Brighton family face move to escape burglar

The Argus: Joanne Foster with her son Oliver Joanne Foster with her son Oliver

A family may be forced to move home because they are so scared of the teenage burglar who broke into their house.

Police caught the 14-year-old who broke into Joanne Foster and her son Oliver’s home while wearing an electronic tag, but he was not fined or ordered to pay them compensation and was let off with a curfew that would not have stopped him committing the crime.

The teenager was told he must stay at home at night, but he burgled Ms Foster’s home at midday.

Ms Foster said she still sees the youngster hanging around outside her home almost daily and says it leaves her feeling vulnerable and scared to go out, yet the youth is not committing any crime and is perfectly at liberty to be near her home.

Ms Foster, who suffers from agoraphobia and a severe panic disorder following the burglary, said she fears they will have to move to get any peace of mind.

The teenage burglar was not ordered to stay away from her home.

Instead Ms Foster and her son feel they are the ones being punished.

'Made to suffer'

Ms Foster said: “It’s disgusting.

“We are the ones being made to suffer when we have done nothing wrong.

“We are living in fear. I am scared to go out. He has burgled us and we have to see him on a daily basis.

“The courts seemed to be more concerned about his rights.

“I’m now having to look to move away from this area to protect my son and get away from this child.”

During the burglary on January 30, Oliver’s bike and Christmas money were stolen.

Savings taken

Ms Foster said a jar of their emergency savings was also taken as well as her laptop. None of their property has been recovered.

The teenager was arrested on February 1. He pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced at Brighton Youth Court last week to comply with a youth rehabilitation order, including attending four sessions with the youth offending team and completing an 18-hour community reparation order.

He was given a curfew banning him from going out between 7pm and 7am for the next 12 weeks.

Ms Foster added: “I’m a single mum. I can’t afford to pay to replace the items stolen.

“The justice system seemed to be more concerned about this boy’s rights and his liberty, but what about ours?

“What kind of message does it send kids like this?

“It is like the courts have said he can keep doing this all he wants and it won’t cost him anything.

“This is why there are so many out of control kids about. Crime pays for them.”

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