THE VICTIMS of a teenage tearaway have asked why the youngster targeted them.

Joshua Schofield, 19, admitted burgling homes in Worthing and businesses in Tarring and Goring.

After breaking-in late at night he left residents terrified.

He stole car keys and went joyriding with his mates.

Judge Christine Henson QC said he showed a “complete disregard” for other people and imposed a two-year suspended sentence as the troubled teen has started to turn his life around.

Hove Crown Court heard how Schofield admitted three domestic burglaries, two commercial burglaries, and two incidents of stealing cars between April and October 2019.

Elderly couple Dennis Rowley and wife Celia were asleep at their home in Hythe Road, Worthing when the youth broke in in April 2019.

He went in through a kitchen window, then took both their cars and went joyriding with his mates.

The Argus:

Mr Rowley said: “I am angry that someone has entered my house and the inconvenience it has caused. There will be a financial impact for both my wife and I with increased insurance premiums.”

Schofield broke into the home of Charlotte Dennis and Jake Panter in Pevensey Road, Worthing, in the middle of the night in May 2019.

He got in through a small bathroom window and tried to take their car keys.

Mr Panter confronted him downstairs and Schofield “froze”.

Ms Dennis said she could not sleep after the tension of the incident.

Read more on this story: 'You have caused havoc' - teen spared prison over burglaries, joyriding and crime spree 

She said: “I was so angry and upset that someone came into our house. I felt violated, I felt targeted, as if he was watching us and knew when to break in.”

Judge Christine Henson QC recommended Mr Panter for a High Sheriff’s award.

She said: “The bravery and calmness he showed in what must have been a horrific incident is to be commended.

“In the spur of the moment and in the darkness he acted with a cool head, and with calmness and in a humane way dealt with the intruder until police arrived.”

The Argus:

The final domestic burglary attempt by Schofield was in St Elmo Road in Worthing, where his gang were seen shining torches into people’s homes.

Police later found him lying under a car in a bid to avoid being caught.

Hove Crown Court also heard how he had targeted newsagents Tarring News and Wine and Denyer News in Goring on June 26.

At Tarring news a window was smashed but Schofield could not get in.

But at Denyer News he succeeded, smashing his way into the family run shop.

Stephen Denyer said it cost £1,300 in lost earnings as shards of glass went in all directions.

The Argus:

He said Schofield had shown a “lack of respect” for property and his business and wanted to ask the rascal: “Was it all worth it?”

Schofield, of Bennet Road, Brighton, was convicted and was told to pay £200 to Mr Rowley and £400 to Mr Denyer in compensation.

He must also complete a further 100 hours of unpaid work