Boy of 13 admits drugs offence
A 13-year-old boy has been sentenced after pleading guilty to possessing drugs with intent to supply.
The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, had been in possession of 0.8oz (23g) of cannabis - with an estimated street value of £230 - on October 19 last year. He had intended to supply some of the Class B drug to a friend when two police spotted a gang of youngsters, including the defendant, and searched him.
The Youth Court in Exeter, Devon, heard that the boy was "obviously very bright" but had fallen into the wrong crowd. Magistrates sentenced him to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order, which offers a supervision requirement as well as educational component.
Chairman of the bench Dorothy Robson told him: "This is punishment and support for you. You are obviously a very bright young man, you have to make the most of that."
The court heard that the boy - who smoked "two or three joints a day" at one stage - received a text message from a cannabis-using friend on October 19 last year, saying he had lost his money to buy drugs. The defendant was then sent a message from another person, saying he could supply the friend with drugs, through the defendant.
Prosecuting, Ann Hampshire said police noticed the schoolboy holding a large holdall when they decided to search him.
She said: "He had his bank book with him. The account was checked and there were cash withdrawals, including one of £500 on the day of the offence. During eight days, he had withdrawn just under £2,000. His mobile phone was interrogated and there were messages relating to the exchange of drugs. There was clear intention to supply."
Defending, Stephen Nunn said his client had been approached to supply the drugs to a friend. He said the boy had, at one stage, had "a lot of money" in his bank account, but that it had "probably been frittered away" since.
Mr Nunn said his client had kept out of trouble and was succeeding at school since his arrest.
Apologising to the court - and to his mother, who initially refused to accompany her son into the hearing because she was "embarrassed" - the defendant said: "I shouldn't have done it. I know that I have done wrong. I feel quite bad and I am sorry for all the stuff I have done to her (his mother). I regret it now."