180 hours of community service – the maximum amount that can be imposed by the court – and was placed on probation for two years.
He had stashed brake fluid and swimming pool chlorine on the beach at Grève d’Azette, which he used to set fire to a grey tracksuit, gardening gloves, a balaclava, white trainers and the knife following the attempted robbery.
The teenager, who cannot legally be identified because of his age, also phoned police four hours after the offence and named another youngster as the culprit. The reason he gave for the attempted robbery, which was foiled when a shop assistant chased him off with a water bottle, was that he wanted money to buy things, including a PlayStation 4 videogame console.
However, the court heard that his parents had told the Probation Service that they were unhappy at the suggestion that he needed money, as they provided well for him. His mum told the court that he was a ‘loving, caring son and brother’ and that they were a ‘very close family’.
Youth Court panel chairman Bridget Shaw asked the boy, who was a first-time offender, why he had taken a knife to rob the shop. He replied: ‘If you just walked into a shop and said “can I have the money out of the till?”, then they would just laugh at you.’
In outlining the events, legal adviser Lauren Hallam said that the boy was first captured on CCTV wearing a black jacket near the FB Fields at about 5.18 pm on Friday 9 March.
At 5.29 pm he was seen on the CCTV of Samarès Stores wearing a light-grey tracksuit.
She said that he had his hood up and had a dark piece of clothing covering the lower part of his face. ‘He entered the store, looked around for a few minutes and looked at the cash desk,’ she said. The court also heard that he was in the shop for 13 minutes and loitered for some considerable time before he picked up a large bottle of water and placed it on the counter.
Miss Hallam said: ‘He put his hand in his right pocket and pulled out a pocket knife. He pointed it at the shopkeeper and said “give me all the money from the till”.’
The court heard that the shop assistant ‘pretended to push a panic button, telling the defendant that she had called the police and he should leave’.
‘She picked up the bottle of water and walked around towards the defendant. As she did, she saw other people pull-up outside,’ said Miss Hallam.
And the court was told that as he left, the youngster said: ‘Don’t worry, I will be back.’ However, his lawyer, Advocate Jane Grace, said that he denied making such a comment.
Miss Hallam said that after the boy left, the shop assistant broke down and her legs started shaking.
The court heard that the defendant returned to FB Fields and put on his previously discarded black jacket. ‘He can then be seen on CCTV jumping over a wall and making his escape,’ Miss Hallam said.
The court was told that four hours after the offence the defendant phoned the police and provided the name of another teenage boy, naming him as the perpetrator.
When the defendant was questioned, he initially told officers that he had been to see friends in St Mary/St Peter but he eventually admitted that he had carried out the crime.
Miss Hallam said that he told officers ‘he did not know what he was thinking’.
Advocate Grace, defending, said that it was important that the facts showed that there was no damage caused. ‘The shop assistant fought back and he made no attempt to use the knife. He was easily scared off and made his escape,’ she said.
She called the attempted robbery an ‘ill thought-out, hare-brained scheme’. However, she said: ‘He takes full responsibility and there was nobody else involved. He was eventually co-operative with the police. He is remorseful for what he has done.’
She said that it appeared overall that the boy had a happy family life and that there were no major issues at school. ‘He and everyone here is rather perplexed at his involvement in this type of offending,’ she said.
Mrs Shaw added that the court commended the shopkeeper for her bravery.