MAGISTRATES spared a 16-year-old boy a jail sentence after glowing reports from youth workers convinced them he wants to turn his life around.
Despite recently completing a three-month stint behind bars, they were convinced the Northwich teenager is 'on the right track'.
He appeared at Vale Royal Youth Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for an attempted robbery on December 2, 10 days before he was given a custodial sentence for a string of robberies and assaults.
The court heard he subjected the victim to a brutal assault as he tried to rob him of just £1. The defendant and a friend approached a teenage boy walking alone along Greenbank Lane, Northwich, around 11pm and, after asking the boy for money, the defendant pushed him in the chest and punched him repeatedly in the face and head.
He then headbutted him and ran away after a witness intervened. The victim took refuge in a nearby takeaway while he waited for police, but the defendant ran into the shop and punched him again before making off.
Derek McDonald, defending, said: 'He tried to get a paltry £1. He resorted to violence and became heavy handed.
'But since he came out his behaviour has been exemplary. Certainly the period inside has had a lasting effect on him and it appears he may have changed his behaviour.'
The defendant told the bench: 'I think I can do really well and if you give me a chance I'll prove it.'
Chairwoman of the bench Moira Chapman said reports prepared by the Youth Offending Team had been crucial in keeping him out of jail. She said: 'The reports are very complimentary towards you and the progress you are making.'
Magistrates put the defendant on a six-month supervision programme. He will be electronically tagged, subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew for three months and was ordered to pay £100 court costs.