Court turns down Star's request to name youth

By Dominic Ponsford

South Wales weekly the Llanelli Star failed in its bid to persuade a
court to name a teenager responsible for a mini crimewave in his
neighbourhood.

Although magistrates decided naming the 16-year-old would have too
great an impact on his family, editor Andy Pearson stood by the
decision to press for identification.

He said: “We understand the
court’s concern, but we believe it more important that members of the
community know which youth they should be avoiding.

“His crimes around Burry Port have brought misery to many. We know who he is, of course, and we’ll be watching him like a hawk.”

Reporter Allison Tomas-Mears and the Star’s lawyers, Foot Anstey Sargent, worked closely on the case.

Pearson
said: “In advance of the case Allison gave the lawyers a detailed brief
and they faxed the court with what we thought was a convincing
argument, urging magistrates to lift the ban on naming Youth Court
defendants.

“Allison addressed the court to present our case. It
was the first time she’d done something like that and, although the
adrenalin was flowing and we didn’t win this one, she feels well
equipped to make similar requests in future.”

The teenager was convicted of 10 charges including smashing windows, burgling sheds and theft.

The
items stolen included two cars, clothes, a mobile phone, CDs,
binoculars, a lawnmower, a hedge cutter, a skateboard and two mountain
bikes.

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