Boy in court over knife at school gates

April 29 2019

A TEENAGER has admitted possessing a knife after he was filmed brandishing it outside Downend School.

The 13-year-old, who is not a pupil at the school, appeared at Bristol Youth Court on April 15, accused of possessing a bladed article in relation to the incident. He was also accused of an incident of criminal damage.
The boy, who was 12 at the time of the knife incident, admitted both charges and magistrates made him the subject of a one-year referral order, a community sentence usually given to first-time offenders who have pleaded guilty.
He was also ordered to pay a total of £130 – £85 in prosecution costs, a £20 victim surcharge and £25 in compensation for the criminal damage incident.
Magistrates also ordered that the knife he was found with be destroyed.
Referral orders require offenders to work with a panel of professionals and volunteers, agreeing a contract aiming to rehabilitate the offender and repair any damage they have done.
The incident on November 30 was filmed on mobile phones and shared on social media before a concerned parent saw it and sent it to the BBC.
Afterwards, Downend School head teacher Lisa Howell moved to reassure parents that swift action had been taken and the safety of young people at the school was “paramount”.
Teachers spoke to pupils about the importance of telling someone about concerns over people carrying knives, and police beat officers and PCSOs who already have informal drop-in sessions at the school, held an extended clinic.
Information about knife crime can be passed on anonymously using the website fearless.org/en, which also provides advice.